Lisa McGee: I want to do a Derry Girls spin-off… Author reveals idea for new show about Ma Mary and Aunt Sarah solving crimes

According to creator Lisa McGee, the hit TV series Derry Girls could live on through a town museum and several spin-off shows.

The first two episodes of the highly anticipated third and final season of the Channel 4 comedy premiered at a star-studded advance screening in Derry on Thursday.

Author Lisa was joined by show stars Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, Saoirse-Monica Jackson and Ian McElhinney at the glamorous event at the Omniplex.


From left: Nicola Coughlan, Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Louisa Harland and Dylan Llewellyn

On the red carpet, Lisa said she would love a permanent exhibit or museum dedicated to the show and plans to do a spin-off involving Aunt Sarah and Ma Mary as private investigators.

She added: “What I want to do is do a spin-off with Ma Mary and Aunt Sarah to solve crimes and start a detective agency in Derry. Wouldn’t that be incredible?

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“They’re as great as the two sisters on this show and I just thought it would be great to know what they’re up to in secret, so I have this theory that they’re running around town running this detective agency.


Tara Lynne O’Neill and Kathy Kiera Clarke as Ma Mary and Aunt Sarah

“Maybe the girls could do guest spots too — they could be her spies around town.”

When asked about the potential for a museum or Derry Girls exhibition similar to the existing installations for Game of Thrones, she said: “That would be great. I would like that, yes. Something that could be there forever would be amazing.

“Actually, I didn’t get anything from the set as a souvenir – I don’t have anything. We never had time and were too busy, although Tara Lynne (O’Neill) gave me something from this season, but I can’t tell what it is. It was given to her and she felt sorry for me so she gave it to me.”

Lisa was shy when asked about a possible Derry Girls film but confirmed she would like to work with show director Michael Lennox again in the future.

She also admitted to being nervous about the reception the final series of Derry Girls, which begins Tuesday night, will receive.

“Both Michael and I are actually nervous but happy and excited. We’re very nervous, but when it’s over and the first episodes air, I’ll feel a little bit better.

“I just want to see what the reaction is because you can never tell how it’s going to play out.

“Comedy doesn’t exist without an audience, it just doesn’t exist. We could have done something absolutely amazing, but people might not believe in it. You just don’t know, but we’ll see.

“A movie isn’t on my radar right now, not right now. You never know, but I have other commitments, as does Michael.

“I think what’s for sure is that hopefully we’ll work together again.”

Lisa also said the show helped change perceptions of her hometown around the world.

She explained: “I think we showed a different side of Derry that maybe people didn’t know about before.

“We are fun and generous. I just think it’s an incredible place that has only shown this one very tragic side.”

Friends, family, cast, crew and press thronged the Omniplex theater on Thursday for a preview of the first two episodes of season three.

Lisa’s fears about the show’s reception proved misplaced as both episodes brought the house down with laughter and cheers.


Sunday Life reporter John Toner with Saoirse-Monica Jackson

The show’s creator wasn’t the only one to talk about potential new projects, as Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, who plays the feisty Michelle Mallon, said there could be a “million” of spin-offs due to the quality of the characters .

Jamie-Lee, 30, said: “I think Lisa has developed these characters to the point where you could do a million spin-offs, you could do a million prequels.

“I think Michelle would work in a bookie and end up owning a chain of them, like an absolute boss.

“She would work to the max. She would still be friends with the girls – they are best friends and they will be friends for life.

“There will be more chicanes. These kinds of people don’t go through life normally and without madness.”

Derry Girls has supercharged the lead actors’ careers, with Nicola Coughlan, 35, finding global fame for her role in Netflix mega-hit costume drama Bridgerton.

Saoirse-Monica Jackson, meanwhile, has been working on a new animation project with Beatles legend Paul McCartney.

While keeping a low profile on the as-yet-untitled project, she told the BBC: “I’m really excited about it – I’m really enjoying it. We are still at the beginning.

“It’s an amazing children’s novel that has been made into a film.

“It looks beautiful and the experience so far has been amazing so it’s brilliant.”

Saoirse-Monica, 28, also expressed her excitement about her role in the upcoming DC Films movie The Flash.

She said: “It’s amazing to be a part of this DC Universe. It’s really, really exciting.

– The first episode of Derry Girls season 3 airs this Tuesday at 21:15 on Channel 4 Lisa McGee: I want to do a Derry Girls spin-off… Author reveals idea for new show about Ma Mary and Aunt Sarah solving crimes

Fry Electronics Team

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