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US stardom's fine but I miss a blazing fire on home turf

THE IRISH star of hit US TV show Flashforward has said that the thing he misses most about Ireland is a turf fire.

Brian F O'Byrne (42) stars alongside an all-star cast in the sci-fi blockbuster that has taken America by storm and airs for the first time here on Monday night.

The show centres on a mysterious event that causes nearly everyone on the planet to simultaneously lose consciousness for two minutes and 17 seconds, during which people see what appear to be visions of their lives approximately six months in the future.

For most, the future looks bright, others are shocked and disturbed, while some just don't seem to have a future at all.

O'Byrne, from Mullagh, Co Cavan, plays the role of Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor Aaron Stark to the lead character, who forsees himself slipping back into alcoholism.

According to the Tony Award-winning O'Byrne, the plot is much more detailed than the intriguing original concept.


"Even though it's dealing with this big event, it very much, for certainly the first nine or 10 episodes, focuses on the personal relationships, so it's a drama in that way as well" he said in an interview.

With the show receiving positive reviews globally, O'Byrne will be filming until April but he was delighted to be able spend Christmas in Ireland.

"Nothing would stop me coming home for Christmas, if I can," he said.

"But I've worked a lot in theatre and in theatre in New York, we work Christmas Day a lot of the time as well.

"When I get the chance to come home now at Christmas I leap to it".

One of his special delights is a turf fire.

"I'll just burn a bit of turf over here" he added. "That immediately just bring me home... I'm a bog man, what can you do?"

The opening episode begins with worldwide power blackout wreaking havoc. In the aftermath of the incident we meet our two main characters with Shakespeare in Love's Joseph Fiennes and John Cho, as Mark Benford and Demetri Noh, two FBI agents assigned to investigating the unknown cause of the two- minute blackout.

As everyone grapples with their new reality the mind-set of the entire world is changed. The opening episode of the show will be aired on RTE 2 on Monday from 9pm.