Leah O’Rourke, famous as teacher’s pet Jenny Joyce, would relish chance to develop the character in new show
Derry Girls ‘head girl’ Leah O’Rourke, who plays prefect Jenny Joyce in the smash-hit show, says she would love to star in a spin-off for her goody two-shoes character.
The final episode of Derry Girls was broadcast last month with the much-loved show receiving plaudits and emotional farewells as the curtain came down.
Writer Lisa McGee had earlier teased a possible spin-off programme involving prefect Jenny and her pal Aisling, as well as a possible detective show with Ma Mary and Aunt Sarah.
Newry actor Leah (33), who also works part-time as a teaching assistant, says she would be keen to get involved should the mooted project come about.
She told Sunday Life: “I would definitely be up for starring in anything Lisa has written, as she is an extremely talented writer.
“I’m not sure what an Aisling and Jenny spin-off would look like. A lot of people on Twitter have joked that Jenny could end up being a politician or working in HR. I also think she might try to follow in her dad’s footsteps and apply to study medicine.
“If a spin-off ever happened it would be great to get Jenny’s parents back in it, as their scenes on the dance floor in the school reunion episodes were brilliant.
“It would be great to see Jenny and Aisling stay friends.”
Speaking of her time on the show Leah recalled some of her fondest memories, including the famous final episode, falling off the school stage and getting tearful as she hung up her green blazer for the final time.
She continued: “The Derry Girls journey was amazing. I’ll never forget the day I found out I got cast in the role of Jenny. My mum and I literally jumped up and down on the spot. It has meant the world to me.
“When Jenny and Aisling perform their play in the last episode, the teachers on stage thought their performance had ended when it was only half way through and they all started clapping.
“We tried to keep straight faces and continue but everyone erupted into laughter.
“There was another assembly scene too where my shoe strap broke and I fell off the stage.
“The school scenes are filmed in a real school in Belfast and one day we were filming and the school was running as normal. I walked past a classroom and all the students got out of their seats to wave at me and the teacher closed the blinds. It must have been a challenge for the staff working while filming was going on.
“Other memories I’ll never forget are meeting the cast for the first time at the chemistry read; the first ever read-through; the Irish Film & Television Awards; and my eyes welling up as I hung up my green uniform for the last time.”
Earlier this month, Sunday Life exclusively revealed how Ian McElhinney, AKA Granda Joe, had kept his character’s famous hat and a comfy pair of shoes from his time on the show.
Leah also revealed she had tucked away a number of keepsakes, including a touching bracelet from her friend and costar Beccy Henderson, who plays Jenny’s pal Aisling.
She added: “I kept a copy of the school magazine from series one, episode six. I also have a copy of Jenny’s A-level results and all my scripts and call sheets.
“I received cards from Hat Trick Productions, Lisa McGee and one of our producers, which I have kept. Plus, Beccy gave me a bracelet on our last day with the initials DG on it.
“I also own a Derry Girls crew jacket, crew T-shirt and water bottle, which I love too.”