herald

Sunday 18 November 2018

Long-serving Fair City stars axed as actors fear more cuts may follow

out: Bryan Murray and Una Crawford O'Brien

FAREWELL: Una Crawford O'Brien and Bryan Murray
FAREWELL: Una Crawford O'Brien and Bryan Murray

Fair City stars Bryan Murray and Una Crawford O'Brien have been axed from the soap as bosses revamp the Carrigstown cast.

The two actors, who play Bob Charles and Renee Phelan, are being written out of the popular RTE show.

Mr Murray and Ms Crawford O'Brien will be seen in the programme for the final time in scenes to be broadcast in the coming weeks.

Bryan, best known for his role as wife-beater Trevor Jordache on Brookside, joined the Fair City cast in 2005.

Una has been in the series for 11 years and was formerly married to Christy Phelan on the show.

But the way is being left open for the couple to return.

They will be seen selling up their pub, McCoys, and moving abroad following tense scenes.

The two will appear with co-star Declan Conlon, who plays psychic Turlough Norris, in a row that takes up the entire episode on Wednesday.

Bob will be seen confronting Turlough after Renee admits to sleeping with the psychic.

Una and Bryan's departure comes after characters Gina Cassidy, Mike Gleeson and Floyd Phelan were all killed off in recent months.

Fair City star Tony Tormey has admitted the cast are anxiously looking at scripts since former EastEnders and Emmerdale producer Brigie De Courcy took over last year.

He said, with the changes at the top, everything on the show is "hopping".

Mr Tormey said the scripts are never boring now. While before the scripts were left lying around for a week, all the actors grab them now to see if they are still in it, he said.

The actors were warned late last year to brace themselves for a clearout.

A show insider revealed at the time: "Everyone is worried for their future. Some heads will roll in the coming months.

"We're talking about some of the old favourites who have been on the show for many years.

"Writers and producers feel it's time to clear out some of the big names and take the soap in a new direction.

"There is a lot of talking behind the scenes about who could go. Everyone is nervous about what the future holds."

The insider said that exciting new storylines are already being written for 2009, but it is just one of those things that some of the older characters don't fit into the new plans.

"Some of them know the writing is on the wall and there will be a number of big names to go over the next 12 months," the source said.

comurphy@herald.ie

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