James Nesbitt: I would love to play a part in Derry Girls

Actor James Nesbitt has said he would love to appear in the second series of the ‘extraordinary’ comdedy Derry Girls.

The Ulster University Chancellor was speaking to an audience of students from schools across Londonderry at an event at St Mary’s College this week.

James Nesbitt

James Nesbitt

Addressing students, the Cold Feet and The Hobbit star said he had actually spoken with Derry Girls writer Lisa McGee about the possibility, and said the Channel 4 show has helped give the city a really cool identity.

The Coleraine native was asked if he fancied a cameo in the show which has been renewed for a second season and responded: “I talked to Lisa about it, I would love to be in it.”

Earlier, in answer to a question from a pupil about what the city can do to capitalise on the success of the show, Mr Nesbitt said: “I know Lisa well and Derry Girls has had such an incredible impact.

“It is subversive and it doing exactly what programmes should be doing for your age group.

Derry Girls cast l-r:  James Maguire (Dylan Llewellyn), Michelle Mallon (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell), Erin Quinn (Saoirse Jackson), Orla McCool (Louisa Harland), Clare Devlin (NIcola Coughlan)

Derry Girls cast l-r: James Maguire (Dylan Llewellyn), Michelle Mallon (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell), Erin Quinn (Saoirse Jackson), Orla McCool (Louisa Harland), Clare Devlin (NIcola Coughlan)

“Even people like me, I’m supposed to not be offended by anything, but even I’ll watch it and go, ‘Oh my God!’, which is exactly what it should be. I love the truth of it. Lisa is such a truthful writer; there are no lies in it,in a sense.

“Of course, it’s a TV programme but they are not in any way trying to sanitise, or tone down the accent.

“This is a programme that hit England in the face and said, ‘We are the Derry Girls, this it, this is what happens over here, we are proud, we are prepared to tell this thing in our own way’, and I think it’s extraordinary.”

In answer to the question, he added: “So how to capitalise on it - it gives an incredibly cool, brilliant identity, not that you needed it, but wherever you go now from this point on, you’ll be going to universities and work and people will know Derry Girls because of that programme.

Lisa McGee, writer of Derry Girls

Lisa McGee, writer of Derry Girls

“I just think it’s a wonderful trampoline and something to be very proud of. You can’t imagine the impact. You must have watched that and felt a real ownership of it.”

James Nesbitt and pupils from St Mary's College.

James Nesbitt and pupils from St Mary's College.