The Irish film industry benefits from ITV drama Primeval

The Irish film and television industry recevied a huge boost today when the higely successful ITV drama PRIMEVAL announced that the fourth and fifth series of the programme will film on location in Ireland. The hit drama has a budget of circa €15 million and will create over 70 crew jobs in the Irish industry.

The cast includes Andrew-Lee Potts, Hannah Spearritt, Jason Flemyng, Ben Miller and Ben Mansfield who are all set to come back for the next two series. Work will start on the production in January 2010 with filming beginning in March. PRIMEVAL will film in Ireland over a period of nine months to complete the 13 new episodes, which will shoot on location in Dublin and Wicklow.

The first three series of the show were filmed in Surrey, England, but the decision to move the series to Ireland was based on the fact that Ireland provided a cost effective alternative, as well a fresh look, drawing on new film locations.

The shows producer, Tim Bradley, said that “the opportunity to shoot a diverse crop of fabulous urban and rural locations such as castles, sea and coast; the historical Dublin quarter and the unique Irish countryside coupled with drawing on the huge experience of Irish crew and cast alike makes the prospect of filming Primeval in Ireland a fantastic opportunity for us over the next 18 months.”

“This is very good news that the UK producers of Primeval have chosen to move the show to Ireland in 2010. This represents a real vote of confidence in the Irish film and television sector, and shows that Ireland continues to compete effectively for foreign business. The film industry continues to provide employment opportunities and this particular series will spend directly on Irish goods and services”, said Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism Martin Cullen TD.  

Sheryl Trinh, Impossible’s Head of Group Operations said, “Tapping into Ireland’s Section 481 tax incentive for film and TV meant it was possible to re-think how we produce a series like Primeval.  It’s new territory for Impossible Pictures, but with the excellent support and encouragement received from the Irish Film Board and the enthusiasm and professionalism shown by our local production partners, we are confident we will be able to once again deliver a top quality product on schedule and on budget”.

The series which follows a research team recruited by the government to investigate a series of dinosaur sightings has proved very popular with audiences.  The third series concluded on June 6 with a UK audience of 4.5 million viewers and an audience share of 25%.  BBC Worldwide has sold it to 45 countries worldwide with the series being more popular in South Korea than the US series Lost.  

Co-financed by ITV, ProSeiben and BBC Worldwide, the series will be co-produced by leading Irish film and TV producer Treasure Entertainment (The Eclipse, Man About Dog, I Went Down)
PRIMEVAL will air on ITV1 and Watch from 2011.