Former U2 manager Paul McGuinness has said he still keeps in touch with the band – and they even visited the set of his TV show, Riviera, for lunch.
Speaking at the launch of Sky’s new season showcase in Dublin, McGuinness said he still sees the Irish rockers regularly.
“They sometimes come for lunch because we shoot very much in the area where all five of us have houses,” he told Independent.ie. “We see a lot of each other, even nowadays. Certainly, Bono and Adam have been to lunch on set. I haven’t asked them whether we could film in their houses.”
McGuinness, who managed U2 from 1978 to 2013, is behind the Sky Atlantic show set along the sun-soaked French coast. The glamorous drama, which cost more than €40m to create, is back for a second season this year. Season one drew in 20 million downloads and views, making it Sky’s best-performing series. Following his retirement from the music industry in 2013, McGuinness said he felt “relieved” to be able to enjoy U2 concerts as a fan rather than their manager.
“I was as interested as I had always been, but I didn’t have the responsibility of putting it out into the world and making it successful,” he said. “It wasn’t that I was weary of it, I’d like to go to those shows as a guest.”
Despite his ties with Ireland, the ex-music mogul has no plans to swap the French Riviera for a permanent move to Dublin.
Paul McGuinness at the Sky 2019 Content Showcase which took place at The Westbury Hotel, Dublin. Picture: Brian McEvoy
“There’s something like 250 days of guaranteed sunshine in the south of France and our set is set permanently in summer,” he said. “Not with this show, but I have a few other things cooking and I’d like to make something here.”
McGuinness, who was also a founding partner of TV3, said the appetite for high-end dramas was returning as more people can watch from home.
“If you think about it, everyone’s got a flat screen now. Remember what a TV was like only 10 years ago, it looked like a grey fridge and took up loads of space.
“The quality of the viewing experience is a huge factor in the boom in television and film-making.”
Season two of Riviera will see Poppy Delevingne and Juliet Stevenson join the cast for more drama on the Cote d’Azur.