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All change Jimmy Smallhorne hopes to shake off evil Love/Hate character in Dead Still

Dublin star Jimmy is best known for his turn as evil rapist Git in a chilling 2012 Love/Hate storyline.

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Jimmy Smallhorne played evil Git in Love/Hate

Jimmy Smallhorne played evil Git in Love/Hate

Jimmy Smallhorne played evil Git in Love/Hate

TELLY thug Jimmy Smallhorne has told how’s he hoping a new RTÉ show will finally prove he’s ‘Dead’ funny.

Dublin star Jimmy is best known for his turn as evil rapist Git in a chilling 2012 Love/Hate storyline.

Now the actor is hoping to change all that as comedy sidekick, Caruthers, in Irish dramedy Dead Still, which kicks off on RTÉ One this weekend.

“It’s lovely to play him because he’s the opposite to what I’m used to playing,” admits the 56 year-old.

“I mostly get to play ‘those’ guys - and this guy is quite funny.

“I think he’s a cross between Baldrick [from Blackadder] and Rashers Tierney [from Strumpet City].

“He’s essentially an uncle of that I’m playing, who thank God is dead.

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Jimmy Smallhorne as Caruthers in Dead Still

Jimmy Smallhorne as Caruthers in Dead Still

Jimmy Smallhorne as Caruthers in Dead Still

“Well not, ‘Thank God, he’s dead’, but he can’t come back at me and sue me!”

Written by John Morton, the macabre new series delves into the spooky Victorian tradition of postmortem photography, and earned rave reviews after premiering last Sunday night.

But talented Jimmy - who plays the coachman to well-heeled photographer Brock Blennerhassett (Michael Smiley) in the six-parter - admitted he had reservations about signing up to a homegrown comedy at first.

“When I read the script, I thought, ‘Jaysus, this is really funny and offbeat and quirky’,” he says.

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“Then I went, ‘Oh fuck, the Irish doing comedy, here we go - it’s going to be a disaster’.

“And then as we started to do it, it was really, really funny.

“I think it is slightly groundbreaking for RTÉ,” he adds of the Irish-Canadian production filmed here last year. “You think ‘period piece’, [you think] ‘OK, this must be 1916 or the Rebellion’, not a comedy with very bizarre storylines.

“But I think it’s going to work really, really well this thing. I can’t wait to see how they put it all together.”

Ballyfermot native Jimmy previously also chilled on the small screen as sleazy gangster Gar in 2018’s Taken Down.

And the Cardboard Gangsters star confessed fans often give him a wide berth when he’s out and about as a result of his roles.

“I was in a store about a month ago in Dolphin’s Barn and a young fella, he must have been about 14 or 15, came screaming in,” reveals the writer and director. “He says, ‘There’s that rapist bastard!’

“People are surprised to hear that I’m a nice fella because people think that I’m actually these guys.

“I wanted to play Caruthers because I wanted to play something very different.

“So at least my nieces and my nephews - of which I’ve got 54 - can say: ‘This is my uncle. He does this as well - he’s not just a rapist!’”

“I’ve grown up making my family laugh my whole life,” adds Jimmy, whose 1998 directorial debut, 2by4, was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

“I remember as a kid being dragged out of bed to go downstairs and do impressions for the aunties.

“So I love playing comedy - it’s something that comes very natural.”

However, former brickie Jimmy joked he has no problem channelling IRA boss Git off camera if the situation calls for it.

“Sometimes I’ve had to put the grill on walking through certain neighbourhoods when you see lads looking for a bit of [trouble],” he laughs.

“I’m a total wimp underneath it all!”

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