herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Woman asked my girl 'What's it like to have a f***er as a daddy?', says Tony

The cast of Fair City celebrate 4,000 episodes of the soap
The cast of Fair City celebrate 4,000 episodes of the soap

Fair City actor Tony Tormey has said he regularly gets abused by members of the public due to the antics of his serial cheat character.

But the actor, who plays Paul Brennan, said that one woman took it a step too far after giving out to him in front of his young daughter, Izzy (10).

"I was with my little girl the other day. We went down to the local shop and this woman came up to me and Izzy and goes, 'Are you Paul?' and then she goes, 'Is this your real daughter?' and I go 'Yeah' and she goes, 'What's it like to have a f***er for a daddy?' And she's looking at me, and Izzy's only 10.

"Then the other day, this woman threw an empty Coke bottle at me and goes, 'You're a dirty git.' But you don't want to get into a dialogue with someone like that."

Characters

Tony - who's happily married in real life to wife Kate with whom he has two children - is one of the few characters that has been with the soap from the very start.

The actor said he had no idea he would still be working with the soap nearly 28 years later, and believes it's down to having such a complex character.

"If it was just love rat stuff, the public would probably get bored, but the great thing is I think he's a rounded character," he told the Herald.

"He has his family, the way I have to play it is the family's the family and what happens outside that, he can do what he wants.

"But he's always been a family man at heart, even though he's doing all these terrible things to his wife, he thinks he can get away with it. But if he was just a love rat, he'd be boring."

Originally pitched as an "urban drama", the long- running show began as a pilot based around four households in a tight-knit Dublin community.

When it first started airing once a week in 1989, all exterior shots were recorded in the Barron Place area of Drumcondra in Dublin, with many locals taking on the parts of extras.

It moved southside in 1991, when RTE built the permanent set of Carrigstown.

"We started filming in early May in 1989 and we filmed up until August and then there were only 16 episodes and it only went out once a week," Tony said.

"If someone told me 28 years ago, you're still going to be in here in 2016, I would have told them where to get off."

Clelia Murphy, who plays his long-suffering wife Niamh, said fans of the show are constantly advising her about what to do with her straying husband.

"If you're just talking about breakfast, dinners and tea and bringing your kids to school, nobody wants to watch that because it reminds them of their own lives," she said.

"Soap is a legitimate way of gossiping and bitching because you don't feel guilty because they're not real characters. Until they meet you in a supermarket and they tell you.

"When Niamh had the affair with Michael, they were delighted that Paul was getting his comeuppance. And then they wanted her to get back with him so each story has its ebb and flow, so at the moment they're disgusted with Paul."

To mark its 4,000th episode tomorrow night, viewers will see some nail-biting drama when the Bishops and the Brennans go head-to-head, with the "ultimate betrayal exposed."

The show will also see the return of local thug Cathal Spillane and a shocking revelation concerning Katy's disappearance when viewers will finally find out if Katy is dead or alive.

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