The highly anticipated new RTE show The Walshes starts tonight, and with Father Ted writer Graham Linehan at the helm, it seems like it can't but deliver the goods. The three part series will tell the story of the Walsh family from the Dublin suburb of Strollinstown, and by the sounds of it, has all the ingredients of a hit Irish comedy show.
One character who is bound to go down a hit is the mammy of the house, Carmel. Actress Philippa Dunne who plays her, described her to us as 'a mad version of your typical Irish mammy'. She went on to say; "She's just so family orientated, they are all that matter to her, she doesn't really have anything else that concerns her." Sounds like your typical Irish mammy alright!
Philippa and the rest of the cast all come from comedy troupe Diet of Worms, and it was through their internet series 'A Taste of Home' that they first caught Graham Linehan's attention. Philippa told entertainment.ie: "He loved the family dynamic and the warmth of it, he got in contact and asked if we'd want to do something with that. Although that was about four years ago, so it's been a very gradual process of getting it to where it is now, and figuring out how it was going to be made."
They ended up learning a great deal from the talented Graham, who also wrote hit comedy series' Black Books and The IT Crowd. "What did we not learn," said Philippa, "It was just such an eye opener. [...] His technique is brilliant, you just learn something new from him every day. It was like comedy school, as they guys called it."
Philippa and the rest of the cast have known each other for ten years as it turns out, so you might say they are practically like family already. They always hoped that their internet sketches would make it on the telly, so for it to finally happen is "a dream come true", Philippa said.
Of course there is a great deal of pressure given the quality of Linehan's track record, but Philippa is not letting this get to her; "I'm trying to be really realistic and just see how it goes... I don't know if you can really compare it to anything else."
After the long wait though, the actress won't even get to watch the show tonight, as she lives in London, but she said: "It's grand, I think I'll just sit here, and know that everyone is watching it, and hopefully people will people will like it."
We really hope we do too, Philippa!
The Walshes starts tonight on RTE One at 10.15pm. Watch the trailer below: