My Mad Fat Diary to end after the third series airs this year

Channel 4 calls time on the Bafta-nominated drama about struggling teenager Rachel ‘Rae’ Earl after three series

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The next series of E4 drama My Mad Fat Diary will be the last, Channel 4 has confirmed.

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The show will not be returning after the third series which will air in the summer – although there is the promise that its heroine Rachel ‘Rae’ Earl (Sharon Rooney) may find more love in the final run of the drama.

Based on Earl’s real-life memoirs My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary, the drama is set in Lincolnshire and follows Rae’s life as she deals with body image issues, mental health problems and a loving but demanding mother.

Series one started in 1996 and found Rae leaving a psychiatric hospital and facing up to her problems with depression and anxiety.

The drama’s second series followed Rae as she made the big step to sixth form college while trying to live with her moody pregnant mother and her Tunisian boyfriend. She also met her long-lost father and tried to deal with her mixed feeling towards the love of her life, Finn (Nico Mirallegro).

Series three will be set in 1998 and re-joins a “suited and booted Chloe (Jodie Comer), a freshly tattooed Chop (Jordan Murphy), the ever-sweet Izzy (Ciara Baxendale), and Mr University, Archie (Dan Cohen)” according to E4.

The statement added tantalisingly: “Shakespeare in Love wasn’t the only Oscar-winning romance of ’98…”

BAFTA-nominated Claire Rushbrook and Ian Hart will also be returning alongside Rae’s new compadre Katie Springer, played by Fresh Meat’s Faye Marsay.

Giving further clues to the new series, the broadcaster said in a statement: “Rae Earl is boss. Drinking, dancing and dating the hottest guy in the North – Rae has life as a teenager nailed. However, change is on the horizon as the gang grows up. Chloe has ambitions to attend business school, Finn wants to settle down and the spectre of university applications looms large. A new friend for Rae also forces her to see everything differently. As Rae struggles to maintain the status quo, will she be left behind or embrace the biggest adventure yet?”

Piers Wenger, Channel 4 head of drama, said: “My Mad Fat Diary has touched the hearts of the E4 audience and it is with both sadness and pride that we announce filming on the third and final series. But anyone expecting Rae Earl to go quietly will be sorely mistaken. We’re delighted to welcome back Mad Fat’s exceptional cast, led by Sharon Rooney, as Rae faces her greatest challenges yet.”

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Sharon Rooney added: “It has been a privilege to tell Rae’s story. My Mad Fat Diary has been a huge part of my life and, although I am sad that this amazing rollercoaster ride is almost over, it’s not over YET. We have more drama, more tears and more rude bits to bring you. The support of the E4 audience has been amazing, and I couldn’t have done it without them. So, in the words of Rae, ‘LET’S DO THIS’.”