Siobhán McSweeney has predicted that "people will be surprised" by the quiet tone of Holding, the upcoming ITV adaptation of Graham Norton's novel of the same name.


Speaking exclusively to, McSweeney admitted that viewers unfamiliar with Norton's books may be shocked by how different the show's tone is to the chat-show host's public persona.

“I think they will [be shocked]," she said. "I think what struck me about the book - he has such a sharp wit. We all know the persona he gives us, but there is a huge intellect and deep sensitivity also. The persona is quite a sharp, acerbic wit, but incredibly kind and intelligent, a fiercely intelligent man lies underneath and I think that comes out in his novels and his literature.

"The kindness, the compassion [Norton] shows each of the characters - it's not mean and I think we're sick of mean. There's a real lazy attitude of thinking that mean is [a bit edgy] and it's not, actually. It's very, very, very boring, and it's a bit more punk now to be able to hold the eye steadfast and go, ‘What is wrong?’ Being mean, f**k off with your adolescence.

"So there's a maturity with his work and I think people will be surprised, but it's a pleasant surprise. It’s a really pleasant surprise. The man is very good to give him his due."

The Derry Girls star also revealed that Norton proved to be a very hands-off executive producer, instead of the "helicopter mom" she had anticipated.

"I’m so impressed with him. I'd have thought he’d have been like a helicopter mom. But it's a real testament to the lack of ego. He was just able to respectfully go, ‘I'm here if you need me. And I will step back until I'm needed.’ Which is so impressive and not always the case."

Revealing that she had broken her leg "quite badly", she said that her happiness during filming - despite the physical pain she was in - was testament to "how good the job is".

"This shows how good the job is, right? I f**ked my leg up, it's a life-changing accident, I had major surgery, I'm still in recovery in rehab, I was in so much pain, I don't remember certain bits of [filming] – and I still would say it's the best summer of my life," she said.

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Additional reporting by Abby Robinson.

Siobhán McSweeney stars in Holding, which will begin airing on ITV on Monday 14th March at 9pm. Check out our Drama hub for more news, interviews and features or find something to watch with our TV Guide.


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