Northern Ireland

Politicians should take lessons from Carl Frampton, says Nesbitt

James Nesbitt
Image caption Last year, Nesbitt received an OBE in the New Year Honours list for services to drama and the community in Northern Ireland

Actor James Nesbitt has said Northern Ireland's politicians should take lessons from boxer Carl Frampton to move society forward.

The parties have been unable to restore Stormont since it collapsed in January.

The County Antrim-born star said Frampton and Northern Ireland's football team manager Michael O'Neill had improved cross-community relations.

"When you look at what they did - I think the executive could take some lessons," he said.

"I'm an actor, not a politician, but I just hope they can sort it out."

Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster's Sunday News programme, the 52-year-old said he believed Northern Ireland's sports stars were promoting a positive image "right across the world".

'Empowering'

In a wide-ranging interview, the actor also discussed comments he made about equal rights for women in the film industry at the TV BAFTAs last Sunday.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Nesbitt made the comments about supporting the Equal Representation for Actresses campaign while he presented the Best Actress award to Sarah Lancashire

He said he felt it was important to speak out about the issue, with the hope it could spark a conversation to increase the number of roles for women in TV and film in future.

"It's bad enough gender disparity happens, but what's at its core is fact - this is something reflected by society and absorbed by society on our screens," said Nesbitt.

"Every girl deserves to grow up with as many positive and empowering cultural representations of her gender as her male peers do."

'Timelessness'

The actor also talked about returning to his best-known TV role, as the character of Adam in ITV series Cold Feet.

The show returned to TV screens last year for a one-off special after a 13-year hiatus, but was so well received by viewers that another series was commissioned.

Image copyright Itv
Image caption A new series of Cold Feet is due to hit TV screens in September

He told the BBC that he is currently filming the last few episodes right now, and that the series is due to air later this year.

"It was a surprise to all of us that the revival did so well," said Nesbitt.

He said he had worried that it would be hard to bring back a show that first aired in 1997, but felt writers had worked hard to update the programme for new audiences.

"It helped that our characters now have grown up children, and we still tackle contemporary issues people can relate to - it's a bit of a mirror into people's lives.

"There's a timelessness about those stories and characters that still has a relevance."

This interview will be broadcast in full on BBC Radio Ulster's Sunday News programme at 13:00 BST on Sunday, 21 May. You can listen again on the BBC iPlayer as well.

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