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Derry Girls
Derry Girls.png
Black comedy[1][2][3]
Created byLisa McGee
Written byLisa McGee
Directed byMichael Lennox
Theme music composerDolores O'Riordan
Noel Hogan
Ending theme"Dreams" by The Cranberries
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series2
No. of episodes12 (list of episodes)
Camera setupmulti-camera
Running time22 minutes
Production company(s)Hat Trick Productions
Original networkChannel 4
Picture format16:9 1080i (HDTV)
Audio formatDolby Digital 5.1
Original release4 January 2018 (2018-01-04) –

Derry Girls is a British sitcom created and written by Lisa McGee. Produced by Hat Trick Productions, it is set in Derry, Northern Ireland, in the 1990s.[4] The first series was broadcast in January and February 2018 on Channel 4.[5] The second series was shown in March and April 2019. A third series was commissioned for 2020.[6]


Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), her cousin Orla (Louisa Harland), their friends Clare (Nicola Coughlan) and Michelle (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell), and Michelle's English cousin James (Dylan Llewellyn) navigate their teen years during the end of the Troubles in Derry, where they all attend a Catholic girls' secondary school.

Erin lives with her father Gerry and mother Mary, her baby sister Anna, Mary's younger sister Sarah, Sarah's daughter Orla, and her maternal grandfather, Joe. James is Michelle's cousin; his mother Cathy left Derry for England to have an abortion but gave birth to him and raised him in London. She sends him back to Derry to live with Michelle and her mother Deirdre when she is going through a divorce.

Cast and characters


  • Saoirse-Monica Jackson as Erin Quinn, aged 16 at the beginning. Erin is passionate and ambitious, but at times alternatively vain or overly concerned with how she is regarded by others. Her dark sense of humour and sarcastic nature often get her in trouble.
  • Louisa Harland as Orla McCool, Erin's maternal cousin, aged 15 at the beginning. Orla is very detached and quiet. Unlike most of her friends, Orla does not care what anyone else thinks of her. She often amuses herself by invading Erin's privacy for fun.
  • Nicola Coughlan as Clare Devlin, one of Erin's best friends. Clare often acts as the voice of reason in the gang, as she is far more intimidated by authority figures than her friends. In the series one finale, Clare comes out to her friends and the school as a lesbian.
  • Jamie-Lee O'Donnell as Michelle Mallon, one of Erin's best friends. Michelle is the wild child of the group, and her troublemaking tendencies often get her and her friends into trouble. She is shown to have a very keen interest in sex, drugs and alcohol, and shows almost no respect to any figures of authority, including her own mother.
  • Dylan Llewellyn as James Maguire, Michelle's maternal cousin. English-born to an Irish mother, James is sent to live in Derry with his aunt Deirdre and cousin Michelle while his mother goes through a divorce. Due to his English accent, he is enrolled for his safety at an all-girls school.
  • Tara Lynne O'Neill as Ma/Mary, Erin's disciplinarian mother. She tolerates no attitude or trouble from her daughter, but is loving and usually only wants what is best for her family. She has been married to Gerry for 17 years at the beginning.
  • Kathy Kiera Clarke as Aunt Sarah, Orla's mother and Mary's sister. Sarah is caring but dim-witted, and often points out things that are painfully obvious. Although caring towards Orla, she is an inattentive mother and takes little responsibility for raising her. Like Orla, Sarah spends most of her time in Mary's house, where Mary does all the work, rather than their own house next door, which is sometimes mentioned but not shown.
  • Siobhán McSweeney as Sister Michael, the headmistress of the school that the girls attend. She rules the school with an iron fist, and responds to most events with eye-rolling or sarcasm. In series two, she jokes she took holy orders for the free accommodation.
  • Tommy Tiernan as Da/Gerry, Erin's father. Gerry is relaxed and very loyal and protective of his family. He is from the Republic of Ireland and holds an unspecified job where he drives 8 hours a day, and has a very strained relationship with his father-in-law.
  • Ian McElhinney as Granda Joe, Mary and Sarah's father and Erin and Orla's grandfather. Joe moved in with the Quinns after his wife died. Although on good terms with the rest of the family, Joe shows nothing but contempt for Gerry, constantly criticising him and encouraging Mary to leave him.
  • Leah O'Rourke as Jenny Joyce, the prefect of the girls' school and a suck-up. Jenny and the gang detest each other, and she often flaunts her wealth and position of power. Incredibly sanctimonious, she is often called out by Sister Michael, who has no patience for her either.


  • Beccy Henderson as Aisling, Jenny's best friend and sidekick.
  • Claire Rafferty as Miss Mooney, Sister Michael's deputy.
  • Amelia Crowley as Deirdre Mallon, Michelle's mother and James' aunt, who is a nurse.
  • Kevin McAleer as Uncle Colm, Joe's brother, whom the family consider incredibly dull and boring.
  • Paul Mallon as Dennis, the aggressive proprietor of the corner shop which the girls frequent.
  • Philippa Dunne as Geraldine Devlin, Clare's mother


SeriesEpisodesOriginally airedAve. UK viewers
First airedLast aired
164 January 2018 (2018-01-04)8 February 2018 (2018-02-08)2.84
265 March 2019 (2019-03-05)9 April 2019 (2019-04-09)3.10


Filming takes place in Northern Ireland, with most scenes being shot in Derry and Belfast.[7][8]

The show was renewed for a second series shortly after the airing of the pilot episode of the first series. Production of the second series began on 8 October 2018.[9][10] The second series began airing on 5 March 2019.[11]

On 9 April 2019, immediately after the second series finale, it was confirmed by Channel 4 that Derry Girls would return for a third series.[12][13] Production of the third series was due to commence in the spring of 2020, but was suspended following the announcement of the Coronavirus lockdown.[14]



A Derry Girls book is due for release on 12 November 2020, entitled Erin's Diary: An Official Derry Girls Book, published by Trapeze Books.[15]


Derry Girls has become Channel 4's most successful comedy since Father Ted.[16][17]

Critical reception

Derry Girls has received critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes, the first series holds an approval rating of 100 per cent based on reviews from 24 critics. The website's critical consensus states: "A perfectly curated cast and raw writing drive Derry Girls's dark humor as creator Lisa McGee makes frenetic light of teen life in 1990s Northern Ireland".[18] The second series has an approval rating of 97 per cent, based on reviews from 30 critics. The website's critical consensus states that "The sophomore season of Derry Girls doesn't lose any of its irreverent charms thanks to its predictably unpredictable romps and canny characterizations".[19]

Derry Girls was the most watched series in Northern Ireland since modern records began in 2002, with an average audience of 519,000 viewers and a 64.2 per cent share of the audience.[20] Una Mullally of The Irish Times praised the series: "The writing in Derry Girls is sublime, the performances perfect, the casting is brilliant."[21] On 11 January 2018, after the first episode had aired, the programme was renewed for a second series.[22] Each episode was watched by over two million people.[23] At the conclusion of the first series, Barbara Ellen of The Guardian wrote that Derry Girls evoked such programmes as The Inbetweeners, Father Ted and Bad Education.[24]

The series was picked up by Netflix internationally, with series 1 being released on 21 December 2018.[25] Series 2 was released on 2 August 2019, except in the UK and Ireland.[26]


Series Timeslot Eps First aired Last aired Rank Avg.
Date Viewers
Date Viewers
Thursday 10:00 pm
6 4 January 2018 3.28[23] 8 February 2018 2.76[23] 4 2.84
Tuesday 9:15 pm (episodes 1–5)
Tuesday 9:00 pm (episode 6)
6 5 March 2019 3.68[27] 9 April 2019 2.57[27] 4 3.10


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2018 Radio Times Comedy Champion Award Derry Girls Won [28]
IFTA Gala Television Awards Best Female Performance Saoirse-Monica Jackson Nominated [29]
Best Male Performance Tommy Tiernan Nominated
Best Comedy Derry Girls Won [30]
Best Writer in a Comedy or Soap Lisa McGee Won
British Screenwriters’ Awards Best Comedy Writing on Television Won [31]
British Comedy Guide Awards Best New TV Sitcom Derry Girls Won [32]
2019 Royal Television Society Awards Best Scripted Comedy Won [33]
Best Writer (Comedy) Lisa McGee Nominated
BAFTA TV Awards Best Scripted Comedy Derry Girls Nominated [34]
2020 Royal Television Society Awards Best Scripted Comedy Nominated [35]
Best Comedy Performance (Female) Saoirse-Monica Jackson Won
BAFTA TV Awards Best Scripted Comedy Derry Girls Nominated


  1. ^ Power, Ed (4 January 2018). "Derry Girls, episode 1 review: as much a black comedy about the Troubles as a teenage nostalgia fest". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  2. ^ Lanigan, Michael. "Tommy Tiernan's new Channel 4 comedy is a must-watch for anyone staying in tonight". Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  3. ^ Bain, Jennifer. "From the Troubles to teen angst: Derry Girls helps Northern Ireland city tell a new story". Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  4. ^ "Derry Girls: Father Ted meets The Inbetweeners". The Irish World. 11 January 2018.
  5. ^ Little, Ivan (20 December 2017). "Derry Girls could become TV hit – if viewers can understand them". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  6. ^ Moore, Paul (10 April 2019). "OFFICIAL: Season 3 of Derry Girls is happening". JOE. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
  7. ^ "Where Is 'Derry Girls' Filmed? The Shooting Location For C4's Coming-Of-Age Sitcom Is Largely True To Its Name". Bustle. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Derry Girls filming to proceed despite objections over road closure". BBC News. 9 November 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  9. ^ Gallagher, Caitlin (21 December 2018). "Will 'Derry Girls' Return For Season 2? The Netflix Show Was Already Renewed In The U.K." Bustle.
  10. ^ "Stall the flippin' ball! This is happening, so it is! Welcome back #DerryGirls @nicolacoughlan @JamieLeeOD @saoirsemonicajackson @louisa_harland @Djllewelly @LisaMMcGee". Channel 4 Press Twitter. 8 October 2018. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  11. ^ "When is Derry Girls back on TV?". Radio Times. 19 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Derry Girl 'eejits' to return for third series". BBC News. 10 April 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  13. ^ Green, Alex (9 April 2018). "Derry Girls renewed for third series". Irish Independent. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  14. ^ Seddon, Dan (1 June 2020). "Derry Girls star Nicola Coughlan addresses series 3 as filming is suspended". Digital Spy. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  15. ^ "Erin's Diary: An Official Derry Girls Book Hardcover – 12 November 2020". 29 July 2020. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  16. ^ "Derry Girls: 'We're Doing it For Peace. A Piece of Fine Protestant Ass'". The Irish Times. 26 February 2019. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Channel 4’s biggest comedy launch since Ricky Gervais’s Derek in 2004
  17. ^ Shilpa Ganatra (16 March 2019). "Derry Girls Guide to Derry: Murals, Cream Horns and Sr Michael Stout". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 16 March 2019. Channel 4’s biggest hit comedy since Father Ted
  18. ^ "Derry Girls: Series 1 (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  19. ^ "Derry Girls: Series 2 (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  20. ^ "'Stall the ball!' - Derry Girls has become Northern Ireland's biggest series ever". Belfast Telegraph. 21 February 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  21. ^ Mullally, Una (12 February 2018). "Why 'Derry Girls' strikes the right note". The Irish Times. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  22. ^ "Stall the ball! Derry Girls is a cracker, we've given it a 2nd series". Channel 4. 11 January 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  23. ^ a b c "Weekly top 30 programmes - BARB".
  24. ^ Ellen, Barbara (11 February 2018). "The week in TV: Derry Girls; Endeavour; James Bulger: A Mother's Story and more – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  25. ^ "Netflix Picks Up British Comedy "Derry Girls" Internationally". What's on Netflix. 25 November 2018.
  26. ^ "'Derry Girls' Season 2 Coming to Netflix in August 2019". What's on Netflix. 7 July 2019.
  27. ^ a b "Four-screen dashboard". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  28. ^ "Derry Girls pip Inside No 9 to the post in epic Radio Times Comedy Champion Final". Radio Times. 31 July 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  29. ^ "IFTA NOMINATIONS FOR THE IFTA GALA TV AWARDS 2018". Irish Film & Television Academy. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  30. ^ "Derry Girls and The Young Offenders among the winners at the IFTAS". JOE. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  31. ^ "Winners British Screenwriters Awards 2018". British Screenwriters' Awards. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  32. ^ Guide, British Comedy. " Awards 2018 results". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  33. ^ "RTS Awards 2019 winners include Mum and Derry Girls". British Comedy Guide. 19 March 2019. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  34. ^ "Derry Girls scores Bafta nomination for best scripted comedy". Belfast Telegraph. 28 March 2019. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  35. ^ "Royal Television Society announces award winners". British Comedy Guide. 17 March 2020. Retrieved 5 April 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 20 October 2020, at 15:33
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