Aidan Gillen to play legendary Irish comedian Dave Allen in new biopic
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Aidan Gillen to play legendary Irish comedian Dave Allen in new biopic

AIDAN GILLEN is set to star as Dave Allen in a biopic portraying the late, great Irish comedian’s life.

The BBC Two film – Dave Allen at Peace – is set to begin filming in Northern Ireland later this month and will tell the controversial comedian’s life story, and examine how his personal life affected his career.

Dublin native Gillen is joined by fellow Game of Thrones star Conleth Hill as well as Donegal actor Tommy Tiernan, who will play Dave Allen’s father, Cully, former editor of The Irish Times.

The BBC says Dave Allen at Peace "will explore how Dave's comedy genius was shaped by the tragic loss of his father, his brother… and his finger.

"How he survived decades of the Roman Catholic Church's wrath, death threats from the IRA and a ban by Irish and Australian TV, only to have his television career end in controversy when he used the f-word in an innocuous joke."

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The biopic will also star Ian McElhinney – another Game of Thrones mainstay – along with Line of Duty’s Joanne Crawford and Pauline McLynn.

The film will feature a depiction of Dave Allen’s original television act, in which he sat on a bar stool and shared memories while drinking whisky – which was actually ginger ale with ice.

Gillen will play the comic in a similar style, with his reflections on his earlier years and career shown through flashbacks and comedy sketches.

Dave Allen died in 2005 aged just 68, having garnered a reputation as one of Britain and Ireland’s most controversial comedians.

He regularly provoked indignation at his frequent highlighting of political hypocrisy and his disregard for religious authority.

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Both the Roman Catholic Church and the IRA were the butt of a number of Allen's jokes – much to their ire.

The Dublin-born comedian’s TV shows were also popular in the United States and Canada.

Dave Allen at Peace is written by Peaky Blinders' Stephen Russell and will air sometime in 2018.

Both Northern Ireland Screen and RTÉ are partners on the project.