Wednesday 25 April 2018

Fair City celebrates 4,000th episode... and Paul's 7 flings

Jane prepares the proof that Paul slept with her (2014)
Jane prepares the proof that Paul slept with her (2014)
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

It's one programme that has withstood the test of time.

RTE's long-running soap Fair City marks its 4,000th episode next week, and over the years the show has tackled everything from eating disorders and drug addiction, to abortion and gangland crime.

But when it comes to the intricate love lives of the characters, it seems that one man has monopolised the juiciest storylines - love rat Paul Brennan, played by Tony Tormey.

His character, who's one of the few who has been with the soap from the very start, has fathered four children with four different women - none of whom was his wife.

Fair City actors Celia Murphy (Niamh Cassidy), Tony Tormey and Ciara O'Callaghan (Yvonne Doyle)
Fair City actors Celia Murphy (Niamh Cassidy), Tony Tormey and Ciara O'Callaghan (Yvonne Doyle)

The actor said he remembered filming the first episode when he was just 24-years-old.

He recalled how he was "so nervous" when he first took on the role some 27 years ago because he had never done anything like it before.

So as the popular programme gears up to celebrate its milestone, the Herald looks back at some of his saucy past indiscretions.

1. Niamh Cassidy (Clelia Murphy): The woman who he claims is the love of his life is his long-suffering wife. But she has also played away from home, getting him back for his infidelities by leaving him for a younger man a few years ago.

Despite their bumpy relationship, Tony insists that Paul does really love Niamh.

2. Ex-wife Nicola Prendergast (Claudia Carroll): Lusty Paul married Nicola back in 1995 but he had an affair while his wife was pregnant with his son Oisin. The pair have continued to enjoy some sizzling chemistry and they hooked up again in 2014 and more recently over the summer.

3. Helen Doyle (Kira Carroll): He had a fling with her while Nicola was expecting and ended up fathering a baby with her, Rachel. Helen died in tragic circumstances after a car accident in 1998.

4. Yvonne Doyle (Ciara O'Callaghan): The mother to his daughter Ruth and the sister of the late Helen. Known as the Carrigstown Diva, she famously shared a hot-tub with Paul and a character called Crazy Chester.

5. Jane Black (Rachel Pilkington): The mum to his son Callum. He was the result of a little-known tryst while supporting the boys in green during USA 94 and 19 years later Callum turned up on his doorstep.

6. Hayley Collins (Rebecca Grimes): This week sees Paul up to his old tricks again, locking lips with the scheming blonde.

7. Farrah Phelan (Caroline Phelan): He recently shared a kiss with the shopkeeper in Carrigstown.

Speaking about his character, Paul admitted that viewers love to hate the lusty lothario.

"They've grown up with him over the last 27 years but in equal measure, they love to hate him too," he told the RTE Guide.

"I love playing Paul Brennan and I can't really ever see myself not being Paul Brennan. We've been good to each other over the years," he added.


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