Compromise | 

Nicola Coughlan says Derry Girls role was 'cut back' to suit Bridgerton schedule

Nicola was forced to juggle the two projects, causing her “insane stress.”

Bridgerton and Derry Girls star Nicola Coughlan (Jonathan Hordle/PA)

Neasa Cumiskey

Nicola Coughlan has revealed that her Derry Girls role was “cut down” this season due to scheduling conflicts.

The Galway native stars as schoolgirl Clare Devlin in the hit Channel 4 comedy, but her screen time will be reduced significantly in the upcoming third and final season due to clashes with production on the second season of Bridgerton.

Nicola was forced to juggle the two projects, causing her “insane stress,” and major changes were made to the Derry Girls script ahead of the show’s return this year.

Speaking to Evoke, she explained: “Last year was really difficult because at the best of times trying to manage two different projects is such a push and pull.

“We were supposed to finish Derry Girls in January 2021 but they decided to push it again. That caused me insane stress because I had to go do Bridgerton. It made compromises happen in the script which was devastating to me because I wanted to be in it all.

“But compromises had to be made and they had to cut down my role, which was really, really hard. But fans of the show will be really happy. I don’t think we really processed the ending.”

Derry Girls follows teenagers Erin Quinn (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), Clare Devlin (Coughlan), Orla McCool (Louisa Harland), Michelle Mallon (Jamie-Lee O’Donnell), and James Maguire (Daniel Llewellyn) as they navigate teenage life in Derry during the Troubles.

Back in December, Nicola bid farewell to the series and said an emotional goodbye to her character in a bittersweet tweet.

Posting a picture of a Polaroid photo of herself and her co-star Louisa alongside two rainbow LGBTQ+ pins, the 35-year-old wrote: “Goodbye Derry Girls, it’s been quite a ride.”

And Cork native Siobhan McSweeney, who brought the hilarious Sr Michael to life on the show, paid tribute to her time on Derry Girls by sharing a photo of her iconic religious habit and boots.

“Goodbye you mad woman. You’ve changed my life. I know you’d hate to hear this, but I love you. #DerryGirls #srmichaelforever,” she said.

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