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'Even though we know how the show ends, when it goes out in Ireland - it's nerve-racking'

Creator of Derry Girls, screenwriter Lisa McGee tells Deirdre Reynolds about the excitement of watching the final episode of her dark drama,The Deceived, which airs tonight, working with her husband and forgetting the people who hate your work

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Lisa McGee

Lisa McGee

The Deceived cast (from left) Emily Reid, Emmett J Scanlan, Paul Mescal and Catherine Walker

The Deceived cast (from left) Emily Reid, Emmett J Scanlan, Paul Mescal and Catherine Walker

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Lisa McGee

'Nervecited' is the best word to describe how Lisa McGee is feeling ahead of the finale of The Deceived tonight.

The new chiller from the pen of the Derry Girls' scribe has already proven a hit after it aired in the UK last month.

As she settles down to watch the final part with husband and co-writer Tobias Beer later on, Lisa says it's the reaction of fans here that means the most.

"For every project I do, probably five don't happen, so it's hugely satisfying getting to the end," she says.

"You see it a lot of times before it goes out obviously, but for me, it's always about it going out on TV.

"When it goes out in Ireland, even though we know how it ends, it's nerve-racking because it's like: 'This is it now!'"

Part four of the twisty noir about a married Cambridge professor (Emmett J Scanlan) who embarks on an affair with a student airs on Virgin Media One at 9pm.

Add stars Paul Mescal, in his first turn since Normal People, as well as Derry Girls' Ian McElhinney (better known as Grandpa Joe) and Louisa Harland (the eccentric Orla), into the mix, and who could blame the creative couple if they were feeling the pressure?

"When it went out in the UK, a lot of people on Twitter were going, 'Oh this is so big and outrageous, but I can't stop watching it'," teases actor Tobias of tonight's dramatic ending. "Even people who were making up their minds took a while to do so, which is good, because then they're still watching.

"The thing about Twitter is whatever it is, even Derry Girls where it's pretty universally liked, there's always someone who'll say, 'Derry Girls was shit'. But then it's difficult because you can't ignore that and then enjoy it when there are good things said."

"I would sit on Twitter," adds his BAFTA-nominated wife, laughing, "which he doesn't, and go, 'Oh shut up!'"

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The Deceived cast (from left) Emily Reid, Emmett J Scanlan, Paul Mescal and Catherine Walker

The Deceived cast (from left) Emily Reid, Emmett J Scanlan, Paul Mescal and Catherine Walker

The Deceived cast (from left) Emily Reid, Emmett J Scanlan, Paul Mescal and Catherine Walker

TV's hottest power couple recently relocated from London to Belfast to raise their sons Joseph, age four, and ten-month old Sean.

And penning the show together, they joke with Magazine+ over Zoom from their new home, was the perfect practice run for lockdown.

"When I'm writing something on my own, and I'm sure you feel this as well, you can feel quite lonely," shares Lisa, whose previous small screen credits include Raw and London Irish. "If something is not working there's nothing you can do except sort of cry.

"Having another writer that you can hand it over to and go - 'I've taken this as far as I can', and they can help you solve the problems with your draft, was great.

"Where it became difficult, I think, is it became all we talked about - we couldn't do anything without talking about scripts.

"Our second son was born on the first day of the shoot and so I'd be saying, 'How are you?' and Lisa would be saying, 'Oh I'm alright - do we need to change that line in episode two?'" her husband offers as an example.

"I was literally in the hospital having had a C-section looking at costumes," Lisa chips in. "It was absolutely insane!"

Dream team Lisa and Tobias are already brainstorming another new crime drama together following the success of The Deceived.

But the working mum joked she won't be turning to her husband - most recently seen in My Cousin Rachel - for acting tips ahead of the third and final season of Derry Girls.

"I wanted to be a nun in the background in the second series for the craic," reveals Lisa, who's also working on a big screen spin-off.

"I had three words and I rehearsed it with Tobi, and it was so bad, we were like, 'No' - even just me being in the background would ruin the entire show!"

⬤ The Deceived concludes tonight on Virgin Media One at 9pm