When is Derry Girls series 3 on TV? When the Channel 4 show will return

Everything you need to know about the return of the Northern Irish comedy Derry Girls


After securing a Bafta nomination for its second run, hit Northern Irish comedy Derry Girls is coming back for a third series on Channel 4.


But what adventures are in store for the Derry Girls in when they return? And when can we expect the new episodes?

Here’s everything you need to know…

When is Derry Girls series three on TV? 

Derry Girls was renewed for a third series by Channel 4 in April. A release date for the new episodes has not yet been revealed.

Nicola Coughlan tweeted in July 2019 that the cast and crew will be back in Belfast to film the show in 2020 – suggesting that we may have a bit of a wait on our hands before the show returns…

What is Derry Girls about and what happened in series one and two?

The coming-of-age sitcom revolves around four teenage girls from Derry and one wee English fella in 1990s Northern Ireland during The Troubles.

Written by Being Human screenwriter Lisa McGee and based on her own experiences as a teenager, the show follows 16-year-old Erin and her eccentric friends and family who live in a world of armed police, British Army check points and ‘peace’ walls.

The gang is constantly getting up to mischief, much to the dismay of Erin’s parents and the formidable Sister Michael.

Sister Michael - Siobhan McSweeney (Channel 4, SD)
Siobhan McSweeney as Sister Michael (C4)

Among the big moments of series one were English kid James joining the gang and Clare’s coming out storyline. Refresh your memory on the action-packed and rather poignant series finale here.

The second series, meanwhile, saw a potential romance begin to blossom between Erin and James, with the latter almost leaving Derry for good, and ended on a positive note with a rousing speech from Bill Clinton taken from his real-life 1995 visit to the city. Read our interview with Lisa McGee on the series finale here.

Who’s in the cast of Derry Girls series three?

The main cast of Derry Girls are all expected to reprise their roles for a third series, including – deep breath – Saoirse-Monica Jackson as Erin Quinn, Louisa Harland as Orla McCool, Nicola Coughlan as Clare Devlin, Jamie-Lee O’Donnell as Michelle Mallon, Dylan Llewellyn as James Maguire, Tara Lynne O’Neill as Ma/Mary, Kathy Kiera Clarke as Aunt Sarah, Siobhan McSweeney as Sister Michael, Tommy Tiernan as Da/Gerry, Ian McElhinney as Granda Joe, Kevin McAleer as Uncle Colm and Leah O’Rourke as Jenny Joyce.

l-r: Dylan (James Maguire), Erin (Saoirse Monica-Jackson), Michelle (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell), Clare (Nicola Coughlan).Above: Orla McCool (Louisa Clare Harland)
Dylan Llewellyn as James, Louisa Harland as Orla, Saoirse Monica-Jackson as Erin, Jamie-Lee O’Donnell as Michelle and Nicola Coughlan as Clare (C4)

Ardal O’Hanlon made an appearance as Mary’s cousin Eamonn in season two, but it is not yet known if he’ll play a part in series three. Writer McGee told RadioTimes.com she would like to add Dara O Briain, another Irish comedy legend, to the cast for series three.

What’s going to happen in Derry Girls series three?

McGee told RadioTimes.com that the new episodes will be set in a more hopeful period for the gang, as their hometown marches towards peace and the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 (where the writer suggested she would like to wrap things up).

In April 2019, she said: “I’m just thinking about storylines at the minute. I have a political back story I want to do. It’s a bit scary but I’ll have to start writing things down soon.

“We’ll continue from ’95 so obviously it was very different for us then, for one thing all these splinter organisations came out of nowhere, which was quite strange, and then people were just getting used to peace time.

“They had more to lose, I think, and we didn’t want it to go wrong because it was something we all really wanted. It was something everyone was afraid to dream of and then it was happening, so it’s scarier in a way, the idea of losing that.”

l-r: James Maguire (Dylan Llewellyn), Erin Quinn (Saoirse Monica Jackson)
Dylan Llewellyn as James and Saoirse-Monica Jackson as Erin (C4)

McGee added that in series three one of the Derry Girls crew might leave for “a rival gang” and the story would explore “how the others try to get them back and deal with that”.

On who the Judas of the group would be, McGee teased that it might be the wee English fella James, which could be interesting given his budding romance with Erin.

Will Erin and James’s potential romance develop in series three of Derry Girls?

Despite Erin’s complicity in the Derry Girls’ endless mocking of James, there have been hints throughout series one and two that she has a bit of a crush on the English boy. In the first season, she was furious (and perhaps jealous) when a Ukrainian exchange student tried to take James’s virginity, and in the second Erin was thrilled when James turned up to take her to prom after she was stood up by a local hunk.

After the latter Friends-esque scene, there were a lot of people ‘shipping’ Erin and James, willing them to get together. Writer Lisa McGee told RadioTimes.com that there might be a future for the pair romantically.

“I think there might be,” she said. “I’ve always thought James likes her, but I think he maybe doesn’t even understand that yet, and I don’t know when that’ll, it might happen when they’re much older, so it might not actually happen in our show. But I think the potential is there, it’s something I’m interested in seeing – I might toy with it if we do another season, I’m not sure.”

“I want it to happen so badly!,” revealed Nicola Coughlan, who plays Clare in the series.


Speaking to RadioTimes.com at the South Bank Show Awards in July, she added: “Yeah I really want it to happen, although it’s so funny because we’re like siblings now, so the thought of Saoirse and Dylan now having to kiss I find hilarious. But for the characters, yeah, I really want it to happen.”