Thursday 21 June 2018

Derry Girls is the most watched TV series ever in Northern Ireland

Music of a generation: Derry Girls has featured tracks from The Cranberries to Whigfield
Music of a generation: Derry Girls has featured tracks from The Cranberries to Whigfield
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Channel 4's Derry Girls has become the most watched TV series in Northern Ireland since 2002 when modern records began.

The hit comedy series, created and written by Derry native Lisa McGee, averaged with 519,000 viewers and a 64.2 per cent share of the audience in Northern Ireland.

Set in the early 90s during The Troubles, the series charts the trials and tribulations of a group of four schoolgirls and one English cousin brilliantly by Saoirse Monica Jackson, Louisa Harland, Nicola Coughlan, Jamie-Lee O'Donnell, Dylan Llewellyn.

The characters of Ma Mary (Tara Lynne O'Neill), Da Gerry (Tommy Tiernan), Aunt Sarah (Kathy Kiera Clarke), Granda Joe (Ian McElhinney) and Sister Michael (Siobhan McSweeney) also made an impact on viewers, so much so that more than half of the Northern Irish TV audience tuned in, including 65 per cent of 16-34 year olds.

Across the UK, consolidated viewing figures reveal that an average of 2.5m tuned in making Derry Girls the biggest comedy launch for Channel 4 since 2004.

It's the biggest comedy series launch ever for All 4.

Speaking about the show's success, McGee said, “Derry Girls is a project very dear to my heart and I’m delighted that so many people have joined us for the ride (no, Michelle, not that sort of 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.”

Derry Girls was commissioned for a second series after just one episode and will return next year.

Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy said: “We are beyond thrilled that not only is Derry Girls our biggest comedy launch series since 2004, but that it is the biggest series ever to air in Northern Ireland! 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.”

Read more: Viewers moved to tears as Derry Girls ends with poignant scene and Dolores O'Riordan singing 'Dreams' 

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