Tuesday 21 May 2019

Derry Girls star Nicola Coughlan praised for 'smokin' comeback to BAFTA dress critic

Nicola Coughlan attends the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2019 at The Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Nicola Coughlan attends the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2019 at The Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Nicola Coughlan (L) and Saoirse-Monica Jackson attend the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2019 at The Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Nicola Coughlan attends the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2019 at The Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Nicola Coughlan (L) and Saoirse-Monica Jackson attend the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2019 at The Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Nicola Coughlan attends the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2019 at The Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

Allan Preston

Derry Girls star Nicola Coughlan has received a wave of support from famous friends after a fashion critic described her dress at the Bafta TV awards as "unflattering".

The Galway actress (32), who plays Claire Devlin in the hit Channel 4 series, wore a pink midi dress by the Australian fashion label Alex Perry to the televised awards on Sunday night.

Coughlan said it made her feel like a "Bardot Barbie", but one reviewer from the Daily Mirror said the choice was "not the most flattering".

Already known for her outspoken presence on Twitter, Coughlan soon hit back, saying: "I mean incorrect Daily Mirror. I look smokin, sorry 'bout it."

Nicola Coughlan attends the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2019 at The Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Nicola Coughlan attends the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2019 at The Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

Author Claire Allan was among the many adding their praise to the actress's response.

"I think she looked absolutely phenomenal. The comments against her were really mean, bitchy and catty," she told the Belfast Telegraph.

"Here you have a really positive news story for Northern Ireland.

"This really talented actress is up for an award, it should be the highlight of her career, and instead of being judged on her acting she's being judged on her dress, size and shape.

"It's just really symptomatic of the misogyny out there that women's achievements can be swept aside with the focus on how they look.

She added: "It's been really heartening to see the support she's had and how everybody has come out on her side."

Nicola Coughlan (L) and Saoirse-Monica Jackson attend the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2019 at The Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Nicola Coughlan (L) and Saoirse-Monica Jackson attend the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2019 at The Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

Cathy Martin, stylist and director of Belfast Fashion Week, also hit out at the criticism as nothing more than "mean girls' mentality".

"I suppose her dress was the most simple out of her cast-mates. But you don't have to be in a statement dress to be beautiful," she said. "I think the dress on her is flattering for her shape. She's petite as well, so anything big and flouncy would just draw attention to that.

"So I think going streamline and very simple is perfect for her. The criticism is often dished out by men, but who are they to comment?

"I think it's nice instead to do a best-dressed list, I've done them lots of times. Why be mean and point out the worst dress?

"We've all had a fashion faux pas in our life and I don't think there's any need to make people feel bad about themselves."

Actress Bronagh Waugh, who had a cameo in the last series of Derry Girls, told Ms Coughlan she looked like a "queen".

She added she once lost two days worrying about what critics made of her appearance when she attended the Soap Awards during her time on the soap Hollyoaks.

"I feel furious that they continue to print this kind of garbage in 2019," she tweeted.

Coronation Street star Charlie Lawson, in his trademark colourful style, added: "Don't be listening to any s****! You all look fabulous!"

Actress Niamh McGrady, who starred in The Fall and Holby City, said Coughlan's look was "absolutely sizzling".

"Thon hallions need their eyes testing," she added.

Actress and comedian Roisin Conaty said: "You look like a beautiful Hollywood movie star. And you are a brilliantly talented actress."

Ms Coughlan's co-star Siobhan McSweeney, who plays Sister Michael, wore her own eye-catching outfit, a red kimono made by Portrush designer Sara O'Neill.

"Everyone knows I'm a massive fan of Derry Girls and Sister Michael is my spirit animal," Ms O'Neill said on Facebook.

"So to have Siobhan wear my designs on the red carpet is a bloody dream. And how incredible does she look?

"That's the Morrigan kimono, inspired by the Celtic Goddess of War... and specially made for the Irish Queen of the Eyeroll. What a perfect pairing."

Derry Girls was nominated for the best scripted comedy at the Bafta Television Awards but lost out to Sky Atlantic's Sally4Ever.

Belfast Telegraph

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