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Vikings return with a €30m warchest

THE Irish film industry is set for a major boost following confirmation that a third season of drama The Vikings will be made here.

The show, which will resume filming in Wicklow later this year, has an annual budget of €30m and will bring another huge injection of capital into the economy.

Made by the History Channel, the project has been a strong contributor to Ireland's film sector over the past two years.

Its contribution last year was rivalled only by gothic series Penny Dreadful, starring Hollywood hunk Josh Hartnett and Billie Piper, which brought in €33m.

The first season of The Vikings, which starred Dublin actor Gabriel Byrne, was well received by Irish audiences and was broadcast on RTE earlier this year.

RTE confirmed it has secured the rights to air the second season.

This time around, the Irish landscape is expected to double as France as the plundering adventures of Norse warrior Ragnar Lodbrok continue.

The series stars former model Travis Fimmel and sees Ireland standing in for a range of different countries as Lodbrok travels across Europe with his family, leading raids on countries including England, France and Ireland.

The first season on RTE2 finished last week, with the first eight episodes averaged an Irish audience of 189,000 viewers.


Now, halfway through its second season, The Vikings has proved a massive hit in America.

A third season of the show was confirmed by the History Channel, and filming will resume in Ireland this summer.

But the producers revealed that filming could extend beyond the hills of Wicklow.

Scouting for the perfect locations is under way, and executive producer Morgan O'Sullivan said he could see the show running for at least five seasons.

"These shows normally stay on air for as long as they can or until we decide as a creative unit that we've run out of steam," he said.

"But there are so many stories to be told in this area that it could run for a number of years."