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Derry Girls star Jamie-Lee: ‘I got asked out all the time... by women’

Comedy star talks fans, creepy DMs and strangers straying onto set

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SPOKEN FOR: Jamie-Lee has a boyfriend

SPOKEN FOR: Jamie-Lee has a boyfriend

Colm O'Reilly

SPOKEN FOR: Jamie-Lee has a boyfriend

Derry Girls star Jamie-Lee O’Donnell has revealed the initial success of the show led to a deluge of dating requests on social media... from women.

The actor, who plays cheeky Michelle Mallon in the TV series, also said she regularly gets asked out for a drink by random men online and often avoids checking her messages for fear of what she might find.

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CRITICAL ACCLAIM: Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, Nicola Coughlan, Liz Lewin, Louisa Harland and Saoirse-Monica Jackson with their Sky Arts comedy award

CRITICAL ACCLAIM: Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, Nicola Coughlan, Liz Lewin, Louisa Harland and Saoirse-Monica Jackson with their Sky Arts comedy award

CRITICAL ACCLAIM: Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, Nicola Coughlan, Liz Lewin, Louisa Harland and Saoirse-Monica Jackson with their Sky Arts comedy award

Jamie, who has a boyfriend, said: “At the start I had a lot of women messaging me and asking me out and thinking I was gay, some of them were saying they were so glad to see a gay actor on TV. It’s weird how people assume.

“I get a lot of people asking me out and shooting their shot like you wouldn’t believe, there’s a lot of, ‘Are you in Belfast do you wanna go out? ‘Fancy a game of pool and a pint?’

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The Derry girls and the 'wee English fella' are back in action for the third and final series of the show which is currently being shot in locations across Ulster

The Derry girls and the 'wee English fella' are back in action for the third and final series of the show which is currently being shot in locations across Ulster

The Derry girls and the 'wee English fella' are back in action for the third and final series of the show which is currently being shot in locations across Ulster

“There’s this guy, it’s so funny, who sends me DMs (direct messages) which are always a random picture of him with a glass of wine or just eating something, or with his foot up in front of the TV watching Derry Girls.

“He did send a picture once of just a glass of wine and I’m not sure if it was an invite or a brag about being able to afford wine. I don’t know what the brag was, it could be anything.

“What are you going to reply? Well done on the glass of wine? I don’t go into my DMs that often but when I do I don’t usually open pictures because you just don’t know what’s there, same with videos and voice notes.”

Jamie-Lee is currently in the middle of filming the third and final series of Derry Girls in locations across Northern Ireland.

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Jamie-Lee and her fellow cast members were snapped on set at Barry's Amusements

Jamie-Lee and her fellow cast members were snapped on set at Barry's Amusements

Jamie-Lee and her fellow cast members were snapped on set at Barry's Amusements

Last month Sunday Life exclusively revealed the gang had started filming the new series at the iconic Barry’s Amusements in Portrush, Co Antrim.

Speaking to Shane Todd on his podcast, Tea With Me, Jamie-Lee relived a number of occasions when people had walked onto set while the cast were filming — including a merry father on his way home from the pub who wanted an autograph for his child.

She continued: “It changed after season one, people gather round more now when we’re filming, it started when we were filming season two and it was lovely.

“People got to watch the shots and then see them on TV and be like, ‘I was there’, which was a nice interactive aspect for the fans.

“You do get people coming along to hang about or have a wee nosey, sometimes they just want to sit and watch.

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Derry Girls stars Michelle (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell), Dylan (James Maguire), Clare (Nicola Coughlan), Erin (Saoirse Monica Jackson), Orla (Louisa Clare Harland), and Sister Michael (Siobhan McSweeney)

Derry Girls stars Michelle (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell), Dylan (James Maguire), Clare (Nicola Coughlan), Erin (Saoirse Monica Jackson), Orla (Louisa Clare Harland), and Sister Michael (Siobhan McSweeney)

Derry Girls stars Michelle (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell), Dylan (James Maguire), Clare (Nicola Coughlan), Erin (Saoirse Monica Jackson), Orla (Louisa Clare Harland), and Sister Michael (Siobhan McSweeney)

“During season two there was one time everyone was so tired and we were flat out working on location, everyone was sitting around doing our lines and then the cameras were rolling and someone just walked straight into shot.

“Some fella just walked over with a pen and paper, he stunk of drink too, and was all like, ‘What’s the craic Derry Girls? Can I have a wee autograph for me wean?’

“There was a shout of ‘Cut!’ and he was just stood in the shot wondering what was happening. He set the pen and paper down for us to sign but we were in the middle of the shot so had to ask if we could do it in about 20 minutes.

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Ian McElhinney and Jamie-Lee O'Donnell at the 2018 Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast

Ian McElhinney and Jamie-Lee O'Donnell at the 2018 Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast

Ian McElhinney and Jamie-Lee O'Donnell at the 2018 Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast

“He was very nice and must have just come out of the bar and thought, ‘Jesus, there’s the Derry Girls,’ and walked over to ask for the autograph.

“There’s so much behind the scenes, stuff like that which is just mental, loads, I hope they put out some of the footage once we’re done filming.”

Jamie-Lee also spoke to Shane about coming to terms with the end of Derry Girls, saying there would be emotional times ahead for the cast and crew, adding she cried when reading parts of the script.

She said: “We haven’t got to the point of it being emotional yet, at the moment it’s fine because we’re all happy to put it to bed and so on but it is coming.

“We’ve done some of the last scenes already which is strange because you kinda want to keep them for the end but it’s nice to have them done because they’re a big deal.

“I cried when I read some of it because it’s so lovely, I think Lisa McGee has outdone herself again. “Season one was brilliant and season two was better because you knew the characters and they’re established. Season three is the same, it’s just mental straight away.”


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