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Gabriel Byrne to play lead in TV adaptation of John Banville crime series

Banville said Byrne is the “perfect” choice to star in the series – which he penned under the pseudonym Benjamin Black.

Image: Ian West/PA Wire/Press Association Images

NOVELIST JOHN BANVILLE says he is excited about the prospect of Gabriel Byrne playing the lead in a TV adaptation of a series of his crime novels – saying the Irish star is “perfect” for the role.

Based on a series of novels by Benjamin Black (a pseudonym of award-winning writer John Banville) the new BBC One project has been adapted by screenwriters Andrew Davis and Conor McPherson.

Starring in the title role as Quirke, Byrne plays a chief pathologist in a Dublin city morgue in the 1950s; as he investigates a series of mysterious murders, he is forced to examine his own past after he realises his own life is more closely linked to his investigations that he could have imagined.

“I am very excited by the prospect of seeing my character Quirke incarnated by Gabriel Byrne, a perfect choice for the part. I know both Quirke and Benjamin Black will be wonderfully served by Andrew Davies and Conor McPherson, two masters of their craft,” said Banville.

John McColgan, Founding Director of Tyrone Productions added: “As a friend and colleague of Gabriel Byrne over the years I am thrilled to see him bringing the brilliant mercurial character of Quirke as created by John Banville to screens worldwide. BBC Drama has brought an incredible pool of writing talent to this project and I’m looking forward to seeing their scripts going into production.”

James Hickey, Chief Executive, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board said  the series would be “a great opportunity to showcase Irish talent” and also welcomed the participation of the BBC in the project.

Read: Con Houlihan: “A man who will misuse an apostrophe is capable of anything”>

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