Derry Girls season 3: When does the new series of Derry Girls start? Season 3 trailer, cast and everything you need to know

Our favourite Derry teenagers are set to return for one final outing, with star Nicola Coughlan promising the “best” storylines yet. Find out everything we know so far.

By Alex Fletcher Updated: 4 May 2022 - 10.54am

Derry Girls is the ultimate comedy for children of the 90s.

With its razor-sharp script, schooldays nostalgia and genius characters, it’s certainly a series to binge.

After the first two seasons were a huge success, find out everything we know so far about the show's return in 2022 for season 3, including the release date, cast, trailer and more.

When is Derry Girls season 3 coming out?

Derry Girls season 3 starts on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022 on Channel 4. Catch up on All 4.

New episodes are released weekly.

What time does Derry Girls start?

Season 3 releases new episodes every Tuesday at 9.15pm on Channel 4.

How many episodes of Derry Girls are there in season 3?

The final season will have six episodes. The Derry Girls season 3 finale will air on Tuesday 17 May at 9.15pm on Channel 4.

It's been confirmed that a special one-off episode will will air in the same week as the finale, although Channel 4 hasn't announced a specific release date for it yet.

Titled 'The Agreement', and an extended 45 minutes in length, the bonus episode will return to Derry one year later. It follows the gang as they prepare for their final year of school against the backdrop of the Good Friday Agreement referendum, which took place in 1998 over whether there was support for the agreement between the governments of the UK and the Republic of Ireland, and the main political parties in Northern Ireland, which effectively brought an end to the Troubles after three decades of conflict.

The synopsis for the episode reads:

“It’s the week of the referendum on the Good Friday Agreement and its timing couldn’t be any worse as the highlight of the year, Erin and Orla’s joint 18th birthday party, threatens to be overshadowed. While the family try to get their heads around the possible outcomes of the vote, the gang realise that they may not be ready for what the future holds.”

Speaking about the special, the show's creator Lisa McGee said: “Like all the very best 90s bands, I couldn’t resist ending our farewell tour with an encore for our loyal fans. I’m delighted to say we’ll be returning for one extended special – airing in the same week as our final episode.

“The special deals with the historic and momentous Good Friday Agreement vote, which coincides with the gang’s coming of age, they enter adulthood as Northern Ireland embarks on a new future.

“I’m so proud of this show and of our incredible cast and crew and everything we’ve achieved over the past 5 years. What a journey it’s been. I’m so grateful Channel 4 gave me the space to end the stories of these characters that mean so much to me with this special. I really hope fans love it as much as I do.

“Derry people aren’t great at saying goodbye so I will instead use one of our native expressions ‘That’s us away now’, Love Lisa McGee, always a Derry Girl.”

The cast of Derry Girls in full 90s costumes for season 3 Channel 4

Derry Girls season 3 filming

The third season was confirmed in April 2019, but filming has been repeatedly delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Filming for series 3 eventually kicked off in October 2021, with the show's writer Lisa McGee sharing a clapperboard at the start of filming on October 4.

The show's cast members shared some behind-the-scenes selfies from filming on set, dressed in their characters' trademark '90s garbs.

Nicola Coughlan (who plays Clare Devlin) joined the cast and crew for filming in November 2021. The actress had prior filming commitments for the Netflix series Bridgerton, which meant she joined filming late. 

Who are the Derry Girls cast?

The cast of Derry Girls in full 90s costumes for season 3 Channel 4

The regular Derry Girls (and the wee English fella) are:

  • Nicola Coughlan plays Clare Devlin
  • Saoirse-Monica Jackson  plays Erin Quinn
  • Louisa Harland plays Orla McCool
  • Jamie-Lee O’Donnell plays Michelle Mallon
  • Dylan Llewellyn plays James Maguire

Derry Girls cast - The star talk the final episodes and season 3 ending

Siobhan McSweeney returns as headmistress Sister Michael, while Tommy Tiernan and Tara Lyne O'Neill are back as Gerry and Mary Quinn.

Kathy Kiera Clarke plays Orla's mother Sarah McCool and Ian McElhinney is back as the much-loved Joe McCool, tormenting Gerry at every opportunity.

It's also been confirmed that Damien Molony (Brassic, Being Human) and Emmet J Scanlan (Peaky Blinders, Hollyoaks) will appear in the final season. 

There have also been rumoured guest stars. Jamie Dornan recently told Vulture he would love to be involved in the show and is in touch with the show’s creator, Lisa McGee – but scheduling conflicts have previously made things tricky.

He said: “I know Lisa McGee, who created it, we emailed today about something actually. We’d talked about trying to get me to do something and it just kind of never worked out with locations and when they shoot, and I’m always away. I like the idea of popping up in that show, and I think it’s genius, and it makes me so proud.”

And McGee has also told the Radio Times that Dara Ó Briain would be great in the series after the comedian posted on Twitter how much he loved the show.

“It’s always comedians with me. Dara Ó Briain I love. I don’t know if he does any acting!” she said.

What is the plot for Derry Girls season 3 episodes?

The show's writer and creator Lisa McGee has revealed that each episode in season three will have a theme and genre, "like a little movie". Her previews for each episode are below...

Episode one: The Night Before

"It takes its tonal inspiration from Goodfellas. We meet the gang on the eve of them getting their GCSE results, the episode is called The Night Before, and it’s all set over one evening. The girls are worried they’re going to have to run away from home because they’re going to be so bad, and wind up getting arrested.

"Meanwhile, Grandpa Joe’s taken in a stray cat. He’s really fond of it, but it’s killing all the animals in the neighbourhood, and him and Gerry have to dispose of the body of a pet rabbit. So, it’s a bit like a very silly thriller, very moody and sort of noir."

Episode two

"The family hire a hot plumber who everyone starts to believe Ma Mary’s having an affair with. It’s fun trying to work out what’s actually happening. The gang are also going to perform in a Stars in Their Eyes concert at school for Children in Need and those two stories crash together."

Saoirse-Monica Jackson and Jamie-Lee O'Donnell in episode 2 of Derry Girls season 3 Channel 4

Episode three: A Stranger on a Train

"The whole episode is set on a train, and there are two different stories that cross over as the kids and adults are sitting in two different carriages."

Episode four

"It's a kind of horror film where the girls end up going to this creepy house in Donegal and lots of weird stuff happens.  Meanwhile the family go to see a psychic to try to connect with their dead mum. It’s a really lovely episode, and one of my favourites."

Episode five

"Something very different for us. Ma Mary and Sarah are going to their school reunion, the class of 1977. We learn that something happened at that school reunion years ago that was like I Know What You Did Last Summer, but not anything actually that bad!"

Episode six: Halloween

"Halloween in Derry is massive anyway, but the girls are off to see Fatboy Slim, they don’t get tickets, so Michelle tells this elaborate lie on national TV in order to bag some VIP passes. Obviously they get caught, and that has lots of consequences. It’s a really joyful, lovely episode. Clare meets a girl…"

Nicola Coughlan told her Twitter followers that the storylines “are the best we’ve ever done”.

Is there a trailer?

Yes! Jump to the top of the page for the Derry Girls season 3 trailer and take a sneak peek at what’s in store in the upcoming season.

And if that isn't enough for you, every episode of season 1 and 2 are streaming on All4 now. So you can enjoy loads more joyous and emotional moments like the one below...

Is there a Derry Girls season 4?

Writer Lisa McGee has confirmed that season 3 will be the gang's last outing. She released a full statement on Twitter, saying: "It was always the plan to say goodbye after three series.

"Derry Girls is a coming of age story; following five ridiculous teenagers as they slowly... very slowly... start to become adults, while around them the place they call home starts to change too and Northern Ireland enters a new more hopeful phase - which was a small, magical window of time. It has been an honour to write it and I will forever be proud of everything it's achieved.

"Who knows if Erin, Clare, Orla, Michelle and James will return in some other guise someday, but for now this is it for us."

When is Derry Girls set?

Derry Girls is set in the 90s during The Troubles in Derry, with tributes to the era's fashion and music providing the backdrop.

Where is Derry Girls filmed?

Most of the series was filmed in Derry, with some scenes also shot in Belfast.

Hunterhouse College and New Barnsley Park in Belfast, and Limewood Street in Derry, were among the locations.

Who wrote Derry Girls?

Lisa McGee is the creator and writer of Derry Girls. Most of her previous work was as a playwright, though she has also penned episodes of Being Human and The White Queen on the BBC and teamed up with her husband Tobias Beer to write  psychological thriller The Deceived, which is currently on Netflix.

What is the Derry Girls theme song?

Every track on the Derry Girls soundtrack is a 90s banger, but it's the classic Cranberries song Dreams, which is used on the opening titles that is most closely tied to the show.

Dolores O'Riordan's haunting and beautiful vocals perfectly capture the show's nostalgic and emotional moments.

Where to watch Derry Girls

Derry Girls season 3 will premiere on Tuesday 12 April 12 at 9.15pm on Channel 4.

Derry Girls seasons 1 and 2 are streaming on All 4. Season 1 is also available on Netflix.