The young Westmeath talent, Alison Spittle, who has been earning a solid reputation in the world of comedy, has just got her biggest break yet.
Alison, 28, is to star in a new six-part TV show on RTÉ2 this autumn.
However, Alison isn’t just star of ‘Nowhere Fast’ – currently being filmed by RTÉ – but she is also co-writer of the drama, alongside Simon Mulholland, with additional writing by Cian McGarrigle.
Alison, who was born in London, lived briefly in Tyrrellspass as a child before her family moved to Ballymore, and she draws on her life as a midlander for ‘Nowhere Fast’, which is set in the midlands, although the filming is actually happening around rural north Dublin.
The drama chronicles the trials of what are termed a “boomerang generation” - epitomised by the character Angela, played by Alison herself.
In Nowhere Fast, Angela, a millennial, goes home to lick her wounds after disaster strikes in her bid to forge a media career in “the big smoke”.
Alison has revealed that she is proud to be making a show about the midlands in all its glory.
“It’s a lot like laser hair removal – something I never saw myself doing, a thing for people more glamorous and organised than myself!” she quipped.
Alison admits that she is excited by the whole process: “I wake up some mornings and maybe 10 minutes go by before I remember ‘hey you’re making a TV show!’.”
Alison, a regular on several TV shows, studied media at Ballyfermot College, but her media career actually started while she was at school, she revealed to the Westmeath Examiner in an interview a few years back explaining that after a one-off appearance on the Rick O’Shea radio show, she was asked to do a regular film review slot on the programme. To do the slot, she used have to skip out of lessons on a Wednesday and hide in the school toilets to make the call.
Alison has taken part at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, she has appeared on Republic of Telly and appeared on Brendan O’Connor’s ‘Cutting Edge’.
The Alison Spittle Show on headstuff.org is Alison’s interview show, and she is active on Twitter.
RTÉ, describing the script of Nowhere Fast as “razor sharp” and the cast as “stellar”, promises “lots of drinking in fields and mates having meltdowns, with mammy at home to pick up the pieces”.
Starring alongside Alison are Clare Monnelly (Moone Boy) and Genevieve Hulme Beaman (Pondling) as Angela’s best friends, Mary and Brid, with Angela’s family being played by a cast including Cathy Belton (Red Rock/ Roy) and Mark Doherty (Moone Boy/ A Film with Me in It).
It is directed by international Emmy and BAFTA nominated director Simon Gibney (Bull for UKTV).
Nowhere Fast is produced by Deadpan Pictures (Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope) for RTÉ2 with the support of the BAI and Section 481, with BBC Worldwide representing international rights.
Filming began last week in north County Dublin. The six-part series will air on RTÉ2 in the autumn.
Eddie Doyle, head of Comedy at RTÉ, said: “Alison is a great talent and she and Simon have delivered a cracking script and some very memorable characters. We’re very proud to announce this new series as part of our comedy line-up for the year.”
Producer Ailish McElmeel added: “I’m delighted to bring another strong female comedy to Irish audiences. Alison’s voice is truly fresh and fantastically funny, we can’t wait to bring the midlands to the masses.”
Gemma Brandler, BBC Worldwide’s manager for Comedy, said: “Set in rural Ireland, Nowhere Fast is all about the misadventures you get up to in your 20s, with a unique take on life in a small town. Alison has a fantastic ear for millennial dialogue and we believe that her voice will resonate with audiences the world over.”