Tuesday 23 July 2019

'The hardest thing is wearing a moustache and a ridiculous haircut for months' - PJ Gallagher filming second series of The Young Offenders

PJ Gallagher with Alex Murphy and Chris Walley in The Young Offenders
PJ Gallagher with Alex Murphy and Chris Walley in The Young Offenders
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Filming for the highly anticipated second series of The Young Offenders is underway in Cork and PJ Gallagher is struggling.

The actor and comedian plays school principal Barry, who sports a quirky moustache and perm-like hairstyle, which Gallagher is forced to wear in real life throughout the summer shoot.

"The hardest thing about filming is wearing this moustache and this ridiculous haircut for a few months," he tells The Herald.

"It's all my own hair, thankfully, although with this haircut sometimes I wish I did go bald!  It's totally normal to go around bald.  My hair and this moustache is not normal. 

PJ Gallagher as principal Barry with Alex Murphy and Chris Walley in the first image from the second series of The Young Offenders which was released this week
PJ Gallagher as principal Barry with Alex Murphy and Chris Walley in the first image from the second series of The Young Offenders which was released this week

"As soon as I start to forget about it someone says, 'What the hell kind of style choice is that man?'. It just looks stupid."

Aesthetics aside, the Dublin actor is thoroughly enjoying the shoot, especially as his character is set to become a grandfather.

One of Barry's two teenage daughters is expecting with either Jock (Chris Walley) or Conor (Alex Murphy), the two Offenders of the title who attend Barry's school and proved to be his arch nemeses in the first series.

"It's gas because it's 20 years since I went into drama school when I was 23 odd years old and in my first acting job I'm playing a granddad.  Talk about waiting a long time to get going!" he laughs.

The Young Offenders was a ratings smash for both BBC Three and RTE last year and the Christmas Special drew 600,000 viewers for RTE One on Christmas Day.

Having spent so much time filming in the Rebel county, Gallagher considers it his "second home".

"If anything happens with the radio job [he presents the breakfast show on Classic Hits 4FM], I'd go down in a heartbeat.  It's a second home for me," he says.

"I never thought I'd love Cork so much but I'd love to live there for a couple of years."

Gallagher is also gearing up for the first episode of his new series, The Big DIY Challenge, which kicks off on RTE One at 8.30pm on Tuesday.

The shows sees DIY enthusiasts go head-to-head in challenges from room renovations to outdoor construction projects to win a prize of €10,000.

"The weirdest thing is that DIYers are essentially a cult!" he laughs.

"Nobody knows they're there and they're completely f***ing obsessed with watching YouTube videos all day and into the night.

"They swap tips with each other.  It's a whole underworld I didn't know existed. 

"DIY was, to me, basically changing a lightbulb or wiring a plug, not building your own quiet empire on a budget."

While presenting, Gallagher also attempts to lend a hand on projects, which leads to a few disasters.

"I thought I'd genuinely give these people a hand but it turned out they'd end up losing a day of their project because of babysitting me," he reveals.

"They'd leave me alone and then come in and go, 'Oh, great, thanks for your help.  It's done wrong so I'm going to do it myself again'. 

"I proper embarrassed myself a couple of times."

Read more: 'We were trying to hide Santa costumes' - Hilary Rose on filming Young Offenders Christmas Special on the streets of Cork

The young contender... Cork actor Chris Walley 

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