Northern Ireland news

Derry Girls breaks TV records

Channel 4 said Derry Girls has become Northern Ireland's biggest series since modern records began in 2002
Seamus McKinney

CHANNEL 4 has said its hit show Derry Girls has become "the biggest series in Northern Ireland since modern records began".

Set against the backdrop of the Troubles in 1990s Derry, Lisa McGee's comedy follows the adventures of four teenage school girls along with an English cousin.

Six episodes broadcast on Thursday nights in January, as well as on catch-up services, averaged 519,000 viewers and a 64 per cent share of the audience.

It reached more than half of Northern Ireland viewers overall, including two-thirds of 16-34 year-olds.

Channel 4 commissioned a second series after just one episode such was the positive reaction to the show.

Fiona McDermott, head of comedy for the broadcaster, said it was watched by an average of 2.5 million people across the UK, making it the channel's biggest comedy launch since 2004.

“We don't want to ‘slabber' but Derry Girls is also the biggest ever comedy launch series on All 4,” she said.

“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.

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