Weekend Q&A: Screenwriter Christine Murphy 'I’m doing what I really love'

Screenwriter Christine Murphy has worked on TV programmes Emmerdale, Doctors, EastEnders and Hope Street, and recently moved back from London to Northern Ireland, Jane Hardy writes

Screenwriter Christine Murphy
Screenwriter Christine Murphy Screenwriter Christine Murphy

How do you unwind at the weekend?

I haven’t really had a weekend off over the past few years, but I’m doing what I really love. I’ve been busy writing for Hope Street as well as developing three of my own TV programmes and writing a comedy/drama pilot for Channel 4 with FABEL Productions, Belfast. Last year was an absolute cluster-fiesta of opportunities. I got on the life-changing Women in Film and Television (WFTV) Four Nations Mentorship Scheme and my mentor, Sharon Horgan, was amazing. She was incredibly supportive and made time for me, even though she’s busier than God. Joining WFTV has been such a lifeline for me after Covid and moving back home to Belfast from London. It introduced me to a ridiculously talented network of local women that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. Last year ended on a high thanks to the support of NI Screen. I did a Creative Producing Masterclass online and in Lisbon (not Lisburn) with my cinematic hero David Puttnam. When I need to unwind I walk my dog or go to the cinema with friends. I can’t wait to see Oppenheimer and Barbie. I also recently did Adrian McColgan’s very enjoyable and relaxing pottery course in Lambeg.

What do you remember about weekends growing up?

When I was a child, on Saturday afternoons, I loved watching black and white movies on BBC2, classics like Night of the Hunter, A Shadow of Doubt, Spellbound and Notorious are still my favourites.

Have you a must-listen weekend radio programme or podcast?

My must-listen podcasts are Scriptnotes with Craig Mazin and John August, Female Pilot Club and the Bafta Screenwriters’ Lecture Series. I listen to CDs at home – Bowie, Depeche Mode, Scott Walker – and the radio when I drive (Classic FM only).

Is there a must-watch TV or Netflix programme?

The Last of Us – particularly episode three. I cried so hard I had to take paracetamol the following morning. Other recent must watches are The Queen’s Gambit, Chernobyl, Happy Valley, Blue Lights, Slow Horses and Bad Sisters. Also Your Home Made Perfect – I can’t resist house and interior design programmes.

Do you have a favourite eatery or is it a takeaway?

I like Millers and Camille, both on Belfast’s Lisburn Road; and Mourne Seafood in city centre. We could do with more Thai and Turkish restaurants in the north. I’ve enjoyed good work/brunch meetings at Fuel and Linen Hall Library. The Sunflower’s pizzas are delish.

Is Sunday still special?

Not since I became an atheist and Line of Duty finished. No longer sucking diesel.

How do you feel on Sunday night about Monday morning?

How do I feel about another week making up stuff for a living? Bring it on.

The WFTV Four Nations Mentoring Scheme, supported by Netflix, is looking for seven women in NI’s creative industries to take part in its new scheme.

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