How Nicola Coughlan persuaded her famous pals to take part in comedy podcast


Nicola Coughlan has joked she “roped in” her actor mates, including fellow Derry Girls star Louisa Harland and Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness, to star in her podcast comedy series set in rural Ireland.

he Irish actress is returning to television screens next year in the final series of the hit Channel 4 comedy, created by Londonderry screenwriter Lisa McGee, along with season two of Netflix’s Bridgerton.

In the meantime, the Galway-born star is releasing her six-part podcast drama, Whistle Through the Shamrocks, through Apple Podcasts and Spotify on Monday.

Co-written with her friend Camilla Whitehill, the comedy tells the story of a hard-working family whose humble chip-making lives are shattered by a greedy lord.

The series is rumoured to feature an appearance by Irish actor Andrew Scott, of Fleabag and Sherlock fame.

Van Ness portrays a banshee, while Stephanie Beatriz, known for playing tough New York police officer Rosa Diaz in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, also makes the cast list.

The Guardian newspaper listed Whistle Through the Shamrocks as one of its podcasts of the week, hailing the series a “glorious” and “corking comedy” that “exploits all the Brit-bashing, potato-munching cliches of rural Ireland”.

Speaking at the London Podcast Festival, Coughlan said: “Camilla and I had this running joke for 12 years with each other about the most Irish monologues we could imagine. During lockdown, we finally decided to write it as a show.”

The pair initially envisioned Whistle Through the Shamrocks as a stage play before eventually deciding to opt for an audio-only version.

“The script, it’s so ridiculous and it gets more and more ridiculous as it goes on,” Coughlan explained.

“I’ve basically roped in people I’ve worked with on other shows by threatening them with releasing scandalous stories about them online, so we have an amazing cast.”

The podcast is produced by Hat Trick Productions, the company behind Derry Girls.

Some of the Channel 4’s comedy’s cast was spotted filming scenes at Barry’s Amusements in Portrush earlier this month.

There was no sign, however, of Coughlan, who plays Clare Devlin.

Series creator Lisa McGee confirmed in September that the third series of the sitcom would be its last.

“It was always the plan to say goodbye after three series,” she said on social media.

“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.”

Earlier this week, Coughlan revealed she had “sobbed” while reading the scripts for the final run of the show.

“It’s really magical. I cried and cried and cried when I finished reading the scripts because, you know, it’s our last one,” she told the Radio Times.

“It’s bittersweet, but I think we’re sending it off in style.”


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