Highlights on Off The Ball

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Highlights on Off The Ball


'Don't mess with the Irish!' | Joe Cole on Gangs of London co-star Meaney

Gangs of London actor Joe Cole had some glowing praise for Irish star of the screen Colm Meaney o...

Gangs of London actor Joe Cole had some glowing praise for Irish star of the screen Colm Meaney on our NOW TV OTB Culture Hall of Fame this week.

The pair appear alongside each other on the hit gangster show - Cole portrays Sean Wallace, with Meaney starring opposite him as his father Finn, the head of an organised crime syndicate in the English capital.

Meaney is of course very well regarded here in Ireland, having starred in films like The Snapper, Con Air, and Layer Cake.

Cole told Ger and Eoin on OTB AM that he was fully aware from the off how important it was to get Meaney onboard for the series.

"Of course, I'm a big fan of Colm's. He came on to the project a little bit after I had signed on, and I know they were trying to find that role.

"Obviously it's a very difficult role to cast because he's in flashbacks mainly, really. But you need somebody with real presence, real screen presence, and somebody who evokes those [father-figure] feelings.

"That's so hard to do, I can only think on one hand of people who could do that really. Getting him was a real coup because his character Finn Wallace's shadow is cast across the whole show.

"Colm can come in and do one or two scenes, and you immediately know who this guy is, know how serious a gangster he is, and how serious a player he is.

"He just does it in a couple of scenes and the rest is through flashbacks. It was great to have him on board and great to work with him.

"I think the whole idea was he was Irish [all along]. Don't mess with the Irish!"

Cole also spoke about researching for the role, and how one famous sports promotion father-son duo helped give him inspiration for preparing for the job.

"I said in one interview Barry and Eddie Hearn, it sort of gained traction and went off the rails!

Vice Chairman Eddie Hearn and chairman Barry Hearn, Leyton Orient

"I did a lot of research on gangsters and gangster families... all these people who grow up to be career criminals usually have a masculine figure in their life who is their main role model - whether it be their Dad, their stepdad, an uncle, a friend of the family.

"They have a very clear role model who is an alpha male with nice watches and nice cars and cash in the back pocket. I likened it to them in a weird way... because I suppose Eddie Hearn had to prove himself.

"His Dad had achieved so much in the world of sports promotion and then his son came into the fray and had to do things on his own terms and on his own merit.

"That to me was just kind of funny and interesting. At the beginning when Eddie Hearn started out no one liked him or trusted him, no one thought much of him... I think there's a running joke people make now that they don't like him when actually I think probably a lot of people do because he's done a lot for boxing."

Catch up on previous episodes of The OTB Culture Hall of Fame:

Episode One - Andy Lee on the magic of Rocky III.

Episode Two - Dermot Kennedy on his obsession with Gladiator.

Episode Three - Stefanie Preissner on The US Office.

Episode Four - Kenny Cunningham on his love of classic British comedies.

Episode Five - Derry Girls star Louisa Harland on Italian mafia series Gomorrah.

The OTB Culture Hall of Fame is brought to you by NOW TV, where you can stream classic Box Sets, the latest award-winning TV shows and unmissable movies with a new premier every day. Visit to check out the wide variety of great entertainment and movie options.

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Colm Meaney Eoin Sheahan Gangs Of London Ger Gilroy Joe Cole NOW TV Ireland Now TV OTBCHOF OTB Culture Hall Of Fame Off The Ball