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Oscar winner Brenda Fricker coming out of retirement to star in ITV adaptation of Graham Norton novel

Fricker will star alongside Conleth Hill and Siobhán McSweeney in the four-part drama Holding.

Brenda Fricker

Oscar-winning actress Brenda Fricker is set to make a surprise return to TV to star in new ITV drama Holding, adapted from the novel of the same name by Graham Norton.


Fricker – who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1990 for her turn in My Left Foot and is also known for roles such as the Pigeon Lady in Home Alone 2 – will be appearing on screen for the first time since 2013, having previously announced she had retired from acting.

She will appear alongside a host of other prominent Irish actors, including Game of Thrones star Conleth Hill, Derry Girl‘s Siobhán McSweeney, Charlene McKenna (Peaky Blinders, Vienna Blood, Bloodlands), Helen Behan (Elizabeth is Missing, The Virtues, This is England ’90), and Pauline McLynn (GameFace, Father Ted, Angela’s Ashes).

And there’s also a big name behind the camera – with popular actress and comedian Kathy Burke taking on directorial duties for the four-part series, which is currently being filmed in West Cork.

The series follows local police officer Sergeant PJ Collins (Hill), a gentle man who hides from people and fills his days with comfort food and half-hearted police work, until his life takes a turn when he is forced to solve the mysterious death of a long-lost local legend Tommy Burke.

Fricker will play Lizzie Meany in the series, a character who is described as “a shy presence in PJ’s life who has been battling her own demons and secrets.”

Speaking about the role, she said, “‘I am ecstatic to be part of this wonderful production, in beautiful Skibbereen, and finally not to be playing a mother! Mrs Meany is a bit of a dark horse. She has had a dreadful life but has retained her values, her friendships and most of all her sense of humour, keep a sharp eye on her.”

Meanwhile, McSweeney, who plays vulnerable Bríd Riordan – who had been due to marry Tommy before his untimely disappearance – said, “I cannot think of a better script in a better place with a better cast and crew. I’m in heaven being back in Cork.”


Holding is currently filming and will eventually air on ITV. In the meantime, you can visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight, or visit our Drama hub for all the latest news.