Actress Saoirse-Monica Jackson has admitted that she first thought the Derry Girls script was a joke.

The 25-year-old actress was sharing a stage at Belfast's Odeon cinema with actresses Saoirse Ronan and Eileen O'Higgins on a panel chaired by radio DJ Mairead Campbell. The trio discussed women in comedy, prior to a screening of Bridesmaids, Saoirse Ronan's favourite comic film.

The event took place at the launch of the 30th anniversary of Cinemagic International Film and Television Festival for Young People.

"I actually thought Derry Girls was a joke when it first came through and I thought it was a documentary, " said Jackson, as reported by the Belfast Telegraph.

"I was working in Manchester and my agent at the time sent an email through and I’d just got fired from my sales job and I was like, "this is the worst day ever".

"I got the email through and I was like, "they’re making a documentary about Derry. It wouldn’t be the worst thing I’ve done". Then I opened the script and I was like, "this is an amazing sitcom".