Belfast Telegraph

Derry Girls fine example of spreading the comedy net: C4 boss

Big hit: Channel 4’s Derry Girls
Big hit: Channel 4’s Derry Girls

By Alex Green

The chief executive of Channel 4 has said Derry Girls demonstrates why broadcasters should shift their focus away from London.

Alex Mahon also suggested broadcasters called Brexit wrong and misjudged the strength of feeling outside the UK capital.

She said that the mistake had been a lesson to broadcasters not to ignore their nationwide viewerships.

Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Mahon said: "Our job is to serve Britain and cover Britain without becoming parochial.

"The best example of that is Derry Girls.

"Who would have thought growing up in '90s Northern Ireland could be made into one of the best comedies of recent times?

"It doesn't sound like an inherently comedic landscape.

"You've got to do that by using voices from across the UK.

"Nothing teaches us that more than Brexit, with all of us broadcasters having called it wrong and not realised the strength of views from outside of London."

She was speaking during a panel hosted by Krishnan Guru-Murthy and titled State Of The TV Nation.

Mahon added: "I think you have to do that without going, 'We are going to take a show from this town and a show from this town and this town'.

"That's about being relative.

"And the question for us is, can we do that in a way that is good and exciting and adds to what you get from Netflix that is global?"

Meanwhile, a psychological thriller by the writer of Derry Girls about a student who falls in love with her married lecturer is one of a raft of new original dramas announced by Channel 5.

Penned by Lisa McGee, The Deceived centres around English student Ophelia, who finds she can no longer trust her own mind after her affair ends in a shocking death.

It will be set in both Cambridge in England and Co Donegal, which borders McGee's native Londonderry.

Belfast Telegraph


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