Spray on hair and a wig – playing PJ Mara in RTÉ One's new drama, Charlie, takes a lot more preparation than playing Nidge in Love/Hate for Tom Vaughan-Lawlor. 

New drama Charlie tells the story of Charles J Haughey (Aidan Gillen) as he navigates the corridors of power from the Dáil to the grand salons of Europe all while doing battle with political players both close to home and abroad. 

Speaking about the three-part series at the launch of RTÉ One's Autumn/Winter TV schedule Tom Vaughan Lawlor, who plays PJ Mara, said:"Let's clear the hair up first. Some is mine and some is a bit of spray on hair and a wig.

He added: "It's wonderful to be able to play a part that is so different in terms of energy and tempo and physicality. It is a complete departure from Nidge. It is an amazing challenge and one that I was very lucky to get. 

Revealing what people can expect from the drama, which is based on true events, the 36-year-old award-winning actor said: " I think we live in a world now where there is so much spin around politicians.

"But back then big characters weren't afraid to wear the egos very blatantly on their sleeves. I think it[Charlie] is huge egos battling quite visibly and that is great for drama. It is an intense time of people struggling for power."