Super-heroic tweets sent by a young Cork comedy writer will bring him shoulder to shoulder with Graham Norton, Alan Carr and some of the biggest names on British television at the forthcoming Bafta awards.
Mike O’Leary, from Blackrock in Cork, has been nominated for a Bafta award in the new media category. The nomination is for the tweets he writes for the characters of the hit show, Misfits, on E4.
The show consists of several characters who meet while doing anti-social behaviour orders. The twist is that each of them has a superhuman power which they must keep secret. One of them, for instance, cannot be killed while another can become invisible.
Fans reading the lively and eccentric tweets of the characters on Twitter are actually entering the fevered imagination of Mr O’Leary.
The 29-year-old said yesterday: “The makers of the show, Clerkenwell Films, have really embraced the social media element to programme-making and the vast possibilities in storytelling that follows. We use both Twitter and Facebook to tell mini-narratives in between episodes by setting up character accounts and tweeting in real-time, playing out stories on a virtual landscape as a way to keep fans engaged.
“All that sounds ridiculously pompous, especially considering how much of my job is coming up with euphemisms for rude words. In truth, it’s an astoundingly fun job and I was exceptionally lucky in getting this as my first job in television.
“Being nominated for the Bafta is an odd experience. Everyone on the team worked viciously hard on the last series so it’s really validating to get the nod from our peers, especially in a field so new and unexplored as ours.”
Son of Ed and Marie O’Leary, Mike attended Beaumont Boys national school and Rochestown College before going on to study drama and theatre studies at Trinity College, Dublin, and then moving to London in 2007 to study for a masters at the National Film and Television School.
His graduation film, Not Safe for Work — which starred Harry Enfield — won a Royal Television Society award in 2010.
* The Baftas take place on Sunday, May 27, at the Royal Festival Hall, London and will be broadcast on BBC One at 8pm.