One of the most recognisable TV actors of the 1980s is in Ireland this week to film a new show with his partner for American audiences.
US actor Patrick Duffy, who played Bobby Ewing in the hit series Dallas, and his partner Linda Purl – who played Fonzie's girlfriend Ashley in Happy Days – are here to trace Duffy’s Irish roots.
As part of their trip, the couple will film the pilot episode of a new TV series which will air in the US next year.
The series Finding Ireland will shine a spotlight on Ireland’s rich culture and spectacular scenery.
The series is being supported by Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland and it aims to encourage the Irish diaspora audience in the United States to plan their own holiday to Ireland, and to find out about their heritage.
Viewers will see Duffy and Purl visit Dublin, Cork and Mayo. The couple will film at various locations – including Kilmovee in Co Mayo, where Duffy’s ancestors hail from.
Both actors will also share photos of their time in Ireland, including a recent visit to Dublin’s O’Donoghue’s Pub.
Tourism Ireland’s central marketing director Mark Henry said the filming of Finding Ireland with Duffy and Purl will be a “great way to showcase Ireland”.
“Publicity and broadcasts like this are a key element of Tourism Ireland’s programme of activity, to encourage travellers everywhere to put the island of Ireland on their holiday wish-list,” he said.
"Our aim is to encourage the Diaspora in the United States to follow in Patrick and Linda’s footsteps and return to Ireland to trace their roots – and to showcase the wonder of a visit to Ireland to fellow Americans, whether they have Irish DNA in them or not.”
Duffy played a staring role in Dallas from 1978 to 1991, as the show became a worldwide hit and captivated the Irish audience.
Aside from her recurring role in Happy Days, Purl has featured in numerous hit series including The Waltons, Murder, She Wrote and more recently the US version of The Office.