Northern Ireland news

Derry Girls watched by average of 1.8 million people

The first episode of the second series was watched by an average 1.8 million people

THE highly-anticipated return of hit comedy Derry Girls was watched by an average 1.8 million people - 200,000 more than the opening episode of the series last year.

After becoming one of the most talked about comedies of 2018, expectations were high for the start of the second series.

The Channel 4 comedy, set during The Troubles, returned to television screens on Tuesday night to rave reviews and much hype.

The broadcaster yesterday said: "Smash hit comedy Derry Girls returned to Channel 4 last night with an average 1.8m people tuning in.

"It was the biggest programme for 16-34 year olds, winning the slot with a 21.4 per cent share."

Channel 4 last night declined to comment on the initial viewing figures for the return of Lisa McGee's nostalgic series, which depicts the lives of a group of teenagers growing up Derry in the 1990s.

However, the figure of 1.8 million overnight viewers is just 200,000 more than the figure of 1.6 million viewers who tuned in for the debut of the comedy in January 2018.

But the figures are expected to rise further when Channel 4 collates all the data from catch-up and online viewers who missed the airing of the first episode.

Figures also show that the first series of Derry Girls was watched by an average of 2.5 million viewers across the UK, making it Channel 4's biggest comedy launch since 2004.

The first series was the biggest ever in Northern Ireland, which averaged 64.2 per cent share of the audience.

A second series was commissioned as soon as the first series was broadcast last year and it was later nominated for two gongs at the Royal Television Society Awards.

The return of Derry Girls, which even featured on the front page of the Metro newspaper in London ahead of it being aired, saw the gang go on a 'Friends Across the Barricade' cross-community weekend and meet 'the other side' for the first time.

Derry Girls is on Channel 4 on Tuesdays at 9.15pm.

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