| 3.5°C Dublin

It's Official... The king is dead as Tom bids farwell


Nidge prepares to meet his maker in the series' violent finale

Nidge prepares to meet his maker in the series' violent finale

Nidge prepares to meet his maker in the series' violent finale

It's official - King Nidge is dead.

The explosive finale of Love/Hate left a few unanswered questions.

But actor Tom Vaughan-Lawlor has confirmed that he has said his goodbyes to the show.

The Dundrum native told the Herald that he is looking for "new challenges".

"The last five years working on Love/Hate have been an incredible and unforgettable journey for me," he said.

"I've had the privilege of working with a brilliant cast who I've learnt a huge amount from, a tireless and talented crew, a visionary director, an amazing group of producers from Octagon and RTE, and in Stuart Carolan a world-class writer.

"I'm hugely grateful to the show and to its fans and I am equally looking forward to the new challenges ahead for me both on screen and stage," he added.

The season five finale of Love/Hate might have been the most explosive so far, but it wasn't the most viewed episode - just yet.

More than one million viewers were glued to their TV screens on Sunday night to find out what was going to happen to Nidge, Fran, Siobhan and the gang.

But with 1.005m viewers, the season five finale is lagging behind last year's final episode which commanded an audience of 1.117m.


Season four ended with Nidge going bonkers in his cell after the gardai decided to save Tommy instead of waiting for the drugs shipment which would have landed Nidge in prison.

However, the initial ratings for Sunday night's episode do not include numbers for those who watched the finale on RTE player. And with the figures rising by 218,000 online viewers, the episode of Nidge's demise may just become the most watched episode of the show ever.

Love/Hate has always commanded a large audience but the show really took off in season three. Darren was shot down by IRA hit woman Lizzie in the finale which was the first time the show reached more than 1m viewers. And while the show has always had a loyal following, the least watched episode was the second episode of season two. It saw Darren - who was desperate to leave the gang - rob an ATM in order to pay off his debt to John Boy but reached only 458,100 viewers.

But after a dramatic season three, almost every episode of season four reached one million viewers.

Sunday night's episode was one of the most violent yet with torture, rape and gun shots closing out the season. Janet was murdered by Terrence over a hunch she was the rat, Nidge and Siobhan were gunned down by Patrick and Fran was viciously raped in prison.

But RTE have currently received more compliments than complaints for season five. RTE received an equal amount of complaints and compliments - four of each - for the season five finale.

And, in total, there has been nine compliments about the season as a whole but only six complaints. But fans have been left wondering if the show will return for a sixth season.


RTE have insisted that they are committed to another season if writer Stuart Carolan wants to do more. Head of Drama Jane Gogan said the state broadcaster would "of course" take a sixth season off the creator if he is willing to give it.

"As long as Stuart wants to keep writing it, of course [we will take a sixth season]," she said. "It's up for Stuart to reflect on this series and see what he wants to do."

Speaking after the shock finale, Jane said RTE "have tremendous respect for what he does and want to be part of what he does next".

Bloody scenes took centre stage in the closing instalment but Jane said the violence in the show is necessary and "always comes out of something".

"It had to reach this pitch, Nidge's arch across the five series has demanded it… but it's not a series that depends on violence," she told Ray D'Arcy on Today FM.

Stuart previously slammed claims that season five would mark the end of Love/Hate.

"You read loads of things in the paper. We are in development for the sixth series but I don't know what's going to happen," he said. "We are developing a sixth series so it's not over, no. But RTE could turn around after this series and say, 'We don't want it'. The sixth series is in development but I can't say if it's 100pc."