Friday 21 October 2016

Red Rock draws in over a million viewers in its UK debut on the BBC

Sean O’Grady

Published 12/07/2016 | 19:57

International success: TV3's Red Rock is an example of the new sort of challenge facing RTÉ.
International success: TV3's Red Rock is an example of the new sort of challenge facing RTÉ.

The residents of Carrigstown will be green with envy at the news that Red Rock’s debut on BBC One drew in an audience of 1.1m.

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The TV3 soap has won over British audiences after it’s premiere on Monday, getting an 18.6pc share of the audience.

The show was bought by the flagship UK station earlier this year, making it the first Irish soap to find an audience abroad.

The BBC have bought the show’s first season of 80 episodes and it has also been sold to US on-demand platform Amazon Prime in a transaction worth as much as €1m.

Actress Roisin O’Donovan, who plays Niamh Tyrell on the soap, said the cast were not surprised by the show’s successful debut.

“Because it’s been doing so well here, we feel satisfied at the fact that it’s going on and doing wonders,” she said.

“People aren’t surprised. I think we were expecting it to do okay.

“It’s really lovely. It’s great that it’s going so well over there.”

The Malahide native reckons it’s the show’s unique mix of drama and comedy that has made it stand out from the crowded UK soap market.

“It has something that isn’t in a lot of other soaps which is that balance of drama and comedy and that warm Irish heart as well,” she said.

“I think people will fall in love with that. We’ve been getting a lovely response and it’s been really nice that people have been saying it’s something a little bit different.”

Viewers in the UK seemed pleased with the soap with many taking to social media to praise the storyline and characters.

“Anyone think UK soap is lacking strong, powerful, inspirational female characters? Check out Red Rock,” one user said.

Some even went as far to say as the show has brought new life to the genre.

“If you feel like the soap genre has gotten stale and sensationalist in the UK, definitely give Red Rock a try.

“Hopefully we have something for a teenage audience and it’s not full of teenage angst.”

The move to the BBC marks a healthy move for the soap which struggled to find viewers in its early days on TV3.

It has since found its feet and more series are planned next year.

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