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Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan says no Derry Girls reunion

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By Jessica LawrenceBBC News NI

Nicola Coughlan says Derry Girls is ‘perfect as it is’

There is no chance of a Derry Girls reunion any time soon, Irish actor Nicola Coughlan has said.

Referring to the hit sitcom’s three series, she said it was a “three and done… perfect package”.

The Bridgerton star was speaking to BBC News NI as she attended the Dublin premiere of the eagerly awaited second half of the period drama’s third season.

Galway-born Coughlan, who plays Penelope Featherington in the Netflix series, was greeted by excited, Regency-era dressed fans at The Lighthouse Cinema on Thursday evening.

Speaking on the red carpet, Coughlan said Derry Girls had been “amazing and I think it was a real three and done and it was wrapped up in a perfect package”.

“I wouldn’t want to go back because I wouldn’t want to taint it,” she added.

Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan

With co-star Luke Newton, who plays her love interest Colin

‘Mixed feelings’

Despite no Derry Girls return to television screens, Coughlan is keen to team up with her co-stars in the future.

She praised Siobhán McSweeney, who plays the dry-humoured Sister Michael in the Channel 4 show.

“It’s incredible to see Siobhán to go on to win the Bafta,” Coughlan added.

“But I would like to work with them again in another iteration.”

Thursday evening’s audience at The Lighthouse Cinema are getting a preview of the fifth episode of Bridgerton’s latest season.

Although the show wears the hat of a period drama, it sets itself apart with its often raunchy on-screen moments.

Coughlan, who takes on the leading role this season, says she has already warned her family it will be an uncomfortable watch.

“My sister’s here tonight – I have mixed feelings about it,” she said.

“I was like, ‘When I walk into a room and there’s a mirror there, just close your eyes for a few minutes.”

BBc Luke NewtonBBc

Luke Newton will travel to Coughlan’s home county of Galway on Friday for a screening

Her co-star, Luke Newton from Brighton, arrived to the event wearing Irish designer Simone Roche.

The pair next make their way to Coughlan’s home county for a special screening hosted by the Galway Film Fleadh.

It is the first red carpet event anywhere in either the UK or Ireland to promote the third season of the period drama.

And Coughlan has already taken up the offer of playing tour guide.

“We have a day booked – she’s taking me all around her favourite spots,” Newton told BBC News NI.

As for their travel itinerary, it’s a bit of a mystery tour.

“I have no idea what the plan is,” Newton said, “she likes to keep things secret like that.

“It’s like with the pranks on set, just keeping me on my toes. So yeah, we’ll see.”

Coughlan’s gown for Thursday’s homecoming event was custom-made by British designer Erdem Moralıoğlu.

“I wanted to do something really special to come home in,” the actor said.

What is Bridgerton about?

Bridgerton, produced by Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes, is adapted from a series of historical romance novels by Julia Quinn.

It follows members of the influential Bridgerton family as they navigate London’s high society in the 1800s.

But it has earned the description of “Regency-era Gossip Girl” due to the musings of the mysterious newsletter author Lady Whistledown, detailing the ton’s (upper class society) marriage mart and scandal.

The first season – focusing on the family’s eldest daughter Daphne as she makes her debut in society – broke Netflix’s streaming records when it dropped in December 2020.

To this day, it is the streaming giant’s fourth most watched show, with 113 million households racking up 929 million viewing hours over first season’s eight episodes.

Liam Daniel/Netflix Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton and Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington sitting on a benchLiam Daniel/Netflix

Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton have taken the reins as the leading characters in Bridgerton’s third season

When is Bridgerton season 3 part 2 released?

Nicola Coughlan

Nicola Coughlan on the red carpet at the Irish premiere of the hit show

The third season is based on Quinn’s novel ‘Romancing Mr Bridgerton’, and centres on the blossoming romance between Lady Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton.

Audiences are still enthralled by the seductive, scandal-filled drama, with the first four episodes of season three clocking 82 million views since its release on 16 May, according to Netflix.

It was also the number one most watched show in 78 countries and reached the top 10 in 92 during its first week.

The second half of the season will be released on Netflix worldwide on 13 June.

Who is Nicola Coughlan?

Getty Images Nicola CoughlanGetty Images

Coughlan was cast in 2019 as the reluctant debutante Penelope Featherington

Born in Galway in the Republic of Ireland, the now 37-year-old made her breakthrough on screen playing “the wee lesbian” Clare Devlin in the Channel 4 series Derry Girls.

The award-winning sitcom created by Lisa McGee follows a group of teenagers Erin, Michelle, Clare, Orla and James, as they grow up in the city against the backdrop of the Northern Ireland Troubles in the 1990s.

It was first broadcast in 2018 and ran for three seasons before finishing in 2022.

In 2019 Coughlan was cast as wallflower Penelope Featherington, the youngest daughter of a newly rich family during London’s Regency era, in Bridgerton.

PA Media Lisa McGee, Nicola Coughlan, Louisa Harland, Dylan Llewellyn and Saoirse-Monica Jackson at the Omniplex Cinema in LondonderryPA Media

Some of the Derry Girls cast – as well as creator Lisa McGee (l) – attended a premiere of the show’s second season in 2019

She’s also fronted Channel 4 dark comedy Big Mood, taking on the role of struggling playwright Maddie.

But it isn’t just the small screen Coughlan has dominated.

In between her busy filming schedule, she managed to squeeze in a stint as Diplomat Barbie in Greta Gerwig’s 2023 blockbuster flick Barbie.

More recently, she lent her talents to historical comedy Seize Them! featuring Hot Fuzz’s Nick Frost and Sex Education’s Aimee Lou Wood.

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