Derry Girls: Will There Be A Season 3?

People who were teenagers in the '90s just love talking about how brilliant it was growing up in the decade of the Macarena, Game Boys, and Cool Britannia. Yet while the 1980s has enjoyed an extended love-in through TV and movies, nostalgia hounds hankering for quality '90s throwbacks have so far been short served. That's why "Derry Girls," with its affectionate nods to the fads of the decade and a canny soundtrack ranging from Ace of Base to Whigfield, was such a blast. Or lush, mint, wicked, cushty, mega, or whatever else people said back then if something was really, really good.

In case you missed it, "Derry Girls" was the funniest British coming-of-age sitcom since "The Inbetweeners." Set during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the show follows ambitious student Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson) and her group of pals through a series of unlikely misadventures while they navigate life at a Catholic Girls' School. With stellar writing and a terrific ensemble cast, it really celebrates angsty teen exuberance through an irreverent lens. Silly and rude, but never less than kind-hearted, it's a great comfort watch.

The first two seasons were hugely popular with both critics and the public, becoming Northern Ireland's most-watched show since records began and Channel 4's most successful comedy since the surreal antics of "Father Ted." Yet it has been over two years since the second season signed off with that perfect feel good ending, so what's happening with the long-awaited Season 3?

How long has season 3 been planned?

According to the show's creator and writer, Lisa McGee, a third season of "Derry Girls" has always been the plan. The show was an instant success, with over 2.5 million people watching Season 1 during its premiere week. Realizing they had a hit on their hands, Channel 4 greenlit Season 2 after just one episode.

Fans still had to wait over a year to catch up with Erin and the gang, and the cast was raring to go for another season even as the second made its debut. Nicola Coughlan, who plays sensible closeted lesbian Clare in the show, said in an interview with Joe:

"There are so many more places that we could go with these characters. I have people coming up to me in the street and they're like 'we should do this, that, and the other'. There's a real hunger for it and we love doing it. We all certainly hope for more seasons."

They didn't have long to wait to find out, because a third season was announced just after the season finale aired on April 9, 2019. Two and a half years later, and we're still waiting...

So what happened?

"Derry Girls" Season 3 was due to start production in spring 2020, but a certain virus scuppered those plans. Shooting was pushed back several times due to logistics and safety restrictions during the pandemic, and also to keep it consistent with the previous two seasons. As Saoirse-Monica Jackson explained to Metro:

"It's really important to us that we keep the authenticity of the show and that we don't deliver any show that's in any way a limited version...It's important for us to shoot it at home [in Ireland]."

Things looked a bit more promising earlier this year when Nicola Coughlan gave a further update in February via Twitter:

"Can confirm Series 3 of Derry Girls is filming this year and I cannae bloody wait...Covid has pushed back filming several times which has been so shite, but honestly the storylines in this series are the best we've ever done, so I can't tell you how worth it the wait will have been."

Then in July, some more cracker news came from Tara Lynne O'Neill, who plays Erin's stern mum. She told the Irish Mirror:

"It's happening this year, it's definitely happening this year! If we leave it another year, we'll all be old-age pensioners! It will be called 'Derry Old Ones!' No, we're gonna do it this year, so it will be out early next year. We're tied in for the filming date, we're shooting this year."

When will Season 3 drop, and what about Season 4?

The closest we can get to a release date at the present time is "early next year," which is about as good as we can expect after such a long delay ... what's a few more months, right? Early news reveals that the new season will take place sometime during 1998 around the time of the Good Friday Agreement, which sounds like a great place to send the girls (and boy) off into the world if this truly is the third and last installment.

There have been some rumours about a fourth season, especially since Lisa McGee seemed to tease the possibility in a tweet in March last year:

"Hi everyone. I'm currently in the thick of writing series three. Who knows what the future holds for Derry Girls but please don't worry... we are plotting."

However, last month she confirmed in a statement that Season 3 will be the final outing for her band of much-loved "eejits":

"It was always the plan to say goodbye after three [seasons]....Derry Girls is a love letter to the place I come from and the people who shaped me," she continued. "It has been an honour to write it and I will be forever proud of everything it's achieved.... Who knows if Erin, Clare, Orla, Michelle and James will return in some other guise someday, but for now this is it for us and we're excited to start filming this [season] with our incredible cast and crew to hopefully take our loyal fans on one last adventure."

It looks like Season 3 is likely to be a poignant yet hilarious farewell for "Derry Girls" fans, so better grab yourself a Tayto cheese and onion crisp sandwich and make the absolute most of it...