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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 29 March, 2020

Listen up, muthaf*ckaaas: Here's why Michelle is by FAR the greatest Derry Girl

You’ve loved her from the get-go.

THOSE DERRY GIRLS and that wee English fella sauntered onto our screens, schoolbags in tow, a mere six weeks ago, and within hours of the pilot airing, a second season was commissioned.

PastedImage-15255 Source: Channel 4

It’s just that good.

And while there’s no doubt that the ensemble cast bring their own comedic stylings to a show which has been dubbed ‘the female Inbetweeners’, Jamie-Lee O’Donnell’s character is, by far, the stand-out of the season.

Playing the irreverent Michelle Mallon, Jamie-Lee perfectly encapsulates what it was to be a bored, but impulsive teen in a town where the residents worship at the alter of Fionnula – the owner of the local chipper.

In fact, Michelle is the perfect balance of being the girl we were, and the girl we wanted to be, and this is why she’s officially your (and our) favourite.

We mean, think about…

1. Her style

Like Erin, you were bet into your school blazer and forced to put some semblance of order to your hair.

But all you really wanted was to rock wet-lock ringlets, a pair of hoop earrings and an open gob full of chewing gum, like Michelle.


2. Her attitude

While easily the most outspoken of the fivesome, she’s just the right side of meek to relate to her.

We mean, remember when she tried to take on a First Year and absolutely bottled it?

There seems to have been a wee bit of a misunderstanding here.”

3. Her one-liners

The gang appear to communicate solely in barbed remarks and hissed retorts, but Michelle steals the show with the disdainful (but hilarious) way she addresses her mates.

And here’s the clincher, she always gets away with it.

4. Her relationship with James

There’s little doubt that Michelle’s best one-liners are born out of her strained relationship with her long-suffering cousin, James.

Coming to terms with a move from the England, James has been forced to attend an all-girl Catholic school, get his head around Irish history and acquire a taste for the greasy food dispensed by Fionnuala.

And Michelle is having none of it.

5. Her moves

Whether she’s throwing shapes to 2Unlimited’s ‘No Limits’ in Fionnuala’s sitting room or taking part in a group routine to Whigfield’s ‘Saturday Night’ at Jennifer Joyce’s gaf party, Michelle has it in spades.


More of this, please.

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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