Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

How The Fall's Jamie Dornan has given female fans sleepless nights

As The Fall ends, Belfast women tell how the show has left them nervous wrecks

Jamie Dornan plays serial killer Paul Spector in The Fall, set in Belfast.
Jamie Dornan plays serial killer Paul Spector in The Fall, set in Belfast.

Horribly fascinated by hit TV serial-killer drama The Fall, terrified women across Northern Ireland have been spending Monday nights watching from behind the sofa.

Come 9pm doors and windows are locked and, if at all possible, they are not watching it alone.

Icy Paul Spector, played by local model turned actor Jamie Dornan, is the family man by day, strangler of women by night, who is striking terror into female fans.

The Belfast setting also isn't helping according to local viewers – giving the BBC drama an extra touch of realism.

Despite the gruesome subject matter, however, it appears we can't stop watching.

Among those tuning in for the final episode in the series was Anne McCarthy from Belfast.

"My husband works night shifts and it never usually bothers me, but when it comes to watching The Fall I'm very nervous," she said.

"I've started double-locking the doors at night and checking windows and getting nervous about being on my own. My daughter is five years old and I can't go out at night.

"While she's asleep I would normally sit and read enjoying the quiet, but I got into the first episode of The Fall as I heard it was made in Belfast.

"By about the second or third episode it had really started to creep me out and I started ringing my friend who is also home alone at night. I don't know what it is."

Anne said one particularly scary episode left her still "freaked out" by the morning.

"I even locked my husband out of the house that night," she said.

"When he came home I had locked it from the inside and left the key in and he was banging on the door trying to get in. I don't know if it's just women, but talking to others it does really seems to get to them. The problem is, we can't stop watching it!"

Jennifer Higgins (28) from Belfast said: "I absolutely love The Fall. Knowing it's based in Belfast definitely captured my attention but I've been gripped ever since, the acting has been fantastic. It's the talk of the office every Tuesday, everyone I have spoken to loves it."

As a woman who lives on her own, she admitted feeling a little spooked.

"One night after watching the show I realised the streetlights were out and my whole street was in darkness – all I could think was 'what if he's out there?'"

What won't comfort fans is the fact that The Fall's fictional character is inspired by one of America's most elusive real-life serial killers.

The merciless Paul Spector is based on Dennis Rader – who prompted a 30-year police hunt for his murder of 10 people in Wichita, Kansas.

The Fall reached its gruesome climax on Monday evening on BBC2.

The drama, which has given BBC2 its largest drama audience since 2005 with an average of 4.3m viewers, has been commissioned for a second series.

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz