Spoiler alert: Is Nidge dead? Tom Vaughan Lawlor hints the answer

Actor ‘hugely grateful’ to Love/Hate and its fans but ‘ looking forward to new challenges’

 

Those with long enough television memories will recall the saga of “who shot J.R?” which seemed to preoccupy the whole world in the summer of 1980.

Dallas was then the biggest television programme and J.R Ewing its biggest star. At the end of the 1979-1980 series J.R was gunned down as he left the office, leaving the audience in a quandry as to whether he was alive or dead, and also as to the identity of his would-be assasins.

Fast forward 34 years and Love/Hate would seem to have borrowed a trick from the old Dallas playbook. We know who tried to kill Nidge. Vengeful traveller Patrick Ward pulled the trigger, but did he kill the show’s main star?

Nidge’s past finally caught up with him in the bushes surrounding his own home when Patricks shot him twice, once in the back and then once in the chest near the heart.

Is Nidge dead? Tom Vaughan Lawlor, who played Nidge in the RTE Drama, has this evening gone some way to hinting at the answer.

Vaughan Lawlor said while he is “hugely grateful” to the show and its fans, he is “equally looking forward to new challenges ahead” for him on both screen and stage.

“The last five years working on Love/Hate have been an incredible and unforgettable journey for me,” Vaughan Lawlor said in a statment

“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,” he said.

“ I will take wonderful memories of Love/Hate with me together with all the things I’ve learnt on the show into my future work,” he said.

RTÉ’s head of drama commissioning Jane Gogan said: “We’ll wait for Stuart (Carolan) to pronounce on this one” .

Noticably, though Ward had the time and the motive, he did not shoot Nidge in the head which would have finished him off altogether.

Will Nidge be back? Ms Gogan says that decision is up to series creator Stuart Carolan. How it goes from here is “totally up to Stuart”.

“We don’t decide yet. We reflect, we’ll look. That decision has yet to be made,” she said yesterday.

“We go into development immediately. We’ll take time, reflect and be ready to go. That will happen over the next while.”

Love/Hate may be crawling with rats, but there are none off screen and the cast are renowned for saying as little as possible about the future direction of the show.

If Nidge does not come back, can Love/Hate survive? Love/Hate has lost Johnboy and Darren and still survived, but none has quite the same cachet as Nidge.

The actor Tom Vaughan-Lawlor has spread his wings recently playing in Howie the Rookie which returns for a timely and final run at the Olympia Theatre starting tonight, and as PJ Mara in the forthcoming Haughey drama.

He may be tired of being typecast as King Nidge and want to move on to other things.

RTÉ are unlikely to give up Love/Hate without a fight. The finale of Love/Hate drew an audience of more than 1 million viewers who watched it live. The numbers accounted for a 56 per cent audience share.