Filming is finally under way on the third series of Derry Girls with Barry’s Amusements in Portrush set to have a starring role in the final season.
Sunday Life photographed stars of the hit Channel 4 show arriving at the now closed entertainment venue on Friday after TV trucks had earlier taken up position at the much-loved holiday destination.
Ian McElhinney, better known as no-nonsense Granda Joe, was one of the first to arrive followed by a string of main cast members including ‘the wee English fella’ Dylan Llewellyn, Tara Lynne O’Neill and Tommy Tiernan.
They were joined by fellow stars Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Louisa Harland and Kathy Kiera Clarke before Jamie Lee O’Donnell arrived later in the day. There was no sign of Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan who plays Clare Devlin.
Despite the overcast conditions the stars seemed to be enjoying themselves at the once highly popular amusement park on the north Antrim coast.
Some of the costumes being sported by the cast might provide one or two clues as to what viewers can expect of the coming series.
Ian McElhinney was seen sporting a wetsuit underneath his usual ‘Granda Joe’ attire whilst Louisa Harland aka Orla McCool was decked out in a purple Kangol hat and some fetching purple face paint.
The rest of the cast donned their usual mid-90s garb as filming on the third and final series finally got under way.
During the week some of the stars shared fun snaps from the set on social media.
Jamie Lee, who plays the hilarious Michelle on the Channel 4 sitcom, shared a photo with co-stars Saoirse-Monica Jackson and Louisa Harland. Saoirse-Monica and Jamie Lee were wearing large sunglasses in the snap with Louisa jumping into the frame.
Jamie Lee posted it on her Instagram with the caption: “Weekend at Bernies @saoirsemonicajackson @louisadodgeharland #derrygirls.”
Louisa also posted an image of herself and Saoirse Monica which appeared to be inside the famous Derry Girls house with the caption: “Back in the gaf.”
Last month the show’s creator Lisa McGee confirmed the third series of the show would be its last in a statement on her social media.
She said: “It was always the plan to say goodbye after three series.
“Derry Girls is a coming of age story, following five ridiculous teenagers as they slowly... very slowly... start to become adults, while around them the place they call home starts to change too and Northern Ireland enters a new more hopeful phase — which was a small, magical window of time.
“Derry Girls is a love letter to the place I come from and the people who shaped me.
“It has been an honour to write it and I will be forever proud of everything it’s achieved.
“I’d like to thank the people of Derry and Northern Ireland for getting behind us.”
Despite her announcement Lisa did give fans a glimmer of hope the girls could return one day, adding: “Who knows if Erin, Clare, Orla, Michelle and James will return in some other guise someday, but for now, that is it for us and we’re excited to start filming this series with our incredible cast and crew to hopefully take our loyal fans on one last adventure.”
Filming on series three has been hit by delays and setbacks throughout 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Earlier this year Ian McElhinney told this newspaper of his delight at finally getting stuck-in to making the show.
“At long last we will be starting filming on Derry Girls which will be a full three years since we shot season two.
“We should have started shooting in May of last year and then we went round the houses with Covid-19 so it was deferred.
“The girls are now old enough to be their grannies so I don’t know where we’re going with that,” he joked.
“They will still be ‘the girls’ or ‘the kids’ as we call them but they’re far from being kids anymore.”
The accomplished actor (73) also revealed the script for the upcoming season has “real heart”.
He said: “All I can say about the third series is as always the scripts are great and I think it is funny but there is real heart to it. Lisa has done us all proud with the material. We will have a good time.”