A TV extra who was hired to work at Fair City has been given an explosive role in a shocking new story.
Producers told Jack Swift they wanted him to bomb Carol Foley’s taxi business, which would endanger the lives of some of the soap opera’s most beloved characters.
The 20-year-old said he couldn’t believe his chance to play such a big part in the drama.
The story explodes Thursday when the gang leader, Ritchie, decides to strike back at the boss of Carol’s Cab for interfering in his drug trade. He’s forced Tommy’s son Zak to work for him and he’s not happy when Carol, played by Aisling O’Neill, stands up to him.
The gangster hires a young thug, played by Jack, to throw a Molotov
cocktail by the window of his offices as a warning.
The place ignites and a giant explosion rips Carrigstown apart, show regulars Carol, Leo and Tommy must flee for their lives.
And the drama does not end there.
Dolores, played by Martina Stanley, walks past as the explosion ignites and she hits a dumpster with her car that catches fire. Tommy must risk his life to save her. The fictional Dublin suburb hasn’t seen an action like this in years and newcomer Jack has said he’s thrilled to be a part of the action.
The Dubliner said, “They just said, ‘You’re going to bomb Carol’s Cabs, you’re going to throw a bomb in there.’ And I thought, ‘Wow’.
“I thought I would just walk past a camera or act out, so I was thrilled. I was shocked because it was so unexpected, but loved it.
The stars of Fair City have said they are thrilled with the return of such a big storyline after the coronavirus pandemic closed the set for several months last year.
Actress Aisling O’Neill, who has played Carol since 1999, relished being in the thick of the action. She added, “It’s really exciting and I love it. I’ve had great stories in the past, but something as dramatic as it hasn’t happened for a long time, especially with Covid.
“It’s really great to feel that we are getting back to the heart of the matter and that there is real excitement back in Carrigstown. It just feels like the good old days are back. I can feel all this camaraderie in the last couple
“All the props, the actors coming in, the people you haven’t seen in a while, and even people from other departments coming to take a look.
“There are a lot of twists to come and Carol doesn’t want to get carried away.
“She lived this life and closed the door to him a long time ago. She lost her son to street violence and gangs.
“But she cares about people, so when she sees someone getting sucked in, she tries to help.”
Fair City executive producer Brigie DeCourcy has said a lot of
the preparation has entered the new dramatic episodes.
A turning point in the drama will be the return of a much hated character who passed away 10 years ago – Lucy, who made Dolores’ life a misery.
The tough-talking character turns out to be the insurance appraiser
who comes to see the burnt down property.
Brigie said, “We had to put all the right people in place and we bring back a character.
“It’s going to start in a totally different direction, which is completely unexpected, so it took about 12 months of planning.
“It’s been very difficult with Covid but it’s an amazing team and their drive to keep us on our feet has been phenomenal. The pandemic has impacted everyone and all of our work systems, from handling props , separation, inability to have extras Simple things.
“They can’t even share the dressing rooms anymore so we have to reduce the number of actors. And that
obviously has an impact on history. Brigie said she was excited to watch the explosive scenes planned by special effects company Team FX and Total Stunts.
She added, “Their attention to detail is incredible. They really know what they are doing. The firefighters, who were on standby, say they have never seen such security and were surprised.
“We had an amazing stuntwoman who was strapped in and there was a real accident and a big fireball.
“It was breathtaking. It takes a long time, two cars and a lot of work but it looks fabulous.
“And the public loves a big explosion. But the story that comes after is the main thing and it’s a humdinger. Jason Branagan, who directed this week’s episodes, said, “There’s a lot of planning for action of this magnitude. It’s super exciting.
“You can only run over a car once, so you have to make sure all the cameras are in the right place. But Team FX and Total Stunts are phenomenal at what they do.
“You have to let them do what they do best and I make sure I do my part by covering it all properly with four cameras and a GoPro. “
He said the stunt work took two days to film, but it would likely only be about 30 seconds of footage. Jason added, “I’ve been on the show for two and a half years, but it’s by far the biggest story for me. Everyone digs a little deeper when you’re doing great things like this. “
Dublin firefighters have volunteered to be on the footage set.
David Connolly, of the Kilbarrack Fire Station, said: “It’s great to see what’s going on behind the scenes.
Colleague Maria Partridge, from Swords Station in North County Dublin, said: “It’s exciting to see these people and you think you know them.
- Fair City is broadcast on RTE One tonight and Tuesday through Thursday at 8 p.m.