The results of the awards run by the TV industry trade magazine were revealed at a ceremony in central London last night hosted by Harry Hill.
The sitcom became an instant big hit when it launched in January last year. The Broadcast judges noted: “Channel 4 started 2018 with a bang thanks to Derry Girls. Lisa McGee‘s gang comedy, set in an all-too-real early 1990s Northern Ireland and following the escapades of four teenage girls and a ‘wee English fella’, was a resounding success. Reeling in an average of 3 million viewers across its six-part run, it became C4’s biggest new comedy since 2012‘s Derek.”
The judges added: “Viewers were drawn in by its authentic depiction of what everyday life was like for youngsters against a backdrop of army checkpoints and bomb threats. But the clincher was its cast of larger-than-life characters, ably led by breakout star Saoirse-Monica Jackson, with support from Kevin McAleer and Peter Campion.”
The awards panel also praised the show’s director, noting: “Belfast native Michael Lennox expertly shepherded the relatively inexperienced cast to deliver McGee’s vision of a credibly dysfunctional city on a tight schedule and relatively small budget.
“One of his biggest challenges was striking a balance between making a show that the people of Northern Ireland would feel honestly represented them, while ensuring it remained sufficiently relatable to non-residents. Proof this was achieved came when Netflix snapped up the rights for a US launch.”
The awards concluded: “‘An original take on the subject, with excellent cast and characterisation’, said one judge, while another hailed it a ‘timely triumph’. Most importantly, all agreed it was full of laughs.”
A second series of the comedy is currently being filmed, and will be shown on Channel 4 later this year.
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