Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Love/Hate set for day at Belfast Zoo

Love/Hate follows the fortunes of Dublin gangsters

One of the most popular shows on Irish television is coming to Belfast, it can be revealed.

Love/Hate, a fictional thriller about Dublin's gangs, has attracted a cult following since it premiered on RTE One on October 3, 2010.

The Season 4 finale attracted more than a million viewers with many devotees watching in Northern Ireland

And now the tale is coming North, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.

DNS Five Film Productions Ltd, which is currently scouting locations for the fifth series of the programme, has submitted a request to Belfast City Council asking for permission to film scenes at Belfast Zoo.

The request to the council says the planned scene will involve four actors meeting and chatting at the Zoo's chimpanzee enclosure.

And there is good news for fans of the show if the request is granted, because the filming will not see the zoo closed, and the crew of 40 will work around the public, offering opportunities to see the action happen.

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

Members of the committee were shown the script of the scenes that would be filmed at Belfast Zoo, which is understood to include swearing and discussion of criminal activity.

The council will make its decision on whether or not to allow the filming during a meeting on May 1.

Love/Hate is the latest coup for Northern Ireland as it becomes an increasingly attractive place for film-makers.

HBO mega hit Game Of Thrones was one of the first major productions to really put Northern Ireland on the map in 2009, and is set to return this summer for more filming.

BBC crime drama The Fall made good use of Belfast in its first series, which has been nominated for several BAFTAs, and TV comedy Blandings was filmed at Crom Castle in Co Fermanagh.

BACKGROUND

The Love/Hate series follows the trials and tribulations of gang boss Nidge, played by Tom Vaughan Lawlor (below), who is being tracked by a secret undercover Garda operation. The saga dramatises the Dublin gang warfare that has terrorised the Irish capital over the past two decades and has resulted in numerous shooting deaths.

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