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24th May 2022

Jamie-Lee O’Donnell to present Channel 4 Derry documentary

Sarah McKenna Barry

The documentary will see her reflect on how the city has changed, and what’s in store for its future.

Derry Girls star Jamie-Lee O’Donnell will present a Channel 4 documentary that will showcase her native city of Derry.

The actress, who plays the iconic Michelle Mallon on the hugely popular show, will take the lead in The Real Derry: Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, which will see her revisit the Catholic community where she grew up, as well as her former school.

There, she’ll chat to students and reflect on how Derry has changed over the years, and what the future holds for its current residents.

Ahead of its release, Channel 4’s commissioning editor for popular factual Daniel Fromm said: “I’m hugely excited to be working with Tyrone Productions on their first commission for Channel 4 – and with Jamie-Lee in a brand new role for her.”

The popularity of Derry Girls has ignited new interest in Derry, which Mr Fromm acknowledged, saying: “Derry Girls has brought the city to national prominence; now this film gives a voice to a new generation of its young people, so they can tell us what it’s like to grow up there in 2022.”

The Real Derry: Jamie-Lee O’Donnell has been commissioned by Tyrone Productions, and the company’s co-executive producer Patricia Carroll commented on the collaboration, saying: “As a Northern Ireland company, we are delighted to be working with Channel 4 and Jamie-Lee O’Donnell on this very personal documentary at such an important time in the city’s story.

“Fiercely proud of her home city, Jamie-Lee is the perfect person to explore Derry’s past and share her hopes for its future, and we know that Channel 4 audiences will be both entertained and intrigued by what she discovers.”

Indeed, the finale of Derry Girls generated some fresh interest in the city, with many viewers saying that they learnt more about the Good Friday Agreement on the show than they did in school.