UTV’s Rita FitzGerald presents the programme and interviews James and his parents, Queen’s Professor Suzanne, and radio DJ Ivan Martin, about his early life, and the challenges and joys they faced with him as a child.
Members of The Irish Goodbye team, which won an Oscar for the best Short Film, share their stories of the young actor and how the part was written for him. Others from the world of film, charity heads and personal friends all come together to paint a picture of a young man who has followed his dreams.
Actor Ciaran Hinds says of James’s acting: “There is sensitivity and sense of humour. He’s completely open…..there’s a gentleness but also a directness.”
The programme sees James volunteering at the Parkrun one day, attending a Mencap fundraiser the next, and then standing on the Oscar’s stage with 5,000 people singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to him.
Rita said: “It was an absolute delight to make this programme and give viewers the chance to get to know the man behind that famous leopard print jacket! UTV has followed James’s journey for several years and I had the privilege of travelling to the BAFTAs last year with the ‘Irish Goodbye’ team to see them win the first of many accolades for the movie.
Being James Martin airs on September 12 at 8.30pm on UTV.