TV3 boss planning new Irish soap

fair-city-rte-wk26-13Irish television station TV3 is reportedly planning to launch a soap opera that will rival Fair City.

The network’s director of programmes, Jeff Ford, has asked UK and Irish companies to come up with ideas for a new twice-weekly prime-time soap that could launch in 2015.

And he is apparently keen to enlist stars from Fair City (pictured) as he has become a fan of the RTE soap since moving to Ireland.

Speaking to the Herald, he said: “The first people we will talk to are Irish actors with soap experience. I’ve seen Fair City and I think the cast and show are really good.

“In the UK, actors move from soap to soap, from Coronation Street to Emmerdale, so why not here? So of course we’ll be talking to actors from Fair City, but ultimately we will cast the right actor for the right role.”

If it goes ahead the new Ballymount soap will not just provide employment opportunities for local actors but to writers and production staff and could prove lucrative for the local TV industry as a whole.

Ford previously headed drama on Channel 5 in the UK and worked on the station’s homegrown soap Family Affairs which aired between 1997 and 2005.

He added of the proposed new soap: “It’s not going to be cheap, but we want something that reflects Irish life and which in turn people will discuss the following day, so it is part of Irish life.

“It’s risky, of course, but it will be a long-term investment.”

Ford spoke to the Herald at the Edinburgh International Television Festival.

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