Actress Helen Behan, who is among the Irish nominees for this year's BAFTA Television Awards in the UK, has told RTÉ Radio 1's Arena that she has returned to nursing during the Covid-19 emergency.

Behan, who lives in Co Meath, is nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category for her performance in Shane Meadows' The Virtues, which was filmed in Ireland. The one-off drama Elizabeth is Missing, which includes Behan among its cast and Irish director Aisling Walsh behind the lens, is also shortlisted for a BAFTA.

Speaking to Seán Rocks on Arena, Behan said her return to nursing coincided with it being "shockingly quiet" in terms of acting work.

"Luckily for me I've had my nursing to fall back on and no greater time to be needed than in the last few weeks," she explained. "It's great to be useful... As soon as Hollywood comes knocking I'll be running in that direction." 

"I wanted to work and I wanted to use my skill," Behan continued. "I've been working in a covid assessment hub and I've been very happy to lend my skill to that."

She said it was "a very scary thing to dive into", but that she now feels "quite safe there".

"There was no other option in this crisis for me," she added.

"There's something in all nurses and all medics, I believe, a compulsion... To do anything was my pleasure and my privilege."

The BAFTA Television Awards, hosted by Richard Ayoade, take place on Friday, July 31 and will be shown live on BBC One.

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