Derry Girls

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Derry Girls
Derry Girls.png
Created byLisa McGee
Written byLisa McGee
Directed byMichael Lennox
  • Saoirse-Monica Jackson
  • Nicola Coughlan
  • Louisa Harland
  • Jamie-Lee O'Donnell
  • Dylan Llewellyn
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes6
Camera setupSingle-camera
Production company(s)Hat Trick Productions
Original networkChannel 4
Picture format16:9 (HDTV)
Audio formatStereo
Original release4 January 2018 (2018-01-04) – present

Derry Girls is a Northern Irish sitcom created and written by Lisa McGee. Produced by British production company Hat Trick Productions and starring a predominantly Northern Irish cast, the show is set in Derry, Northern Ireland, in the 1990s.[1] It premiered on 4 January 2018 on Channel 4,[2] production of a second series began later that year on 8 October 2018.[3] The show follows the lives of Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), her cousin Orla (Louisa Harland) and their friends Clare (Nicola Coughlan), Michelle (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell) and Michelle's English cousin, James (Dylan Llewellyn), as they navigate their teens in Derry during the Troubles.


  • Saoirse-Monica Jackson as Erin Quinn
  • Nicola Coughlan as Clare Devlin
  • Louisa Harland as Orla McCool
  • Jamie-Lee O'Donnell as Michelle Mallon
  • Dylan Llewellyn as James Maguire
  • Tara Lynne O'Neill as Ma Mary
  • Kathy Kiera Clarke as Aunt Sarah
  • Siobhan McSweeney as Sister Michael
  • Tommy Tiernan as Da Gerry
  • Ian McElhinney as Granda Joe
  • Anthony Boyle as David Donnelly
  • Leah O'Rourke as Jenny Joyce
  • David Ireland as Sean Devlin


No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
11"Episode One"Michael LennoxLisa McGee4 January 2018 (2018-01-04)3.28[4]

On the first day of the new school year, Michelle brings her English cousin James to the school. He becomes the only male pupil that the school has ever had, because he would be severely victimised in a boys' school due to his accent.

Michelle threatens a first-year pupil on the bus to school - leading to her, Erin, Clare, Orla and James being confronted by their classmate Jenny Joyce when they arrive at school. The group are put in detention later that day by Sister Michael. During detention, the nonagenarian nun who is supervising them dies while sitting in her chair.
22"Episode Two"Michael LennoxLisa McGee11 January 2018 (2018-01-11)3.02[4]

The teenagers cannot afford the £375 each to go on the school trip to Paris. When Jenny says that the cost of her ticket is being paid out of her trust fund, Erin asks Ma Mary to pay out of her trust fund; she informs Erin that she does not have one.

Granda Joe's brother Colm visits, boring the family with his droning monotone voice and slow conversation, as he details a crime he was recently a victim of. Two IRA men tied him to his radiator, stole his van, used it to move weapons across the border to the Republic, then blew it up.

The teens go the chip shop to buy a takeaway for the family. They decide to get part-time jobs. Michelle steals the takeaway's noticeboard, which the manager Fionnula finds out about from Clare's mother, whom Clare told. Before any of them are able to apply for jobs, they are punished by having to clean the takeaway, which they do badly. Michelle goes to Fionnula's flat upstairs and drinks some of her alcohol. She trips over while carrying several flaming shots on a tray, burning the carpet, wallpaper and curtains. James puts the fire out with a fire extinguisher and Ma Mary and Aunt Sarah arrive. The teens claim that Michelle fell while carrying a candle, but Ma Mary does not believe them, so she and Aunt Sarah tie them up, pretending that burglars did it to steal Fionnula's van. However, it is not a convincing lie and Ma Mary tells Fionnula that Michelle was carrying a candle.
33"Episode Three"Michael LennoxLisa McGee18 January 2018 (2018-01-18)2.78[4]
The group have difficulty revising for exams. Whilst they are walking along a local street, Erin sees her dog Toto, which she is very surprised about, due to Ma Mary having told her that he had been killed in a road accident recently and is buried in their back garden. They wonder whether it is him, or another dog of very similar appearance. The teens follow Toto into a Catholic church. The teens tell Sister Michael and the local priest Father Peter that they saw the statue of Mary, mother of Jesus inside the church smirking and weeping. All the girls are attracted to Peter. The teens dig up Erin's back garden and discover that Toto is not buried there. Ma Mary admits that Toto is alive and that she gave him away because she does not like him. Erin admits to Peter that they lied about the statue's movements. Erin suggests to Peter that they become a couple and James tells Peter that he has decided to become a priest. Peter rejects both of them and walks off.
44"Episode Four"Michael LennoxLisa McGee25 January 2018 (2018-01-25)2.55[4]

A group of Ukrainian teenagers visit the school. One of them, Katya, is staying with Erin - and wants to have sex with James. The teenagers go to a party at Jenny's eight-bedroomed house. Michelle wants to have sex with one of the Ukrainian boys, but changes her mind at the party when she finds out that he is actually a Protestant from East Belfast who is lost. Later at the party, Erin accuses Katya of being a prostitute, which puts a dampener on the party. Katya and James do not have sex.

Ma Mary and Aunt Sarah disapprove of the new woman in Granda Joe's life.
55"Episode Five"Michael LennoxLisa McGee1 February 2018 (2018-02-01)2.63[4]
It is 12 July; the family and friends travel in two cars over the border to the Republic. On the way, they get stuck in an Orange walk, and later find an IRA man in their boot. When they go to a café, he jumps out, steals a tent from their boot and climbs into the boot of another car as it is leaving.
66"Episode Six"Michael LennoxLisa McGee8 February 2018 (2018-02-08)2.76[4]

Erin is pleased to become the editor of the school newspaper. She struggles to work out what to write about for the lead story. She uses an anonymous letter from a pupil at the school, and publishes it as The Secret Life of a Lesbian - despite Clare and Sister Michael telling her not to. When Clare reveals to Erin that she wrote the letter that Erin used, Erin initially rejects her - and tells her to go back into the closet. At the school talent show, Orla performs a dance routine based on step aerobics while Like a Prayer is being played. She is ridiculed by the audience of pupils - until Erin and Clare verbally support her, and - along with Michelle and James - join Orla on stage.

At home, the rest of the family watch a television news report of a bombing which killed 12 people.


Derry Girls became Channel 4's biggest new comedy for nearly five years, premiering with viewing figures of 2.79 million[5]. It was the most watched series in Northern Ireland since modern records began in 2002, being watched by an average of 519,000 viewers with a 64.2% share of the audience.[6] The show received many positive reviews.[7][8][9] Una Mullally of The Irish Times praised the series - "The writing in Derry Girls is sublime, the performances perfect, the casting is brilliant".[10] On 11 January 2018, after the first episode had aired, the show was renewed for a second series.[5] Each episode was watched by over two million people.[11] At the end of the first series, Barbara Ellen of The Guardian wrote that it evoked such shows as The Inbetweeners, Father Ted and Bad Education.[12]

On 31 July 2018, the show won the Radio Times Comedy Champion award after an intensely close battle with Inside No. 9. Derry Girls received 462,946 votes while Inside No. 9 got 461,140.[13] At the 2018 IFTA Gala Television Awards, Derry Girls won Best Comedy and Lisa McGee won Best Writer - Comedy/Soap.[14]

The series was picked up by Netflix internationally with series 1 due for release on 21 December 2018.[15]


  1. ^ "Derry Girls: Father Ted meets The Inbetweeners". The Irish World. 11 January 2018.
  2. ^ Little, Ivan (20 December 2017). "Derry Girls could become TV hit – if viewers can understand them". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Weekly top 30 programmes - BARB".
  5. ^ a b "Stall the ball! Derry Girls is a cracker, we've given it a 2nd series". Channel 4. 11 January 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  6. ^ "'Stall the ball!' - Derry Girls has become Northern Ireland's biggest series ever". Belfast Telegraph. 21 February 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  7. ^ 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. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  8. ^ McKinney, Seamus (6 January 2018). "Viewers give thumbs-up to new Derry Girls sitcom". The Irish News.
  9. ^ Nicholson, Rebecca (19 January 2018). "Daft, profane and absolutely brilliant: Derry Girls is the funniest thing on TV". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  10. ^ Mullally, Una (12 February 2018). "Why 'Derry Girls' strikes the right note". The Irish Times. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  11. ^ "Weekly top 30 programmes - BARB".
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ "IFTA | Irish Film & Television Academy | Irish Film & Television Awards". Retrieved 2018-08-12.
  15. ^ "Netflix Picks Up British Comedy "Derry Girls" Internationally". What's on Netflix. November 25, 2018.

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