Fair City Celebrates 2000 Episodes
Cast and crew of the RTÉ Drama Fair City, gathered in McCoy’s Pub on the Fair City set today (Monday 27th November, 2006) to celebrate 2000 episodes of the popular Irish soap.
Original cast members, Jim Bartley (Bela Doyle), Tony Tormey (Paul Brennan) and Sarah McDowell (Suzanne Doyle) joined many of the more recent additions to Carrigstown including, Rachel Kavanagh (Lauren), Rachel Sarah Murphy (Jo Fahey) and Gemma Doorly (Sarah O’Leary), to raise a toast to the much loved show.
Fair City first aired on September 18th, 1989 for one episode a week and for a limited run. This first episode attracted an audience of 1.06 million viewers. By 1999, the show was entertaining viewers three times weekly and now as Fair City celebrates 2000 episodes, fans can enjoy the soap four times a week.
When Fair City began, the show was based around characters in four households: The O’Hanlons, The Kellys, The Clarkes and The Corcorans. Back then, all exterior shots were recorded in the Barron Place area of Drumcondra in Dublin. Many locals took roles as extras and loved the buzz that was created in the area at that time. After two years, Carrigstown was relocated to the south side of Dublin, where set designers replicated the street and interiors of the original houses in RTÉ.
Fair City has been entertaining viewers with memorable storylines and tackling many serious issues since its debut in 1989. Births, deaths, marriages, affairs, illnesses and other milestones in the characters’ lives have been played out on screen for the last 17 years, providing the viewing public with many hours of dramatic pleasure. Some of the more memorable storylines include:
? The death of Billy Meehan, the most evil man ever to set foot in Carrigstown.
? The illicit affair between undercover cop, Rory and gangster’s moll, Carol and the untimely death of her son, Lorcan.
? Helen and Paul’s happy marriage, followed by her tragic death so soon after they had finally found happiness.
? Baby Jessica Molloy’s death having accidentally taking an ecstasy tablet and Harry Molloy’s subsequent revenge on the culprit, Ross.
? Malachy’s decision to leave the priesthood for Kay, his gambling addiction and their eventual separation.
? Heather and Floyd’s incestuous relationship and her novel based on the affair.
? Jimmy and Lorraine’s happy wedding day, followed by the heartbreaking scenes a few months later when Jimmy had to bury his young wife.
Fair City has also achieved international recognition when one of the five original cast members, Pat Nolan was honoured in the ‘Best Soap Actor’ category of the prestigious Rose d’Or festival in 2005. This prestigious accolade was awarded to Pat for his portrayal of Barry O’Hanlon’s downfall and was a great achievement for the popular Irish soap.
Jane Gogan, Commissioning Editor, RTÉ Drama said, “In this increasingly competitive environment it’s a huge achievement for Fair City to attract average viewing figures of 450,000 per episode. This is attributable to the immense talent and professionalism of the production team, the cast and crew and of course the writers. The amount of work and dedication required by them to achieve this success can never be underestimated . We hope Irish audiences continue to enjoy the serial”.
Niall Mathews, Executive Producer of Fair City said, “I’m proud and delighted to celebrate 2000 episodes of Fair City. The show has gone from strength to strength over the past seventeen years, and the popularity of the show is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the wonderful cast, writers and crew’.”
Trish O’Gorman, Press and Publicity Officer, RTÉ Television Tel: 01 2082787/ 087 7637839
Date: Monday 27th November, 2006
Notes to Editor
Photographs captioned ‘Fair City 2000th episode’ will be sent to photodesks at 4.30pm
Fair City is broadcast at 8pm on RTÉ One on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
The average audience for the current season of Fair City is 447,000 with an audience share of 35%.
The highest rating episode to date in 2006 was on the 19th January when 666,000 people tuned in to see notorious crime boss, Sylvester Garrigan, being shot in a one hour special.