LOVE/HATE actor Peter Coonan, who plays Fran in the hit series, has told of his excitement at his girlfriend's pregnancy.
The 28-year-old and his girlfriend Kim O’Driscoll are expecting to welcome a son or daughter next summer.
Dublin-born Coonan plays Fran on Stuart Carolan’s gangland phenomenon and has become a household name around the country thanks to his character’s violent behaviour on-screen.
He and O’Driscoll got together earlier this year, after meeting through mutual friends.
With production on season five of the RTE series expected to take place in summer 2014, Coonan will no doubt have his work cut out for him with his burgeoning career.
But the rising star said he can’t wait for the next stage in his life.
"Obviously we're really delighted and have only just shared the news with family and close friends,” he told the Irish Independent.
“We're just enjoying this special time and looking forward to the future.”
‘Love/Hate’ has hosted a number of families on set since it first aired three years ago, with many of them also ending up on-screen.
The toddler took up his first acting job, appearing in episodes four, five and six, as Nidge’s son, as the crew were “at a loose end”.
"They were meant to be working with another child and that didn't work out so they were stuck for a baby. Freddie just happened to be the right age, so it was very much a last minute thing," Vaughan Lawlor told the Irish Independent at the time.
The current instalment of the programme has introduced actress Mary Murray (34), who plays the brothel manageress Janet.
She is the third in her own family to feature in the popular TV series.
Her brothers Patrick (30) and Jim (26) played IRA members Paddy and Ray, the on-screen siblings of Lizzie (Caoilfhionn Dunne), whose deaths result in the murder of heartthrob Darren (Robert Sheehan) and set in motion Lizzie’s quest for vengeance.
Murray is one of six children who all act and admitted she only started watching ‘Love/Hate’ because of the family link.
Last Sunday’s episode saw the death of IRA member Dano (Jason Barry) and viewers are expected to see another ‘Love/Hate’ character exit the series this weekend, as Nidge’s gang hope to see through a drugs operation with bankrupt dentist Andrew (Peter O’Meara).
However, they are unaware that their every move is being watched by detective Mick Moynihan (Brian F O’Byrne) and his undercover surveillance team.