James Nesbitt's Ireland episode eight

James Nesbitt
James Nesbitt

Tonight in the final episode of James Nesbitt’s Ireland The Cold Feet star explores Ireland’s coastal culture

James and the Giant’s Causeway

It’s our last week in the fine company of Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey star James Nesbitt. But before we get all emotional and blubbery, there’s some exploring to be done! In episode eight of James Nesbitt’s Ireland our host, Antrim actor James Nesbitt is heading to the north east coast of Ireland, to the rugged and baffling marvel that is The Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim.

For those of you who don’t know, The Giant’s Causeway is a geological wonder. Intense volcanic pressures thousands of years ago resulted in roughly 40,000 hexagonal columns clustered together on the coast and petering out into the North Atlantic. It’s a strange and marvellous sight. Myths and legends (James is in Ireland’s storytelling heartland here) abound in the area. One such legend claims the Causeway was created by feuding giants who rent the earth asunder. Having grown up only down the road in Ballymena, Monroe star James Nesbitt is no stranger to the Causeway’s charm, “It’s a unique landmark that’s particularly close to my heart. I grew up not far from here and used to make regular day trips with my family.”

Aw shucks!

A quick hop, skip and jump later and Jekyll star James Nesbitt is on the wild west coast and back with his oyster-farming buddy Diarmuid Kelly. After scoffing a few juicy oysters, Nesbitt meets local restaurateur Michael Moran. Michael is deep in the throws of training for the Oyster Shucking Championships (think Rocky but guzzling aphrodisiac seafood instead of boxing Mr T). In this part of Ireland, shucking is a serious business. Coming from a long line of champion shuckers means the pressure is on this year for Michael. Never forget, practise makes perfect.  And seeing as he’s in the area, we’re sure Mr Nesbitt won’t mind helping him shucking an oyster or three…

Surf’s up dudes

Still on the west coast, The Way actor James Nesbitt hooks up with pro surfer John McCarthy in County Clare. Having spent 20 years chasing the biggest waves all over the planet, it’s testament to Clare’s surfing credentials that John McCarthy has put down roots here. The surfing off Lahinch in Clare is some of the best in the world according to John, “If you get a day with a big wave, the perfect wave, you can get famous big name surfers to come from South Africa, California, wherever to surf here. It’s amazing.” Now, whether or not our intrepid presenter James Nesbitt manages to actually catch a wave or merely flounders in the shallows like a baby seal, remains to be seen.

Tall tales and taller ships!

Finally, Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey star James Nesbitt zips over to the east coast and to Ireland’s capital city of Dublin. The Antrim actor is here to meet Dublin Harbour master David Dingham – the man who controls Dublin port. It’s a busy time for David as he is preparing for this year’s Round the Word Tall Ships Race. As if looking after the 17,000 ships coming in and out of Dublin every year wasn’t enough! It’s in David’s company that James Nesbitt gets a rare insight into an age-old profession.

This is the end

As episode eight of James Nesbitt’s Ireland comes to a close, so does the series. We’ve been all around the island of Ireland, met some unique characters, seen the sights and experienced the magic. For James, the series has given him a new perspective on his homeland, “Steeped in history, culture and characters. This is a country with heart and soul.”

James, we couldn’t agree more.