Emotional fans give My Mad Fat Diary the send off it deserves

It's no wonder a quarter of a million viewers tuned in to E4 last night to say goodbye to a series that set the bar for teen drama, says Sarah Doran

Rae Earl was your average teenage girl when she penned a Mad Fat Diary in the early 1990s – or so she thought. But when the diary became a book and the book became a Bafta-winning TV series, it became clear that the unwitting author was on to something.

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A novel and three series later, fans flocked to E4 in their hundreds of thousands last night to bid farewell to My Mad Fat Diary, a series that managed to tackle mental health issues, body image and the everyday struggles of modern teenagers in a way no glossy US drama ever could.

Fans were understandably emotional as they said their goodbyes to Rae (Sharon Rooney), Finn (Nico Mirallegro) and the gang for the last time. And so were the cast.

In the show, many found the support group they never even knew they needed, and learned lessons they didn’t even realise they had yet to learn.

And when my Mad Fat Diary reached a fitting non-fairytale end – with Rae opting to say goodbye to Finn and finally have the courage to go it alone after a relapse – the farewell, albeit a little heartbreaking, felt completely legitimate.

Life goes on. People grow up and change. And happily ever after can mean a million different things.

“I’d love to think Rae would have a legacy,” Rooney told RadioTimes.com ahead of the finale.

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Take one look at #goodbyeMMFD , where the messages are still rolling in in various languages, and you’ll see that she already does.