Mullaghbawn actor stars in new BBC drama

July 22, 2013

A new BBC drama series, the first episode of which is to air on local screens tomorrow (Tuesday), will star a Mullaghbawn actor in one of the leading roles.

Ryan McParland, from the Maphoner Road, is no stranger to the stage however this is his debut appearance on the small screen.

The BBC Two NI programme 6Degrees follows the experiences of six freshers as they embark on their first term at university in Belfast.  In a city with no limits, they’re breaking away from everything they’ve known and are there to make their mark. Hearts will be broken, friendships made and trust betrayed, but within all the madness and mistakes, our students are learning the invaluable life lessons that books just can’t teach.

This is a show about relationships – a crash course to adulthood. Six students, brought together by six degrees who are about to become friends for life.

Cast in the role of Christopher Leech, 22-year-old Ryan recalls how the part came about: “A couple of years ago I did a short film with a friend of mine for the Belfast Film Festival.  As it happened, a number of producers and directors from the BBC and Stirling Productions attended the festival and subsequently contacted me with a view to become involved in this home-grown drama [6Degrees],” Ryan explained.

After an initial reading for the part of Leech, Ryan was recalled several weeks later before being offered the role.

“We shot six episodes over the course of six weeks, working twelve hour days.  That was the first introduction for me into serial television, working at absolute pace with everyone working together, the whole thing is a collaboration,” he recalled

Ryan expressed his pleasure that the drama has achieved national broadcast with BBC 2 and revealed that it is also set to be shown on RTE television in the coming weeks.

Having recently wrapped up filming for a production set to be released next year, Ryan is enjoying a few weeks off before heading to America.  Next month he will travel to Boston to spend five weeks rehearsing a new truth and reconciliation play about Northern Ireland, before heading straight into rehearsals at the MAC Theatre in Belfast.  There he will take on a lead role in ‘Summertime’, a Tinderbox Theatre Company production written by David Ireland, which will run from November 5th to 16th in the MAC.

It’s fair to say we should expect to be seeing a lot more of this talented local actor in the future, in the meantime tune into the first episode of 6Degrees on BBC 2 NI on Tuesday 23rd July at 10.00pm.