First image from Young Offenders Christmas Special hints at weighty storyline
The first image has been released of The Young Offenders Christmas Special.
It shows Conor (Alex Murphy) and best friend Jock (Chris Walley) in hospital with Conor's mum Mairead (Hilary Rose) in a hospital gown. Everyone looks pretty fraught and Jock is thrusting a bed pan at the camera.
It's the first hint that all is not well with the lads, and the official episode synopsis puts some context on proceedings:
"It's Christmas week, and the residents of the estate where Conor, Jock and Mairead live have been fighting off an eviction from the council for over a month. The residents have created a barricade to show their determination that they won't be moved to make way for the estate to be renovated.
"While all this is happening, Mairead has been sick for weeks and has to be taken to hospital. The situation proves to be more serious than thought and not knowing how to help, the lads ask Mairead if there's anything they can get her.
"The two friends set off on a chaotic adventure to try make her wish come true and in the process find out something about themselves and the value of empathy."
The half hour festive episode was filmed on location in Cork in September and will air on BBC Three on December 14 and on RTE One on Christmas Day.
Mortal Instruments star Robert Sheehan is set to guest star in the episode.
Speaking to Independent.ie last week, Hilary Rose revealed that filming on the streets of Cork was tough.
"It was great craic as usual," she said. "But it was one of those things where we couldn't really tell anybody it was a Christmas special while we were filming so we were trying to be really vague when people asked and trying to hide Santa costumes!
"Cork is so small so when you're filming on a street within ten or 15 minutes you have a crowd. It's really exciting and it's great that people are interested. It's lovely to see everybody take ownership of it. But it means there's very little secrecy left!".
The first series of the comedy proved a massive hit when it aired earlier this year with its compelling balance of laugh-out-loud comedy and, at times, tear-jerking emotion, all delivered courtesy of a first class cast.
The Christmas special will once again boast those trademark big laughs but they will, according to Hilary, be grounded in emotion, which is the touchstone of the series.
A second season was commissioned by the BBC before the first episode of the first series had even aired and it's due to start filming early next year.