Tuesday 24 April 2018

Zoo-goers to have bird's eye view of the action as crucial Love/Hate scenes could be filmed at Belfast Zoo

Killian Scott (left) in Love/Hate alonside Nidge (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor)
Killian Scott (left) in Love/Hate alonside Nidge (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor)
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Makers of hit RTE show Love/Hate will find out on Thursday if they can film some crucial scenes in Belfast Zoo.

Their request to film there will go before members of Belfast City Council on May 1 who will decide whether to ratify it or not.

As part of the application, exclusive extracts from the new script were shown at a meeting of the council's parks and leisure committee.

Permission to film in Dublin Zoo was turned down after it was deemed too busy.

Scenes were shot outside the zoo's entrance and the Phoenix Park area -- but Love/Hate bosses obviously decided this wasn't enough.

Earlier this month saw DNS Five Film Productions Ltd making the request to the council.

The filming would take place in the chimpanzee enclosure with a crew of approximately 40 people but this could be limited down to 20 people.

The scenes involved four unnamed actors meeting and chatting in the zoo.

Although they're not named, the characters are understood to be Nidge, aka Tom Vaughan- Lawlor, Aido played by Mark Dunne, Saoirse Ronan's dad Paul and a fourth actor.

The request said the RTE team wouldn't need exclusive access to the zoo and are happy to "work around the general public/visitors."

That means that any visitors who happen to be in the zoo at the time would have a birds-eye view of all the action.

Series four of the crime drama attracted between 750,000-950,000 viewers per episode, with the season finale average one million viewers for RTE, or 54pc of the available audience, it states.

The request adds that filming at the tourist attraction would "generate increased marketing opportunities and awareness of Belfast Zoo in the RTE region."

The proposal was discussed at a meeting of the council's parks and leisure committee earlier this month.

A spokeswoman for the council said there was no indication whether the request would be accepted on May 1 or not.

"It's up to the full council members to discuss it in detail and then decide whether to ratify it or not," she said.

(The Herald)

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