A new thriller about a woman who obsesses over another woman's seemingly perfect life will take the place of Normal People as RTE's latest summer hit sensation.
Laura Carmichael, who plays the lead role in The Secrets She Keeps, says she has spent the last few weeks watching Normal People with her girlfriends and is feeling the pressure as the woman stepping up to the plate.
"It is huge pressure - it was such a phenomenal show," she says. "It was amazing when we were all in lockdown that we had a TV show that we could watch and share and chat to our mates about. So I hope this can be something people enjoy as 'a live TV moment' in the same way."
The new six-part thriller is set in an affluent Sydney suburb and hinges on the interconnected stories of two heavily pregnant women.
It is adapted from the 2017 best-selling novel by Michael Robotham, Laura explains: "It's about two women from very different worlds. Meghan (played by Jessica De Gouw) is a mummy blogger with a perfect life and an enviable world, and Agatha, who I play, is harbouring secrets. She lives on the other side of the tracks and fantasises about having Meghan's dreamy life."
The former Downton Abbey star says the show deals with "the psychology of women looking at each other and saying 'that looks like a really lovely life'."
Loosely based on true events, viewers will follow Meghan, who uses her website to transform her imperfect life into an aspirational existence.
Despite posting enthusiastically about her pregnancy to followers, including Agatha, behind closed doors she is feeling the strain of her marriage.
Life takes a twist of fate when the two women have a chance encounter in a supermarket, where Agatha works as a shelf-stacker.
As the timeline unfolds, both will risk everything to conceal the truth.
Laura says she steers clear of "the headache" of social media and feels in real life "the pressure on women is great. We are starting to be honest about how things can be tough".
Meanwhile, the actress revealed how the acting world is taking "baby steps" to get back to business, following the global pandemic. With social distancing posing a massive challenge, production teams are hoping supporting actors can double as crew members to keep numbers down on set. For writers, she says "some story lines will have to change" and on tricks of the trade "camera angles can be very clever and keep you further away than you think".
On the subject of sex scenes, she added: "I think it may be a while."
The Secrets She Keeps starts on RTE One this Tuesday at 10.15pm
There seems to be a new trend for authors to set their novels at the time of the book's publication, presumably so that the narrative feel fresh and up to date. That does present problems if events in real life conspire to overtake those in the fictional present.