‘Ma’ excited about ‘Derry Girls’ Series 3

Tara Lynne O'Neill
Tara Lynne O'Neill

Tara Lynne O’Neill aka ‘Ma Mary’ from ‘Derry Girls’ doesn’t know what will happen in Series Three of the hit Channel 4 comedy but can’t wait to start filming in 2020.

The Belfast-actress, who is in Derry next month to perform Willy Russell’s much-loved ‘Shirley Valentine’ at the Millennium Forum, just hopes she isn’t killed off!

“It hasn’t been filmed. We start filming next year so we don’t even know what happens. We are very excited. Hopefully I’ll not be killed off or anyhing! Hopefully it doesn’t turn into a ‘Derry Girls’ - murder-she-got-wrote-off kind of thing!” she said, ahead of a three night run in the Millennium Forum from September 5 to 7.

The versatile actress admitted it was unlikely creator and writer Lisa McGee would give the ‘Derry Girls’ matriarch the chop.

After all she managed to avoid such a fate even when she played the Irish nanny Joanne Ryan in EastEnders in the early 2000s and tried to seduce Steve McFadden’s character ‘Phil Mitchell.’

“I left in a taxi but I didn’t die,” joked Tara.

“What’s the Derry equivalent of leaving in a taxi? Hitchhiking on the Glenshane?”

Tara, whose forthcoming turn as ‘Shirley’ - the housewife who jets off to the Continent on an impulse - is one she has always wanted to perform, quipped that perhaps ‘Ma’ will do a runner.

“Maybe ‘Ma Mary’ does a ‘Shirley Valentine’ and just escapes to Greece for a wee bit on her own,” she speculated.

For a full interview in which she talks about her pride at being part of ‘Derry Girls’, her new ‘Shirley Valetine’ role, and her Ardmore connection, turn to Page 14.