Holding: How is the ITV drama different from Graham Nortons book?

Conleth Hill discusses not being recognised in new 'Holding' role

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Holding premiered on ITV earlier this month, starring the likes of Game of Thrones star Conleth Hill and Father Ted’s Pauline McLynn. The comedy-drama is set in the fictional village of Duneen, situated in the heart of West Cork, bringing the Irish sense of humour to mainstream television. But fans of Graham Norton would have already been well acquainted with the story of Holding.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Holding.

When Holding begins, Sergeant PJ Collins (played by Conleth Hill) is used to dealing with neighbours squabbling and petty theft in Duneen.

So when the remains of a body are discovered, the town suddenly looks to him to get his detective cap on and track down the killer.

The ITV comedy-drama is based on the book of the same name by presenter Graham Norton which was originally published in 2019.

Having already been named as a Sunday Times bestseller, the creators at the network knew Holding could also work as a TV adaptation.

How is the ITV drama different from Graham Norton’s book?

According to writer Dominic Treadwell-Collins, Norton said “do what you want” with the book, giving them free rein to chop and change what they like for the small screen.

“Honestly, I wrote the book so long ago that when it came to it, I didn’t remember what the characters were called,” Norton joked to press, including Express.co.uk.

“So when you say ‘did you make major changes?’, I’m like ‘I don’t know!'”

He continued to explain what differences fans of his book may notice.

“I do know that the story has changed, I think people who read the book and enjoyed the book would be able to follow the thread of their story through it.

“But there’s all these other great adjuncts and subplots and kind of red herrings and things that Karen [Cogan] and Dominic [Treadwell-Collins] have done so brilliantly.”

But Norton elaborated that the biggest difference between the ITV series and the book are the Ross sisters.

In the drama, oldest sister Abigail is portrayed by The Virtues actress Helen Bahan, middle sister Florence by The Cellar star Amy Conroy and youngest Evelyn Ross by Pure Mule actress Charlene McKenna.

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Norton continued: “I think the biggest change and the best sort of opening up, finding depth was in the Ross sisters.

“My Ross sisters were much more constrained and I think they have been fully developed, those three women now.

“Each one of them could have their own show, we know them that well and they’re not like that in the book.”

But as in his novel, one of the Ross sisters quickly becomes a suspect for the murder.

It is revealed the body found was that of local legend Tommy Burke who she had a fling with before he disappeared.

At the time though, Tommy was still engaged to Brid Riordan (Siobhan McSweeney).

With both women having a possible motive for murdering Tommy, they become two of PJ’s top suspects.

Holding continues every Monday at 9pm on ITV.

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