P. J. Gallagher says he relished the chance to play a nice guy in The Young Offenders TV series and admits it's the first time he's taken on a sensible character.

The 42-year-old actor and stand-up comedian appeared as a limping drug dealer in the movie but in the TV series, which airs on RTÉ2 on Thursday night, Gallagher is taking on the role of an "overzealous" school principal called Barry.

Speaking to RTÉ Entertainment about the part, he said: "I'm the principal of a school and I've got two daughters. I want to protect them from everything.

"I'm probably a really overprotective dad. For me, it's nice because every character I've ever played, is either a total sh*t or an idiot, and my character Barry isn't either of them.

"He's a nice guy who is just a bit overzealous," he laughed.

The Naked Camera star says although creating the TV series required longer shooting days than the movie, he strangely found the experience less stressful.

"For me it was less stressful because when I was doing the movie everything was filmed except my bit. I knew it was good and everyone was happy with it. So if it went wrong, the whole movie going wrong, would have been my fault. So that was a lot of stress! 

"But whereas this was a full shoot. I only did four days of the movie and this took months and loads of work. There's a lot more work that goes into the TV because you need to get a lot more stuff filmed," he added.

It was recently announced that BBC Three has already commissioned a second series of the movie-turned-TV show.

You can catch The Young Offenders TV show on RTÉ2, tonight (February 8), at 9.30pm.