Channel 4 comedy ‘Derry Girls’ directed by Glengormley man to hit screens

Cast of the new show,  Clare Devlin (Nicola Coughlan), Michelle Mallon (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell), James Maguire (Dylan Llewellyn), Orla McCool (Louisa Clare Harland), Erin Quinn (Saoirse Monica Jackson) Picture by Adam Lawrence
Cast of the new show, Clare Devlin (Nicola Coughlan), Michelle Mallon (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell), James Maguire (Dylan Llewellyn), Orla McCool (Louisa Clare Harland), Erin Quinn (Saoirse Monica Jackson) Picture by Adam Lawrence

The first episode of a new Channel 4 series directed by a local Oscar-nominated director is set to be broadcast tonight.

Glengormley film-maker Michael Lennox directed the new show, ‘Derry Girls’, which is set to hit screens at 10pm on Channel 4 tonight (Thursday).

Michael is a director and cinematographer, known for The Back of Beyond (2012), Boogaloo and Graham (2014) and A Patch of Fog (2015).

Lennox had been nominated for an Oscar in 2015 as director of short film Boogaloo and Graham and had hoped to pick up the award to go alongside the BAFTA he won in February 2015.

The former Antrim Grammar pupil was inspired by cinema from an early age, going on to study Moving Image at the Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education from 2004 to 2006.

‘Derry Girls’ is centred around four teenagers from the city, Erin, her cousin Orla, Michelle and Clare, all pupils at (the fictional) Our Lady Immaculate College convent school in Derry in the early 1990s, with Michelle’s mild-mannered English cousin James in tow.

Michael Lennox.

Michael Lennox.

The show follows the exploits of the five as they navigate, dodge and chance their way through the trials of teenage angst, school, family, love and Fionnuala the chip shop woman, with hilarious results, against the backdrop of the ‘Troubles.’

An able young cast in the central roles are joined by comedian, Tommy Tiernan and Game of Thrones star, Ian McElhinney, among others.

Commenting on the show, Michael Lennox said: “It’s all about the casting. When they are all as good as this it’s very simple, you can create an environment where they can flourish. It’s our job to help that process along the way.

“It was absolutely brilliant. Working in TV as a director, the best gig to get is the first of a series.

“You could be on Season Three of something else and it’s still fun but there is something great about being there at the beginning because you are involved in the casting and the whole process.

“So that was really rewarding, also on TV you might get the second block of the season. Selfishly you want it all.

“What was great about Derry Girls was you got to do all the episodes so I could see it from start to finish, try to help give a certain sense of continuity. And there’s six individual stories.”