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There’s No Place Like Tyrone returning for a third run with new faces and old favourites
TONGUE IN CHEEK: Some of the stars of There’s No Place Like Tyrone
September 19 2021 08:34 AM
Hot on the heels of the hero’s welcome the county gave its football team last weekend, the spotlight is staying on Tyrone with the return of a reality TV series.
The BBC’s There’s No Place Like Tyrone is back on screens for its third series on Monday night.
It follows the lives of a colourful cast of people living and working in the mid-Ulster countryside, with a voiceover provided by BBC radio presenter Hugo Duncan.
The stars are brought together in light plots devised purely for entertainment value, mirroring the format of popular reality shows such as The Only Way is Essex and Made in Chelsea
The first series, shown in 2019, took a bashing on social media, where it was branded “Made in Culchie” and panned as “cringeworthy”.
Despite this, it was commissioned for a second series and picked up the RTS Northern Ireland Award in the entertainment category last year.
The third series, which kicks off with the first of three episodes on Monday, will see some familiar faces return, alongside a few new stars.
Ruth Hobson, a working mother who has been part of the show from the start, is thrilled to be able to introduce her children for the first time, five-year-old Maisie and her sister Bonnie, who is seven months.
In the first episode, we see Ruth in her beauty salon, juggling work and home life with the help of her father, known as “granda John”.
Ruth said while the show had come in for criticism, she had received only positive reactions from members of the public.
“I’ve had a few people tell me they love the show. I am an outgoing person and I know everyone anyway. It’s not like I’ve suddenly become a celebrity about the place,” she added.
“We all had to do a lot of interviews to get accepted for the show, and I suppose with me coming from a farm and managing a beauty salon, they were interested in me.
“It’s been great craic and I have made new friends from it. I love doing it and it’s been a laugh.”
Ruth Hobson with her children
Ruth’s children are starring this time because of a new rule allowing under-18s to appear on screen.
Since the show airs after Maisie’s bedtime, she will miss her TV debut and will have to wait until Tuesday to see herself on screen.
“It’s lovely this year that the children can be in it too,” Ruth told Sunday Life.
“Maisie has just started primary one, and already her teachers and classmates have been talking about it [the show].
“She is so excited but will be tucked up in bed unfortunately and will wake up on Tuesday a celebrity.”
Celebrations over Tyrone’s victory in the All-Ireland Final have continued throughout the week — and Ruth thinks they will do for some time to come.
“There is such a buzz in Tyrone at the moment. Everyone is still driving around with the flags on their cars, and I think we will be celebrating for the rest of the month, never mind all week,” she said.
Tyrone celebrate with the Sam Maguire cup
Newcomers to the show this year include Declan and Melissa Gormley and Leanne and Keith Rollins, who enjoy some friendly competition when their children create homemade gifts for Ruth’s daughter Bonnie.
We also catch up with regulars Feargal Quinn and his son Darryl, who have spent the past year working from home.
Darryl has ambitions to ditch the day job and become a full-time musician, and in episode two he starts writing a song with his dad.
Meanwhile, Declan and Keith are tasked with planning a romantic double date, but a trip to the golf course is not what Melissa and Leanne had in mind.
÷ There’s No Place Like Tyrone, made by Stellify Media, is on BBC One on Monday at 10.35pm
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