On her first visit to Foyleside yesterday, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley, MP, got a chance to see ‘Derry Girls’ live during a flying visit to Thornhill College, the alma mater of the hit TV series’ creator Lisa McGee.
Following her visit to the school, where she had the chance of chatting with staff and pupils, Mrs. Bradley, declared: “It’s such a high-achieving school. It’s got so much to offer - a fantastic place to be, a fantastic place to study.”
Speaking to the ‘Journal’ after visiting the former convent that inspired the Channel 4 hit comedy, the Secretary of State, revealed she was a big fan.
“One of the actresses from ‘Derry Girls’ was there actually, one of the girls who featured in the series.
“It was absolutely fantastic, what an amazing thing! I can assure everybody that people were loving it and watching it from all across the UK.
“What a success story and it’s just put Derry on the map again, just like City of Culture did in 2013.
“I’m sure with another series in the offing it will continue to do so,” smiled the Secretary of State.
Originally from Newcastle-under-Lyme, the MP for Staffordshire Moorlands, revealed that although it was her first ever trip to Derry, she may, well have, through her husband Neil, a long-lost connection to the North West.
The clue is in the name, of course, an Anglicisation from the Irish, O’Brolachán, which as everyone in the North West knows, has its origins in Tyrone, Derry and Donegal.
“It’s my first visit but I keep being told that the name Bradley is a local name and my husband’s family, his great-grandparents moved from somewhere near here but we have never been able to trace that family tree.
“We’re going to have to get someone onto it,” joked the Secretary of State.