Niall Toibin won a Best Actor award for his portrayal of the formidable parish priest, Father Frank MacAnally in the smash hit series Ballykissangel for BBC Northern Ireland. Years ago, Toibin was cast as a gentler version of cleric in the television classic mini-series Brideshead Revisited with Jeremy Irons and Laurence Olivier.
Most recently, Niall Toibin has entered the field of television medicine. Mr. Toibin begins his second season as Dr. Paul O'Callaghan in RTE’s new hit drama, The Clinic.
In a factual television thriller set during the War Years, Niall Toibin played Stephen Hayes who is shot in the leg and captured as a traitor by the IRA in Caught in a Free State. Hayes escapes by jumping out of a window. Very exciting stuff!
Toibin made the "Slipper" character famous in the BBC's comedy series, The Irish RM, a hilarious look at an English magistrate settling into his duties in the countryside of Ireland only to learn that it is the Irish that are really calling the shots. As Toibin himself describes his character, "Slipper is the perennially tipsy whipper-in of hounds, schemer, advisor, trickster, lovable at a distance, but odoriferous close up."
In RTE's television series Bracken, Niall Toibin and Gabriel Byrne played adversaries in their starring roles. Johnny Ryan writes, "these various schemes and subtle villainies make all the ploys and simple back stabbery of Melrose Place or Dynasty look like child's play."
Niall Toibin switches from villain to hero in Granada’s television mini-series, Confessional. Toibin plays an IRA leader who suspects that a priest, to be a Russian agent programmed to assassinate the Pope. Plant arrested; plot neutralized.
The Granada comedy production, Legal Aid finds Niall Toibin playing defending council in some very funny court scenes. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Toibin joined Richard Burton, Vanessa Redgrave and John Gielgud in Wagner, a television serial of epic proportions.
For three years Toibin played John Lively in the comedy series Stay Lucky for Yorkshire TV. The character had “a bit of history in Ireland and Europe" and running a junkyard beside a Yorkshire canal . . . tough on the outside, but very sympathetic toward a young runaway who he has taken in and sheltered.
Niall Toibin's repertoire of diverse dialects and his flawless intonation have spawned countless roles played in a variety of British accents. In the PBS "Mystery" presentation of Miss Morison's Ghosts, Mr. Toibin plays the English University Chancellor, Lord Kavanaugh. Don Lever, the director of the BBC series The Detective, took particular pleasure in the fact that Sir Walter Jones, the fictional head of the London Metropolitan Police was being played so convincingly by Irishman Niall Toibin.
Toibin has also had two very edgy and funny comedy series of his own creation: If the Cap Fits and Time Now, Mr. T. They were both way ahead of their time.
Niall Toibin did a biographical documentary in New York for ABC called Christy Brown which was taken from Brown's work, "Down all the Days." Among countless documentaries that Toibin has narrated was a four-part series on the history of the Irish film industry called Memories in Focus by RTE TV.
How many guest appearances has Mr. Toibin made over the years? Try counting the stars in the sky.