'Derry Girls' is 'British' says Nadine Dorries while defending Channel 4 privatisation

Nadine Dorries described 'Derry Girls' as an example of the kind of 'distinctive British content' she hopes to see Channel 4 continue to produce in the years ahead.

The British Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport made the comment during a discussion of her plans to privatise the public service broadcaster.

Foyle MP Colum Eastwood criticised the proposal which is contained in a broadcasting White Paper published by DCMS in April.

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Mr. Eastwood said: "The hit series 'Derry Girls', which is of course based in my constituency, has met with rave reviews all around the world, and has been instrumental in educating people on the Good Friday agreement and the principles that underpin it—a few people in the House of Commons could do with watching the last series."

The cast of the hit Channel 4 sitcom Derry Girls.

The SDLP leader asked: "Does the Secretary of State agree with me, and with the creator and writer of 'Derry Girls', Lisa McGee, that it would have been impossible for her to get that programme made without Channel 4?"

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The minister replied: "Let’s do a shout-out for Channel 4. 'Derry Girls', 'First Dates', 'Gogglebox' - there are so many fantastic programmes that Channel 4 produces. That is not in doubt and not in question."

Ms. Dorries referred to 'Derry Girls' as a distinctively 'British' programme.

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"I would, however, suggest that the hon. Gentleman reads the 'Up next' broadcasting White Paper, because in it we state clearly that carrying and making that distinctive content is a part of what we want to carry forward with Channel 4—distinctive British content, which is what 'Derry Girls' is and what much of what Channel 4 makes is. That is in the White Paper, and I suggest he reads it."