Comedy Derry Girls has broken TV records and become the biggest series ever in Northern Ireland.
In Derry Girls Saoirse Monica Jackson plays Erin, a 16 year old who is struggling with her parents, the outside world and troubles of her own. Tommy Tiernan will play her father and who remembers his last major TV acting role? It was for the same network in a 1990s comedy Small Potatoes.
CHANNEL 4 has said its hit show Derry Girls has become “the biggest series in Northern Ireland since modern records began”.
The show is written by Lisa McGee (pic below) who grew up in Derry during this time “Anything set during the Troubles tends to be a bit grim and bleak, but that just wasn’t my experience of Derry as a child and a teenager, it was a joyful place. I’d like to celebrate that. It was also hugely matriarchal, so I was keen we have a large and varied cast of female characters. There were other things going on in Northern Ireland at that time, there were other stories, I’m excited to have the opportunity to tell some of them.”
Six episodes went out on Thursday nights on Channel 4 over January. It was watched by an average of 2.5 million people across the UK, making it the channel’s biggest comedy launch since 2004.
It reached more than half of Northern Ireland viewers overall, including two-thirds of 16-34 year-olds.
Just after the first episode came out a second series had already been commissioned.
Fiona McDermott, head of comedy for the broadcaster said:“We don’t want to ‘slabber’ but Derry Girls is also the biggest ever comedy launch series on All 4,”
“This level of popularity is proof positive that Lisa’s crafted not only a proper gem of a comedy but also one which is run through with authenticity and relatability.”
Channel 4 said taking account of viewing over a seven-day period, Derry Girls ranks as the “biggest series ever in Northern Ireland since modern records began in 2002”.
Ms McGee said it is a “project very dear to my heart”.
“I’m delighted that so many people have joined us for the ride.
“It’s particularly special to me that the Northern Irish audience has supported it in the way that they have – I’ve been blown away by the response to the series and am so excited that we get to do it all again with the second series.”
The second season is currently being written and is expected to come to television screens next year.