As the Channel 4 comedy prepares to return for a second series, a tribute to the girls has been painted on a wall in Northern Ireland
Stars of the Channel 4 comedy series Derry Girls have been honoured with a mural in Londonderry. The painting – on the side of Badger’s Pub in the town – was unveiled in the Northern Irish city this weekend, and showed a promo shot of the five stars of the hit show almost 10 metres in height. The mural was created by UV Arts C.I.C.
The series, written by Lisa McGee, aired last January to much critical acclaim. It’s based in the ’90s of the Troubles-era Derry, and focuses on four school girls and an English cousin. It features Michelle (Jamie Lee O’Donnell), Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), Orla (Louisa Harland), Clare (Nicola Coughlan) as the wise-cracking teens who are attempting to navigate their way through high-school, but seem to always end up in trouble.
‘Madness’ Actress Coughlan, who plays Clare Devlin, tweeted her shock at the huge mural, saying it was “madness”.
She later followed-up, by saying: “Derry is painting us like one of their French Girls, so surreal.” Mayor John Boyle said he was delighted with the success of the show. He told the Irish News it shone a light on the city’s culture and humour: “This artwork is a real tribute to the cast which will no doubt be really well received by fans.” Religious and political murals are often found in Northern Ireland’s cities and they’ve previously appeared in the Channel 4 series. The mural “You Are Now Entering Free Derry”, which dates back to 1969, after the Battle of the Bogside, has also aired as part of the show.
McGee previously said: “Growing up I hated that there was only one view of Derry. I don’t want to take away from those films and TV programmes which are often brilliant but living there you just didn’t want people to think it was that depressing because there was always a funny warmth to Derry. It’s a gorgeous place to grow up in and I always felt that wasn’t represented enough.”
She added: “Sometimes the toughest places to live are also the funniest. I think too women aren’t afraid to say what they think in Derry – there’s no interest in being the mysterious woman in the corner. You want to be in the middle of it, shouting.”
McGee also hinted where she’d like to take the show, if it was successful: “I’d like to take it right through to the Good Friday agreement and Bill Clinton and Bono and John Hume coming to Derry, which was just an amazing, really exciting, really hopeful time. Of course those things don’t last but at that time to be in Derry felt so incredible.” The show will return later this year The second series of Derry Girls is set to return to Channel 4 later this year, after it was commissioned following just one episode airing on the broadcaster in 2018.
McGee told The Nolan Show about its return date: “They’re talking about March, early March. See, that’s all Channel 4. That’s when I think it will be released and we’re talking about doing a third series. “Hopefully, if the second one goes well and everything goes according to plan, we’ll do a third series.”