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Why Derry Girls actress was in tears after Channel 4 staff saw her working in pub at Christmas party

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Derry Girls...l-r:  James Maguire (Dylan Llewellyn), Michelle Mallon (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell), Erin Quinn (Saoirse Jackson), Orla McCool (Louisa Harland), Clare Devlin (NIcola Coughlan),

Derry Girls...l-r: James Maguire (Dylan Llewellyn), Michelle Mallon (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell), Erin Quinn (Saoirse Jackson), Orla McCool (Louisa Harland), Clare Devlin (NIcola Coughlan),

Derry Girls...l-r: James Maguire (Dylan Llewellyn), Michelle Mallon (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell), Erin Quinn (Saoirse Jackson), Orla McCool (Louisa Harland), Clare Devlin (NIcola Coughlan),

LOUISA HARLAND had to work in a pub after shooting the first series of Derry Girls - and she was left in tears when Channel 4 staff having a Christmas party there recognised her.

The 27-year-old, who plays Orla on the hit comedy show, told the When No One's Watching podcast: "After the first series of Derry Girls, I worked in a pub for a year and a half and they were playing Derry Girls on a Thursday and no one really clocked that it was me. That same year, Channel 4 had a Christmas party at the pub I worked at.

"My manager came over at the beginning of the day and said, 'Put this reserved sign upstairs'. It said 'Channel 4' on it and I remember walking upstairs and being like, 'Noooo'. I was going, 'It will be the sales team, I won't know anyone. There won't be anyone I know. It will be fine', but it was friends and the executive producer, who were like, 'Isn't that Louisa? What the hell are you doing here?'

"It was fine, like I could laugh it off, but I was clearing up their prosecco glasses and they were like, 'I can't watch'.

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(left to right) Lisa McGee, Nicola Coughlan, Siobhan McSweeney, Dylan Llewellyn, Saoirse-Monica Jackson and Louisa Harland

(left to right) Lisa McGee, Nicola Coughlan, Siobhan McSweeney, Dylan Llewellyn, Saoirse-Monica Jackson and Louisa Harland

(left to right) Lisa McGee, Nicola Coughlan, Siobhan McSweeney, Dylan Llewellyn, Saoirse-Monica Jackson and Louisa Harland

"I did go to bathroom and cry, although it's so fine to work in a pub. It's such a hard career and it was a bad night."

Now, however, Louisa is one of the channel's most recognisable stars after Derry Girls became the most watched comedy launch on Channel 4 in a decade.

She joked that the people who recognised her in the pub should have known she would have to keep working because they didn't pay her that well.

"They were saying, 'What the f*** are you doing behind the bar?' And I was like, 'You should f****** know. You employ me, so you know why I'm clearing up your prosecco glasses'."

Louisa lives with her co-star SAIORSE-MONICA JACKSON, who plays Erin on the show, and the pair watched each episode together.

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Derry Girls cast members Louisa Harland, Nicola Coughlan, Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Dylan Llewellyn, and creator Lisa McGee

Derry Girls cast members Louisa Harland, Nicola Coughlan, Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Dylan Llewellyn, and creator Lisa McGee

�Lorcan Doherty

Derry Girls cast members Louisa Harland, Nicola Coughlan, Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Dylan Llewellyn, and creator Lisa McGee

But she admits she was worried the comedy wouldn't be a hit because they had so much fun making it.

"I haven't done enough work to be like, 'I don't watch my own work'," Louisa said

"No one finds Derry Girls funnier than Derry girls. We really do. Everyone on the show - the cameraman, the assistant directors - they are all crying laughing.

"They say if you are laughing on set when filming a comedy, it's not going to be funny, but if not, it will be, so we were saying, 'We're f*****'. We laugh all the time."

The When No One's Watching podcast with Matt Richardson and Matt Willis is available on all the usual platforms.

Belfast Telegraph