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telly thugs RTE to launch new gangland drama 'inspired by notorious Kinahan cartel'

Broadcaster hoping for a similar success to smash-hit Love/Hate

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Aidan Gillen played John Boy in Love/Hate and will also appear in Kin

Aidan Gillen played John Boy in Love/Hate and will also appear in Kin

Aidan Gillen played John Boy in Love/Hate and will also appear in Kin

RTE is hoping that a new crime drama inspired by the notorious Kinahan mob will be as successful as Love/Hate.

Kin is an eight-part series that follows the activities of a family of Dublin gangsters who go to war with thugs from rival gangs.

And as one insider revealed: "Kin means family but it is also the first three letters of the Kinahan family.

"The series is not based on them but there is no doubt that the Kinahan and Hutch feud over the last few years was some kind of inspiration for the new series.

"It's about a fictional crime family in Dublin and their underworld dealings with other criminal families.

"It's not the Kinahans' story but people can draw their own conclusions. Viewers will be able to make up their own mind about it."

Game of Thrones star Aidan Gillen (52) plays the head of the family which will automatically draw comparisons to Love/Hate where he played gang boss John Boy in the first two seasons before he was shot dead in a hit organised by his ambitious lieutenant, Nidge.

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Maria Doyle Kennedy

Maria Doyle Kennedy

Maria Doyle Kennedy

Filming of Kin began in November and the first block of four episodes has already been shot by Red Rock director Diarmuid Goggins, who also made numerous episodes of Bulletproof, Silent Witness, Casualty and Hollyoaks.

Another four episodes will be filmed over the next two months with crew and cast hoping the series will be screened in the spring.

"It looks really good. It seems very exciting and the acting and the script are really tight," said the insider.

"They have really gone to town with the set and the design and their location stuff.

"They even fabricated a 'Dublin West Hospital' in this huge centre at Seapoint on the coast.

"The hope would be that Kin would turn out like Love/Hate which was commissioned for a few episodes but then went on to seasons two, three, four and five."

Filming went ahead during lockdown and the production team is hoping there will be no Covid-related delays.

"They are very strict with all the actors and crew. Everyone has to be tested before going on set and strict procedures are enforced," said the insider.

"Everybody is given a comfort pack when they arrive and there is absolute social distancing in between takes. Masks are off for action and then immediately put back on once the scene is over. Covid tests are done every few days for those on set. It is fairly clinical."

The series has a series of major Irish stars including The Tudors and Outlander actress Maria Doyle Kennedy (56), Herself star and writer Clare Dunne (32), The Terror and Rome legend Ciaran Hinds (67), Peaky Blinders and The Deceived's Emmett Scanlan (41), and Sam Keeley (30), of 68 Whiskey. English actor Charlie Cox (38), of Daredevil fame, also stars.

RTE is making the series in conjunction with Scandinavian streaming service Viaplay with the support of Screen Ireland and the Broadcast Authority of Ireland. It was co-created by The Last Kingdom's Peter McKenna and Ciarán Donnelly.

RTE bosses will be thrilled if Kin is as successful as Love/Hate, which hit viewing numbers of the magic million mark during its run from 2010 to 2014. It is currently being repeated on RTE2.

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