Derry and Moville women bring a ‘soft Brexit’ to the small screen

Derry-born Diona Doherty stars alongside Patrick Buchanan in Soft Border Patrol. The new three-part series begins on BBC One Northern Ireland, Friday 2 March at 10.35pm
Derry-born Diona Doherty stars alongside Patrick Buchanan in Soft Border Patrol. The new three-part series begins on BBC One Northern Ireland, Friday 2 March at 10.35pm
  • Soft Border Patrol premieres on BBC One NI on March 2

Two women from Derry and Moville are behind a team of ‘Soft Border Patrol officers’ hitting the highways and byways of Northern Ireland as part of a ‘soft Brexit.’

With a motto of: ‘We patrol the border, but we’re here to let you through,’ the team is a force to be reckoned with.

But, before you start thinking you missed a major part of ‘Brexit’ news, we can confirm the patrol officers are part of a brand new ‘mockumentary,’ set for the BBC Northern Ireland next month.

Produced by Marie McDonald from Moville and with Derry-born actress Diona Doherty playing one of the patrol team, the show, ‘Soft Border Patrol’ looks set to be a huge hit.

The officers have their very own special brand of ‘border patrolling.’ Such is their strong professionalism and determination to adhere to the law, the teams scour the countryside for anyone or anything (fish included) found to be unofficially crossing the border by land, sea or along the coast between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The show, in which Brexit has meant a ‘soft border,’ centres round the antics of teams, patrolling the often twisting highways and byways of the border on push bike and by car, as they try to help commuters cross the border smoothly and swiftly, but not always successfully.

Made by the Glasgow-based Comedy Unit, the series begins on BBC One Northern Ireland, on Friday, March 2 at 10.35 p.m.

It was developed as part of the BBC Writersroom initiative with BBC NI Comedy.

Most of the dialogue in the series is largely improvised, performed by a cast including Karen Hassan, who plays Soft Border Patrol CEO, Lisa McCoy with Neil Delamere as Niall Sweeney, Head of Virtual Border.

In the first episode, patrolling the border is a complex job, but someone’s got to do it.

Does a plank across a stream in a farmer’s field constitute an unlawful border crossing? Following the EU referendum is chorizo still legal in Northern Ireland? And which particular personalised car number plates play havoc with the new recognition technology?

On the ground, the border patrollers deal with a demonstration from a people’s protest movement who feel Brexit presents the perfect opportunity to reunite the nine counties of Ulster. And the SBP launch a reassuring new slogan “We’re Here For You”, with mixed reactions.

Soft Border Patrol is produced by Marie McDonald, executive produced by Justin Binding for BBC Northern Ireland, and by Rab Christie and Gavin Smith for The Comedy Unit.