Siobhán McSweeney in Holding

Holding: ITV’s adaptation of Graham Norton’s bestselling novel stars Derry Girls’ Siobhán McSweeney

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Here’s everything we know about the ITV adaptation of Graham Norton’s Holding, which will be directed by TV legend Kathy Burke.

Book fans are eagerly awaiting a number of very exciting adaptations to hit screens soon. Sienna Miller will star in Netflix’s adaptation of Sarah Vaughan’s Anatomy of a Scandal. Jemima Kirke has been sharing behind-the-scenes photos of the BBC Three production of Sally Rooney’s Conversations With Friends. And it was recently announced that Dolly Alderton’s memoir, Everything I Know About Love, will be getting the TV treatment. 

We’ve now got another one to add to the brilliant list…

Earlier this year, ITV announced that Graham Norton’s bestselling novel, Holding, will become a four-part drama series. Currently in production, the comedy drama is directed by Kathy Burke and was written by Dominic Treadwell-Collins and Karen Cogan. 

Graham Norton's Holding
Graham Norton's Holding is being adapted by ITV.

What is Holding about?

Holding is described as being a “story of love, secrets and loss” and a “darkly comic tale which shrewdly observes the lives of its characters, each with frailties, complexities and pasts they’d rather keep hidden”. 

Set in rural Ireland, it follows local police officer, Sergeant PJ Collins, a gentle mountain of a man who hides from people and fills his days with comfort food and half-hearted police work.

When the body of long-lost local legend Tommy Burke is discovered, PJ is called to solve a serious crime for the first time in his career. PJ finally has to connect with the village he has tried hard to avoid.

Who stars in Holding?

Conleth Hill (Game Of Thrones, Dublin Murders) stars as PJ. Siobhán McSweeney (who we know and love best from Derry Girls) plays “vulnerable and messy” Bríd Riordan, who had been due to marry Tommy before his untimely disappearance. 

The cast also includes brilliant Irish actors such as Charlene McKenna (Peaky Blinders, Bloodlands), Helen Behan (The Virtues, This is England ’90), and Pauline McLynn (Father Ted, Angela’s Ashes).

When the project was first announced back in May, director Burke shared her excitement over the project, tweeting: “I love theatre directing but thought I should get out of my comfort zone and direct a bit of telly. West Cork is where my mum was from so, hello over there and put the kettle on as I’ll be heading home soon!”

Norton said in a statement: “I am beyond excited to see the story and characters I created being brought to the screen. I love how the brilliant creative team have transformed my novel into something so rich and dramatic. West Cork is ready for its close-up!!”

When will Holding be on ITV?

Holding is being filmed in Ireland across the summer of 2021. While a release date hasn’t been confirmed, we can assume that the earliest it will land on ITV is early 2022. In the meantime, this might be a good time to add Norton’s book to your summer reading list. 

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Images: Getty, Hodder & Stoughton, Conor Horgan/ITV

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…