Walk on Air Films has delivered a BBC Northern Ireland new three-part series, The House of Paisley about controversial figure Ian Paisley

The series charts the journey of Ian Paisley, a defining and often divisive figure in Northern Ireland’s recent history, following the life of ‘Big Ian’ with insights from journalists past and present, as well as political allies and opponents. It explores the many twists and turns of his political career from his opposition to progressive unionism in the 1960s to ultimately sharing power with Sinn Féin in 2007.

The series looks at the intertwined role of faith and politics in shaping his outlook, personality and influence on Northern Ireland society. It describes his role in the establishment of the Free Presbyterian Church when he was in his mid-20s and the development of the Democratic Unionist Party, which he led from 1971-2008.

This series examines Ian Paisley’s career from a variety of viewpoints. It seeks to explain why he became a significant figure in local politics, his appeal within unionism and political legacy. And it gives us a sense of the person behind the headlines, including from those who were close to Ian Paisley at critical junctures in his life.

The House Of Paisley is a critical re-assessment of the former First Minister. It combines archive footage and interviews to shed new light on a life that was long characterised by controversy and concluded with Ian Paisley’s personal and political relationship with Martin McGuinness.

The House Of Paisley was made with support from Northern Ireland Screen. It starts on Monday 3 April at 10.40pm on BBC One NI. The full series will be available on BBC iPlayer.


Pippa Considine

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