BBC Three and BBC Comedy, in association with RTÉ, have commissioned a six-part series of The Young Offenders, from producers Vico Films.
Originally a feature-length film, The Young Offenders was a box office sensation in 2016. Peter Foott, winner of Best Screenplay for The Young Offenders at the recent Irish Film and Television Academy awards, will also be the writer, director and executive producer on the television series. Acclaimed producer Martina Niland (Once, Sing Street) will produce the 6 x 30 series.
The Young Offenders film followed two Cork inner-city teenagers, Conor and Jock, as they embark on a 160km road trip on stolen bikes, in the hopes of finding an unrecovered bale of cocaine.
The characters will now make a move to television screens to bring viewers the continuing misadventures of loveable rogues Conor MacSweeney and Jock O’Keeffe, played by newcomers Alex Murphy and Chris Walley respectively, along with Conor’s long-suffering mother Mairead MacSweeney played by Hilary Rose. All three actors received Irish Film and Television Academy award nominations for their performances in the film. Many other familiar faces from the film will also feature in the TV series and will once again film in Cork, Ireland.
The Young Offenders has been commissioned for BBC Three by Controller of BBC Three Damian Kavanagh; Controller of Comedy Shane Allen; and Commissioning Editor Alex Moody; and for RTÉ by Eddie Doyle, Head of Comedy. BBC Three has an eye for Irish comedy, having recently started airing another Irish comedy series, Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope.
Peter has created a very sure-footed and wholly original world that combines a winning blend of hilarity, charm and emotional impactful moments. It will, stand nicely alongside BBC Three stablemates Fleabag, Uncle, This Country and People Just Do Nothing as a sharp and naturalistic portrait of endearing characters with a unique comic voice.
Shane Allen – BBC Three, Controller of Comedy
Peter Foott has created something really special with The Young Offenders, and we’re absolutely delighted to be supporting the TV version. It is fantastic to see young, home-grown Irish talent, take the next step to international TV success.
Eddie Doyle – RTÉ, Head of Comedy
It’s incredibly exciting to be able to work with the BBC and with RTÉ to bring these characters back to the screen. They have been so supportive of the project and will be a wonderful home for it. The public response to the film, and specifically the characters themselves was just so overwhelming that we really felt there were a lot more stories to tell, so we’re very excited to be doing this as a six-part television series. It’s a real honour to have a chance to take these characters on their new adventures and we can’t wait to start filming in Cork.
Peter Foott – Director
The Young Offenders goes into production in Cork this summer.