Derry screenwriter, Lisa McGee, has been named the 11th hottest TV star of the past 12 months by the Radio Times, the weekly entertainment magazine.
The 'Derry Girls' creator narrowly missed out on making the top ten on the official 'Radio Times TV 100 2018' and was sandwiched between 'Spooks', 'Unforgotten' and 'Inside No. 9' star, Nicola Walker, at number 10, and the England football manager, Gareth Southgate, who was number 12 on the list.
“Lisa’s the real deal - a writer with a heartfelt need to tell stories people want to watch. No one but Lisa could have written 'Derry Girls'. The fact that it resonated with such a huge swathe of the population, young and old, really helped this comedy stand out from the pack this year,” said Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy at Channel 4.
The Prehen woman was given a higher placing on the list than such well-known figures in the English entertainment and broadcasting world as Jodie Whittaker, Laura Kuenssberg, Romesh Ranganathan, Gary Lineker, Piers Morgan, Lennie James, Peter Kay and Sacha Baron Cohen.
Indeed only, Ms. Walker, Benedict Cumberbatch (9), Vanessa Kirby (8), Hugh Grant (7), David Attenborough (6), Idris Elba (5), Declan Donnelly (4), Daisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper (3), Chris Chibnall (2) and Olivia Colman (1) had higher placings than Ms. McGee.
The list was compiled after the 'Radio Times' asked actor and writer Lenny Henry, the Controller of BBC Drama Piers Wenger, the ITV chief Kevin Lygo, the aforementioned McDermott and Anne Mensah, Head of Drama at Sky, who, in their opinions, had captured the imagination of TV viewers in the past year; which stars were at the top of broadcasters’ wish lists; who had landed the biggest roles; and who had masterminded the moments that had you glued to your screen?
The phenomenal success of the 'Derry Girls' sitcom, starring Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Jamie-Lee O'Donnell, Nicola Coughlan, Louisa Harland and Dylan Llewellyn, continued a Derry tradition of involvement in Channel 4 comedy hits that began in the 1990s when Derry man Seamus Cassidy, commissioned 'Father Ted' in his role as Senior Commissioning Editor for Comedy and Light Entertainment at the station.