THE stars of one of the most eagerly-awaited programmes on this year’s festive TV schedules have spoken about filming in the beautiful Ayrshire scenery that formed the backdrop to the show.

Tony Curran and Martin Compston star in Mayflies, which was filmed at several locations in the area earlier this year.

The Greenan shore and the Ballast Bank in Troon were among the local settings for the drama, which will be shown over two nights this week.

Film crews and trailers were spotted at the Queens Terrace car park in September, while some streets in Troon were shut to allow filming to take place.

The two-part adaptation of Andrew O’Hagan’s acclaimed novel will be shown on December 27 and 28 on BBC Scotland and BBC iPlayer, and on December 28 and 29 on BBC One.

The book and the drama tell the story of the friendship between Jimmy (Compston) and Tully (Curran), who bond in the mid-1980s over music, films and ‘the rebel spirit’.

Compston, who lives in Las Vegas, said “it’s always a joy to be at home”, recalling one scene filmed on an Ayrshire beach: “The sun was breaking through the clouds, there were castle ruins in the background and we were looking out to sea.

“Scotland really is the most beautiful stage. In a setting like that, you get this feeling of ‘I need to do this scene and this setting justice’.”

Curran, 53, who also lives in the US and has had roles in 24, Ray Donovan and The Flash, said he takes every opportunity to come home to Scotland.

He added: “It’s been quite a few years and obviously with the lockdown and so on I didn’t see my daughter and I didn’t see my family for like three years which is kind of absurd and sad and unfortunate.

“I do miss the cholesterol, but also I just missed the craic, you know, I missed the laughs.

"Tully and Jimmy mainly drive our story and they are extremely close friends, they’ve known each other since they were kids, almost like brothers. It was important that we had to feel that kinship between them, a history, kind of bromance if you will.

“It’s always a joy working with Martin, he’s always so present and giving as an actor.

Compston also said it has been the “most emotionally” present he has been on a job and he put everything he usually thinks about behind him.

He added: “With this, it was just the subject matter, the script, and doing it with your pal, like, in that sense, it felt very real, you know, like, at times, you would just look at what Tony was doing.”

Agatha Raisin and After Life star Ashley Jensen plays Tully’s wife, while The Originals actress Tracy Ifeachor plays Jimmy’s wife.