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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

‘UTV Life’ at the BAFTAs’ Special programme with crew from ‘An Irish Goodbye’

“From a farm in Templepatrick up to our knees in muck, to the dizzy heights of the Royal Festival Hall for the BAFTAs, we’re going to have a hoot!” This is how Ross White, Director of ‘An Irish Goodbye’ describes the feeling of attending the awards ceremony in London last week.


He made the comments to UTV Life’s Rita Fitzgerald who was at the Royal Festival Hall in London for the 76th British Academy Film Awards, for a special programme to be aired tomorrow night (Friday) at 7pm.  

It's one of the most glamorous and prestigious award ceremonies in the film industry's calendar. And Rita brings the highlights of the star-studded event with red carpet interviews from world-renowned celebrities, as well as access to the cast and directors of this year's talented Irish contingent.


Irish talent both north and south were well represented at the Awards. From ten nominations for the ‘Banshees of Inisherin’ to Irish language ‘The Quiet Girl’ and of course the incredible Northern Irish short film ‘An Irish Goodbye’ starring James Martin, Seamus O’Hara and Paddy Jenkins.


Rita caught up with the cast and crew of ‘An Irish Goodbye’ the day before the ceremony. The short film centres on two brothers whose mum passes away. They have an uneasy relationship, with a question over what will happen now to the brother who has Downs Syndrome, played by James Martin.  When he finds a bucket list written by their mum, he decides they both have to fulfil her wishes.


Directors Ross White and Tom Berkeley tell Rita what an honour it is to be at the awards. They all talk about the fun they had filming over just five days at a farm in Templepatrick. 

Seamus O’Hara who plays James’s brother, said: “If you get on with your colleagues that’s 90% of the job – then you just need to remember your lines!”


The red carpet heaved with stars and Rita got chatting to, among others, Colm Bairead, Director of ‘A Quiet Girl’ and Carter Burwell, composer on the ‘Banshees of Inisherin’.  You can also hear what actors Jimmy Akinbola, and Matthew Modine have to say about Irish talent. And a ‘wee English fella’ pops up, as well Jonathan Redmond, editor of ‘Elvis’.


Rita spoke of the experience: “What a year to get to attend the Baftas! Then the moment arrived when they announced the winner for ‘Best short’, let's say I had been holding my breath.  And it happened! The media centre went wild to the news that ‘An Irish Goodbye’ won. There were tears of joy and relief.  So the cast and directors are off to the Oscars in only a matter of weeks and I couldn't be more thrilled for them.”


James had the last word, when he and Rita had a chat at the end of the night, “It’s incredible,” he says, “you couldn’t write it!”


You can see this UTV Life BAFTA Special on UTV this evening, Friday 24th February at 7pm, and from 7.30pm on


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