Northern Ireland

New comedy from Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee due to start filming in Northern Ireland over the summer

The eight-part series, How to Get to Heaven from Belfast, will be broadcast on Netflix

Lisa McGee in front of a Derry Girls mural in Derry
How To Get To Heaven From Belfast is the new comedy thriller from Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee. PICTURE: LIAM MCBURNEY (PA)

A new comedy series from Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee is due to start filming in Northern Ireland over the summer.

How to Get to Heaven from Belfast is an eight-part series following a group of schoolfriends who now lead very different lives in their late thirties.

When complete, the comedy will be broadcast on Netflix.

It is set to be produced by Hat Trick Productions, which was previously behind Father Ted and Game On success.

Confirming that filming will begin in the north this summer, Netflix this week also issued a synopsis for the new comedy: “Clever, chaotic TV writer Saoirse, glamorous, stressed-out mother of three Robyn and dependable, inhibited carer Dara have been a tight-knit group since school.

Channel 4's Derry Girls has been nominated for an International Emmy Award. Picture: PA /Channel 4/Peter Marley
Lisa McGee is known for her award-winning comedy Derry Girls. PICTURE: PA/CHANNEL 4/PETER MARLEY

“Now in their late 30s, but still as close as ever, these three friends are about to embark on the most thrilling adventure of their lives.

“When an email arrives, telling them about the death of the estranged fourth member of their childhood gang, Greta, a series of eerie events at her wake set them on a dark, dangerous and hilarious odyssey through Ireland and beyond as each tries to piece together the truth of the past.

“A show about friendship, memory and what happens when life doesn’t turn out quite like you’d expected.”

The comedy series had previously been announced by Channel 4 in August 2023.

But it later said the show had moved to Netflix due to “changes in editorial direction” and “rising costs”.

“We loved Lisa McGee’s ‘How to Get to Heaven From Belfast’ and offered a substantial license fee to be its UK home,” a Channel 4 spokesperson said.

“Unfortunately due to changes in editorial direction as the development process progressed, coupled with rising costs and the recent cooling in the U.S. co-production market, it became impossible to get the right international partner and funding plan in place.

“We wish Lisa and Hat Trick Productions all the best and look forward to working together on future projects.”

Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee
Lisa McGee

Ms McGee had previously said she had “wanted to make a comedy thriller set in Northern Ireland for such a long time”.

“I cannot wait to share these flawed funny women with everyone,” she added.

With the series due to start filming in the north this summer, it is likely to be next year before it hits television screens.