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Dame you, pandemic: Covid stopped Bridgerton’s Nicola Coughlan discussing plot twist with hero Julie


PODCAST CONFESSION: Nicola Coughlan in Bridgerton

PODCAST CONFESSION: Nicola Coughlan in Bridgerton

Dame Julie Andrews

Dame Julie Andrews



PODCAST CONFESSION: Nicola Coughlan in Bridgerton

Nicola Coughlan was annoyed that the pandemic deprived her of the opportunity to discuss the Bridgerton plot twist with her hero Dame Julie Andrews on set.

The Mary Poppins star (85) voices the character Lady Whistledown but is not seen on screen, while (spoiler alert!) the Derry Girls actress plays her alter ego.

When asked if they discussed the fact that Nicola's character Penelope Featherington was in fact gossip queen Lady Whistledown, she told Josh Smith on his new podcast Make It Reign: "I wish. At the very beginning of filming Bridgerton, they would say 'Julie might come to set next month'.

"It was like when you are trying to get children to behave and you say 'Santa Claus is coming in a few weeks, so you better be good'. It just keeps you on your best behaviour and I think Julie Andrews was our Santa Claus.

"If we had had a normal Press tour, we would have met, but we will eventually and obviously we will become best friends, which will inevitably happen as we are both Lady Whistledown. To be honest, I can't even fathom that she might even know my name."

Nicola (34) won critical acclaim on Derry Girls playing Clare Devlin, who came out as gay to her friend Erin during the show. She has also lent her name to the Love Equality campaign and marched in support of equal marriage legislation in Northern Ireland.

She hopes that Bridgerton will continue to promote LGBTQ issues in series two. "I would love if we got to continue exploring the queer characters more and explore all different facets of society," Nicola said.

"My mum said 'If you get season two, you tell Chris (the show runner) to get that prince back. I said 'I will see what I can do'. My mum loves Penelope and the prince together. No one wants to even dance with Penelope, so I don't know how she will get a prince all of a sudden.

"Every ball that happened, my mum would say 'Do you get to dance at this one?' My mum would like more Prince Friedrich content and for me to dance more."

Bridgerton has become one of Netflix's biggest hits, with 82 million households tuning in to watch, but Nicola never thought for one second that it would grow into such an enormous hit.

"Before Bridgerton came out, I knew it was coming out on the biggest streaming service in the world on Christmas Day, but there was a part of me that went 'Is anyone going to watch this?'" she said.

"On Christmas Day I was going 'No one has watched it and no one will watch this show'.

"I had a moment where I was like 'It's fine. I've dedicated a year and a half of my life to it and I know hundreds of people put in so many months of their life into it, but it's fine. No one will watch it and I've just accepted that'."

The Make It Reign podcast is available on the usual streaming platforms.

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