Fans of The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van have been promised plenty of surprises and the best of memories when the new documentary series Back to Barrytown begins on RTÉ One tonight at 9:30pm.

The three-part series sees star-turned-presenter Colm Meaney returning to his old stomping ground as he celebrates author Roddy Doyle's Barrytown Trilogy and The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van on the big screen.

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The actor and his co-stars revisit the fictional Dublin suburb in the company of author Doyle, The Snapper and The Van director Stephen Frears and many more. Episode one is devoted to The Commitments.

The box office hit's director, Alan Parker, passed away last July. Tonight's programme is a fitting tribute to his magic behind the lens.

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Below, Shauna McGreevy from the team behind the new series tells RTÉ Entertainment about the making of Back to Barrytown.

What are your own memories of The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van as a viewer?

Shauna McGreevy: My stand-out thoughts of seeing these films for the first time was that they were genuinely really funny and there was a lot of cursing - which I loved! I distinctly remember the Try a Little Tenderness performance in The Commitments; The Snapper had so many clever lines, and as for The Van… any chance to revisit Italia 90!

What was the lightbulb moment about making Back to Barrytown?

With the 30th anniversary of The Commitments film happening this year, it just felt like the right time to take a trip back to the 1990s and explore, not just that film, but all of Roddy Doyle's Barrytown Trilogy! These films hold such a special place in the hearts of Irish people and an exploration of them was definitely due.

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Colm Meaney and Roddy Doyle seem quite misty-eyed re-watching the films. Were they - and you - surprised at how emotional they were about them?

Neither Colm nor Roddy had watched the films since they had been released, so to sit down together and revisit them 30 years later - I wasn't surprised that they watched them with such fondness! I think they really enjoyed the experience.

What were the real eye-openers you discovered in the making of Back to Barrytown?

I knew these films were very important to the Irish people, but to learn the effect they had on the communities of Sherriff Street and Kilbarrack was a real eye-opener for me and also, regarding The Commitments, the level of casting that went into that film was just incredible!

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What do you think will surprise viewers the most?

There are so many nuggets of information to discover throughout: the humble beginnings of The Commitments book; how young the cast of that film was, the origins of the name Georgie Burgess, the inspiration behind The Van - I could go on and on.

If you had to do another programme looking at another classic Irish film, what would the film be?

Ooh, that’s a hard one, as there are a few I'd love to do. In the mainstream, I think My Left Foot would be a very interesting one to revisit. Like the Barrytown films, it was a small film that went global. A more left-field choice would be Barry Lyndon. I know there are some great stories behind that Stanley Kubrick film!

Back to Barrytown is on Sundays on RTÉ One at 9:30pm. As part of the fun, RTÉ One will also screen The Commitments on Saturday, 22 May after the Eurovision Song Contest Final; and The Snapper on Saturday, 29 May at 9:30pm.

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