Nicola Coughlan has revealed her devastation at the fact appearing in Bridgerton has meant she had to accept a reduced role in the final series of Derry Girls.
The actor has played Clare in the hit Channel 4 sitcom since its debut in 2019, and has since found international fame playing Penelope Featherington in Netflix’s prestige period drama.
Nicola will be seen in the third and final season of Derry Girls when it airs in the coming months, but she has explained fans will see a lot less of her in the show owing to scheduling conflicts and filming delays caused by the pandemic.
Speaking at a press event for Bridgerton’s second season earlier this week, Nicola said (via Digital Spy): “Last year was really difficult. I won’t lie because you know, at the best of times trying to manage different projects, it’s such a push and pull.
“We were meant to film Derry Girls in January 2021. And I was totally free and they decided to push it again. And that caused me insane stress because I was on [what] in the industry is called first call. So it means you have to go and do the show that you’re on first call to, which was Bridgerton.
“And I was like ‘Guys, can we just film it?’ And they were like, ‘No, we’re gonna wait.’ And I was like, ‘oh’, like that [we had to make] compromises happen in the script of Derry Girls. It was devastating to me because I wanted to be in all of this. But compromises had to be made.
“And you know, they had to cut down my role somewhat, which was hard. Really, really hard. But I think you know the fans of the show are going to be happy. I think it’s a really nice sign-off for the show.”
Nicola with her Derry Girls co-stars
Derry Girls fans were left gutted last year when it was confirmed that the forthcoming season would also be its last.
In a statement, creator Lisa McGee said it was “always the plan to say goodbye” after three series.
She added: “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 series with our incredible cast and crew to hopefully take our loyal fans on one last adventure.”
As well as winning huge critical acclaim, Derry Girls has pulled into massive viewing figures, becoming the most-watched TV series in North Ireland since modern records began in 2002.
A trailer for the third season debuted earlier this month, and while no air date has yet been revealed, Channel 4 has promised the show is “coming soon”.