Belfast Telegraph

Derry Girls' two gongs at Irish TV awards

By Staff Reporter

Hit Channel 4 sitcom Derry Girls last night scooped two awards at the Irish Film and Television Awards.

The show - based on the lives of a group of teenagers in a pre-ceasefire Maiden City - won best comedy, with writer Lisa McGee taking home the best writer award for a soap or comedy.

Derry girl Lisa's comedy series wowed audiences earlier this year with millions tuning in for the six-part show each week.

Jamie-Lee O'Donnell, Louisa Harland, Nicola Coughlan, 'wee English fella' Dylan Llewellyn and Saoirse-Monica Jackson became household names across Ireland and the UK thanks to the show's popularity.

It was the biggest ratings hit in Northern Ireland since records began in 2002 and was also the biggest ever comedy launch series on the catch-up service All 4 - leading to the broadcaster quickly commissioning a second series.

Also picking up an award in Dublin was BBC Newsline for its coverage of the death of former Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

BBC Newsline editor Damien Magee said: "I think this award is a tribute to the professionalism of the BBC TV news team on what was a very busy and important news day in Northern Ireland."

Legendary broadcaster Shay Healy was also honoured at the 2018 IFTA Gala TV awards with a lifetime achievement award.

Comedian Jason Byrne hosted the annual small-screen awards, which were broadcast on TG4 this year.

"We'll get through this together," Jason joked. "I only have school Irish but here we go."

Sharon Horgan scooped the award for best female performance.

"I'm embarrassed - there's too many good women in that group," she said.

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