Interview: The Cast Of The Young Offenders Talk About The New Series

The Young Offenders – Series 4 Trailer

Set in Cork, Ireland and created by Peter Foott, The Young Offenders tells the adventures of loveable rogues Conor (Alex Murphy) and Jock (Chris Walley) and their mother/guardian Mairead (Hilary Rose) as she tried to keep them on the straight and narrow.

Time has passed and everyone must navigate how relationships change with hilarious and heartwarming results after Conor and Jock find themselves on the wrong side of the law again.

The Young Offenders is available from Friday 10 May on BBC One and iPlayer.

Interview with Alex Murphy (Conor)

Conor MacSweeney (Alex Murphy) smiles as he looks at a smartphone.

What can you tell us about the new series?

This series opens three years later, Conor is a man now and is fresh out of prison so he’s trying to navigate his way through the modern reality as a man rather than a child and that’s hard for him.

How will Conor cope without Jock?

I think the beauty with Conor and to be honest all of the characters in the show is they will cope with whatever is thrown at them. No matter what happens to these characters, they still hold on to some sort of hope. It is a struggle for him without Jock but he won’t sink.

Conor returns to find his mum Mairead happily married and living with Sgt Healy, do you think Healy and Conor will ever get along?

Conor finds Healy really annoying and strict, he ruins all the plans. In this season you finally get to look behind the curtain as Conor will see what Healy’s relationship is like with his father as Mairead forces them to spend some time together on a fishing trip.

Viewers will see that the dynamics have changed this series, can audiences still expect much of the same from The Young Offenders?

Conor's growing up, but he doesn't know how to really do that, so you're watching Conor trying to navigate adulthood and he can't be stealing any more otherwise he'll go back to prison and he doesn't want that, so he's forced to live by society's rules. He’s hanging around more with Billy Murphy who probably sees a bit of himself in Conor who has learned to accept that Billy means well, even if he doesn't always execute it.  

What is it about the show that makes it so appealing?

I think every character is so flawed and every character has such strong motives that you can relate to someone in the show. And the writing is so good, every character learns something about themselves and with just comedy and improv and heartfelt moments throughout in 27 minutes, it's a brilliant show.

There's very little pop culture references in the show, they're very much in their own world. We have the twelve people we know and that's who we interact with and as viewer it's just a nice break to watch a show where nothing outside of their world is really referenced so for half an hour you can just chill out.

Interview with Chris Walley (Jock)

Photo of Jock (Chris Walley) looking at a smartphone as he sits in a prison cell wearing orange overalls.

What can viewers expect from the new series of The Young Offenders?

You can expect the unexpected. With The Young Offenders you never know what to expect. When I heard the show was coming back, I was excited to see everyone again and get the band back together. Its been four years since we filmed the last series so to get everyone back together and just slip back into Jock is always good craic.

Whats different about your character from last season?

He has a ponytail and he's in prison and the only thing he really maintains is his fringe. His circumstances have changed an awful lot. He got himself into a bit of bother with Conor and now he's in a Colombian prison and has been for the past three and a half years.

You’ve been playing Jock since the very beginning, do you see any of yourself in him?

Absolutely I mean I think we're very alike in some aspects and then very dissimilar in a lot of aspects but he's got a good heart and he tries to do right but he's also a bit of a messer and I can probably relate a lot to those aspects.

What three words would you use to describe Jock?

Troublesome, kind and impulsive.

How do you feel your character has developed from series 1 to series 4?

Every episode with the lads, they go on a learning curve and by the next episode they’ve forgotten what they've learned. So they're always taking two steps forward, one step back. They're maturing a little bit and then they’ll be immature again. Jock’s got a child now so his circumstances are forcing him to mature but he'll always at heart be a child. So he'll never be too mature because if he was too mature there would be no comedy or no fun.

The cast seems to be very tight-knit off -camera. Is that actually the case?

Yes, we are all very close off -camera and we all hang out. That's just been the way since the start, since we did the film many moons ago and we all remain very close. The one cast member I always look forward to seeing is Alex, whenever we're back on set together it's always a lot of fun.

Why do you think The Young Offenders is so popular?

I think this show's probably been popular internationally because everyone can relate to the characters. Ultimately the show is about friendship and family and that's probably what people relate to the most. Everyone had a best friend/friends growing up and you probably found yourselves in some stupid situations. So I think it's a show that's very nostalgic to people as well, for many reasons.

Can you describe the new season in one word?




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