New BBC crime drama ‘Hope Street’ filmed on Co Down coast

A Co Down coastal town is set to be showcased across the world in a new police drama to be broadcast by the BBC.

Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 6:30 pm
The Hope Street cast on location in the Donaghadee area
The Hope Street cast on location in the Donaghadee area

‘Hope Street’ is set in the fictional town of Port Devine, filmed in Donaghadee, on the shores of the Irish Sea.

The weekly drama will focus on the town’s police department and the mysterious arrival of English Detective Constable Leila Hussain, played by Amara Karan (‘The Night Of’), the first Muslim police officer in the town’s history.

However, while each episode features a crime story, it also aims to chronicle the lives of characters living in the tight-knit community and a taste of the local sense of humour and distinctive colloquialisms.

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'Hope Street' actors (from left) Ciaran McMenamin, Kerri Quinn, Niall Wright and Niamh McGrady

Those behind the 10-part series say they hope it will become a new returning series, allowing opportunities for actors and crew to gain experience in Northern Ireland.

The cast also includes Co Fermanagh-born Ciaran McMenamin as Duty Inspector Finn O’Hare, who knows the real reason Hussain been transferred, but is keeping it to himself, and Broadway star Rachel Tucker as his estranged wife Siobhan O’Hare.

McMenamin said he was attracted to the role to “portray modern-day Northern Irish people without solely looking at them through the window of our past”.

He hinted that the show ends on a “great cliffhanger”, and said: “We should be able to set anything here because we have really interesting people.”

He also revealed the cast had a co-ordinator from the PSNI “on set at all times to keep us on our toes with all things cop”.

Kerri Quinn, best known for her time in ‘Coronation Street’ knew her character, Sergeant Marlene Pettigrew, was going to be a “huge presence and grit”.

She said: “Marlene is a mystery and I love her directness.”

She also said how much of a “hoot” the show was to record: “Home-grown talent, people from here, organic accents. We had an absolute hoot on the show.”

Executive producer Paul Marquess said they want ‘Hope Street’ to become a long-running, returning drama series – set in, and all about, Northern Ireland.

“From the outset we were determined that the series shouldn’t be about the Troubles or serial killers, but should capture the warmth, good humour and resilience of people from Northern Ireland,” he said.

The series was made with support from Northern Ireland Screen.

‘Hope Street’ is a co-commission between BritBox North America, BBC Northern Ireland and BBC Daytime.

The first episode will be shown on BBC One NI on Wednesday November 24 at 7pm and in the new year on BBC Daytime and on Britbox North America.