Straight outta Roscommon, Moone Boy lands for third series

Hit comedy series set in Boyle is co-written by, and stars, Chris O’Dowd

Moone Boy, the hit comedy series co-written by and starring Chris O’Dowd, unveiled its third season at a special screening in Dublin’s Royal Hospital Kilmainham on Tuesday night.

Cast members including Deirdre O'Kane, Peter McDonald and David Rawle, were at the RHK for the world premiere of season three, which will begin on Sky One on March 2nd.

The series, set in the town of Boyle, Co Roscommon, during the late 1980s and early 1990s, has already won an Emmy award and was recently voted best sitcom at the British Comedy Awards.

It follows the adventures of Martin Moone, youngest child of the Moone family, as he tries to negotiate the pitfalls of growing up. Helping him is his imaginary friend Sean, played by O'Dowd.

"The Moones are a car-crash, a full house, and they're just getting on with it, trying to put food on the table. Go with the flow - what's the next thing that life is going to throw at us?" said O'Kane, who plays Martin's mother Debra Moone. "I'm from a family of five, and the Moone family remind me of my family. Permanent chaos and a lot of shouting. So I felt right at home on set."

“Things were a lot simpler then, it was pre-Celtic tiger, although the country did have issues to deal with,” said McDonald. “The gags are just so consistent, and they’ve developed the characters in a really nice way, nothing’s done just for the sake of a laugh.”

McDonald starred in the hit Irish movie The Stag. He also wrote and directed the short film Pentecost, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2012.

For the third season, O’Dowd made his debut as the series director.

“I suppose he learned a lot as a writer and he has a lot of experience behind the camera, and I suppose he just thought, I’d like to give this a go,” said O’Kane. “It was different on set - every director brings their own energy to the set. Each director has their own personality stamped all over it, and Chris is such a massive force, he’s got huge presence in every way, he was brilliant. I want to say he wasn’t brilliant, because he’s so bloody good at everything he does, it’s annoying, but he was brilliant.”

As before, the series features some high-profile guest stars, including Terry Wogan, who plays the host of a You've Been Framed-style home video show. Also guesting are Sharon Horgan, star of current Channel 4 hit Catastrophe, John Sessions and Bronagh Gallagher.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist