Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 29 May 2016

Ambrose to leave his beat on BallyK

Actor has 'hankering' to return to live stage

By Eddie McIlwaine

Published 20/01/1999

ACTOR Peter Hanly has definitely trodden his last beat as Ambrose the cop in Ballykissangel.

ACTOR Peter Hanly has definitely trodden his last beat as Ambrose the cop in Ballykissangel.

The star who has been an ever present in the hit BBC Northern Ireland drama has resisted attempts to persuade him to stay when filming of a fifth series begins in Avoca, Co Wicklow in March.

Hanly has asked to be written out of the action and will not be seen again.

'I won't be changing my mind,' he said today. 'I have a hankering to return to the live stage and that is what I will be doing.

'I will miss the Ballykissangel cast, who have all become my friends, especially Tina Kellegher who played my wife, but I have to get on with my life.'So when work begins on the record breaking fifth series in March, Hanly will be at home in Dublin reading scripts.

But he won't disappear entirely from the television screen on Friday night the actor will be starring in Jumpers on BBC2 (11.45pm) as Bob, a harrassed father in a Belfast shop on Christmas Eve, agonising over whether to pay the rent on his TV set or buy his daughter a present.

He ends up on a window ledge along with the store manager (James Nesbitt), Santa (George Shane) and a policeman (Tim Loane).

Jumpers is being screened as one of the 14 finalists in a Best New Director Festival of Short Films on the network, and its director Konrad Jay is a favourite to collect the top prize.

'This one was fun to make,' recalled Hanly. 'Jay is a tremendous talent.'Head of drama at BBCNI, Robert Cooper, is delighted at Jumpers written by Colin Bateman which he commissioned, reaching the festival final.

'And viewing figures for Ballykissangel prove that this drama series continues to be a winner with the public at large,' he said.

And Cooper promised: 'There will be one or two new touches to Ballykissangel when shooting begins.'Meanwhile,Radio Ulster will be broadcasting live from the Waterfront on Friday night when the Ulster Orchestra, conducted by Dmitry Sitkovetsky, plays Rimsky- Korsakov's Sheherezade.

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