Skip To Content

    15 Things You Should Know About "Derry Girls," Direct From Creator Lisa McGee

    If you want answers about James and Erin's relationship, look no further.

    Derry Girls has come to an end, but if you're not quite ready to say goodbye yet, you've come to the right place.

    Channel 4

    To bid farewell to the iconic series, creator Lisa McGee and Channel 4's head of comedy, Fiona McDermott, got together to talk all things Derry Girls and answer some of our most pressing questions. Here's what we found out!

    BuzzFeed

    🚨 There are spoilers for the finale and special of Derry Girls — you have been warned! 🚨

    1. The special episode was originally very different from the final product — the disagreement between Erin and Michelle was a later addition that we can thank COVID delays for.

    Channel 4

    Sister Michael's near job loss was also an add-in, and according to Lisa, the original script was funnier, but she removed some jokes because she wanted to give the sombre moments more breathing space. 

    The decision to include a storyline about the potential release of Michelle's brother and the girls' differing views was daunting at first, but when dates got pushed back, Lisa had more time to think about it. She decided to just go for it, bringing the political and personal crashing together.

    2. And Lisa said that when it came to writing the third and final season, the fans made her up her game.

    Channel 4

    "They often guessed storylines I was thinking about doing," she revealed, "and then I was like, 'well, I can't do that now.'" 

    3. Lisa chose to end the series with the death of Clare’s dad because a friend of hers had a similar experience, and the tragedy had a big impact on her friendship group.

    Peter Marley / Channel 4

    "My friend's dad died when we were around that age suddenly, and it was a shock," she said. "The thing that really struck me was that we did grow up in this place where there was a lot of unpredictable stuff happening — you worried about a lot of violence — and this was a thing that could happen to anybody at any point — a natural cause thing. It was like 'Oh, God, no one's life's predictable; this could happen to anyone.'"

    The shift Lisa felt as a teen is mirrored in the finale, and she revealed that when the girls are walking behind the coffin, the stage directions say: "And just like that, they grew up." 😭

    4. But she only decided to end it that way once Channel 4 confirmed that the special would be aired soon after — she didn’t want to leave people hanging on such a sad note for too long.

    Channel 4

    5. Lisa's still close with that same group of friends — Clare and Michelle are based on them, and they've basically become local celebrities.

    Channel 4

    And they're super supportive — Lisa sees them all the time, but every time a new episode airs, hundreds of messages flood their WhatsApp group. Big Derry Girl energy, tbh.

    6. Granda Joe is just like Lisa's real-life grandad.

    Channel 4

    So it's clear to see that funny runs in the family.

    7. And she combined some of the funniest aspects of her other family members to shape the rest of Erin and Orla's hilarious family.

    Channel 4

    8. Lots of killer moments in the show come directly from real-life shenanigans and drama — the idea for the Seamus storyline came about after Lisa's mum told her that her sister’s cat wouldn’t stop killing local animals!

    Channel 4

    9. The cameo from Liam Neeson — whose on-set codename was "the big fella" — was a huge stamp of approval for Lisa.

    Channel 4

    If you didn't already know, Liam's Northern Irish, and the '90s were his golden years, so it's not hard to see how much of an honour this was. As Lisa put it, “He was one of the good news stories growing up, and there weren’t many. He was sort of hero — worshipped by Northern Irish people that wanted to be directors and writers.” 

    10. The Chelsea Clinton cameo started off as an in-joke Lisa wrote to amuse herself, and she didn’t expect it would become a reality.

    Channel 4

    11. But once she decided to try and make it happen, she really went for it — she contacted everyone from politicians to people at Queens University, before eventually getting success with a manager who used to work for the Clintons.

    Channel 4

    I'm sure you remember the girls sending their letter, but you may not know that a 13-year-old Lisa wrote to Chelsea, too, so it's a real full-circle moment.

    12. And if it wasn't for scheduling conflicts, the series could have been even more star-studded — Jamie Dornan's a big fan of Derry Girls, and Lisa spoke with him about popping up for a cameo.

    Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

    He's publicly called the show "genius," and according to Lisa, he's "very, very funny," so I guess we should keep an eye out for him in her future projects!

    13. There was a conscious decision to leave the romance between Erin and James unresolved: Lisa wanted the finale to focus on friendship.

    Channel 4

    She admitted that by pulling back after the kiss episode, she did kinda have her cake and eat it, but she knew that she "didn't want the end of the show to be about a love story."

    14. But she's always thought that Erin and James would probably end up together, just not for a long while.

    Peter Marley / Channel 4

    Lisa explained, "I always kind of felt like they might get together way in the future, like during their 30s. Maybe they'll be friends, and they'll go through a lot of stuff together." I don't know about you, but I definitely wouldn't say no to a flashforward spin-off.

    15. Although nothing's been discussed yet, this may not be the last we see of our faves.

    Peter Marley / Channel 4

    When it comes to potentially revisiting Derry Girls, Lisa told us, "I love this world, and I'd love to at some point, but it's just finding the right thing." There's loads of potential — from the girl's first years in adulthood to the older generation, and Lisa said she'll definitely be writing about Northern Ireland again, so keep your eyes out!

    All episodes of Derry Girls, including the special, are now streaming on All 4. Don't forget to tell us your favourite Derry Girls moment in the comments!