Game of Thrones boss describes Belfast as 'not the most cosmopolitan of cities'
Michael Lombardo's comments come after Northern Ireland presented HBO with its global ambassador award
The producers of hit HBO series Game of Thrones were apparently less than enthralled with having to spend six months in Northern Ireland for filming, after the president of programming described Belfast as “not the most cosmopolitan of cities to spend half the year".
The disparaging comment was reportedly made by Michael Lombardo during an interview with US magazine Vulture, where he claimed showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff found it a "personal challenge" to live in Northern Ireland.
His remarks come just a month after the Northern Ireland Tourist Board presented the network, which has received grants of more than £10 million to film in Northern Ireland, with its "global ambassador" award.
The interviewer asked Lombardo if he felt daunted at the prospect of potentially filming an eighth Game of Thrones series after author George R.R. Martin announced he might consider extending the series.
Four of the series have been filmed in Belfast, and filming is due to start on a fifth.
Mr Lombardo told the magazine: “I just hope Dan and David are still game. It's a little bit of a personal challenge I don't think they contemplated when we initially found our location in Belfast, what that meant for them personally.
"Belfast is not the most cosmopolitan of cities to spend half of the year.”
When the interviewer inquired if both of the showrunners are “having a hard time”, he responds with: “I don't think they have a hard time, but the good news is work keeps them busy, let's just say that.”
Read more: SEASON FINALE SET TO BE BLOODY
Both Benioff and Weiss were markedly more enthusiastic about the finale of the fourth series, which they described as the best finale we’ve ever done, bar none,” – so good, in fact, they feel a “little intimidated by the episode because now we have to get back to the business of season five and figure out a way to top it.”
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 10 ways we damage our teeth – without realising
- 2 Fifa corruption arrests: Nike reported to be 'multinational sportswear company' at centre of bribery claims over Brazil shirt deal
- 3 Facebook Messenger sends 'creepily' precise location data, as revealed by Marauders Map Chrome extension
- 4 Bahar Mustafa: Goldsmiths Students' Union diversity officer to keep her job after vote of no confidence petition fails
- 5 Photo of wedding guest proposing to girlfriend in front of bride and groom goes viral
Grace of Monaco film panned: Screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman as movie gets US debut
Big Brother contestant Aaron Frew removed from house for 'inappropriate behaviour' after flashing fellow contestants
Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
ASAP Rocky gives nauseating response to explicit Rita Ora rap: 'I'm not saying she's a terrible person'
San Andreas 3D, film review: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's disaster movie has clear fault lines
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote