Actor Adrian Dunbar“It was very difficult to keep it all in your head sometimes.” 

As heard on The Ryan Tubridy Show

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Shooting the sixth season of the smash-hit BBC cop show Line of Duty proved to be quite a departure from previous seasons, actor Adrian Dunbar told Ryan Tubridyas you-know-what restrictions meant filming was far more out of sequence than usual: 

We had to stop in March, come back and then we were jumping all over the place, so, you know, we’d do a bit from episode one, a bit from episode six, a bit from episode three. So it was very difficult to keep it all in your head sometimes.” 

Getting your heard around the storyline when you’re jumping between episodes like that is a challenge for all involved. But another challenge, Ryan points out, could be how to deal with “Covid continuity”. Adrian knows what he’s driving at: 

“A few of us kind of looked at one another when they said, ‘Right, we’re going to start in three weeks’ time,’ and said, ‘Oh my God, you know, we’ve just been sitting around eating and kind of putting on weight. Are we gonna fit into the costume when we get back?’ So, there was a bit of that. I think there were a few crash diets going on, that’s for sure.” 

Happily there’s less Covid continuity involved in Adrian’s work introducing the Addressing the Nation online event at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris on Wednesday night. Adrian is the cultural envoy for the Centre, which, he told Ryan, has a rich history in Paris: 

“There’s a presence on the site from 1593, but it’s 250 years old, the Irish college there and the Irish government lovingly restored it in the 1980s and it’s now the Centre Culturel Irlandais.” 

The centre is Ireland’s cultural flagship in Europe, according to Adrian, and, as Brexit is now a reality, we should be focusing more on building our ties with mainland Europe. The centre, as part of its new five-year plan, has commissioned 40 artists to contribute to a piece called Addressing the Nationswhich allows the artists three minutes each to explore how they feel about the current global situation and its impact upon them as artists.  

Talk of the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris inevitably led Ryan and Adrian to meander down the path of Ireland’s cultural connections with France, from the seminaries that were set up during the Elizabethan period, to the burial place of Wilde and Beckett and you can hear those meanderings and more besides, in the full conversation, available here. 

Details of the Centre Culturel Irlandais Addressing the Nations online event, introduced by the centre’s ambassador, Adrian Dunbar, are available here. 

Niall Ó Sioradáin 

© The Listener 2021

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