Derry Girls uncovered - writer Lisa McGee on her hit sitcom

Updated / Thursday, 11 Jan 2018 17:00
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Here’s a new date for your diaries. If you haven’t pencilled it in already, hit comedy Derry Girls airs Thursday nights on Channel 4 at 10pm and it’s the show that has everybody talking. 

Ray D’Arcy spoke its writer, Lisa McGee, who based the idea on her own upbringing in Derry.

"We’re just amazed that so many people tuned in and seem to have got it because it’s such a specific little world.  There’s something very universal about how selfish teenagers are. One of the ideas for the show was always that no matter what was going on around them, their drama was always more important. We were on the brink of this amazing journey which was the ceasefire and the peace process and these teenagers were on the cusp of adulthood and it was about putting those two things side by side."

Lisa had already had hits with such series as London Irish and RTÉ's Raw, but she was particularly nervous about this venture because it was about her hometown and the people she grew up amongst. The series is set in the early 90’s against the troubles and finds comedy even in the bleakest of circumstances.

"Awful things obviously happened but there were so many alerts and scares, it was a daily thing and checkpoints, soldiers searching cars and stuff like that, it had to become mundane in a way or you’d have never done anything. You had to live with it I suppose so then people do make jokes."

When asked what she thinks the appeal of the series is, Lisa says,

"I think maybe there’s enough distance from those events now. Maybe it’s just seeing a group of young people when things were less complicated. There was no social media and maybe people of a certain age now want to look back at that time, at the fashion, the music and all that stuff.  I’ve really no idea"

Click here to listen to Lisa’s interview in full.