Derry Girls star Jamie-Lee O’Donnell will feature in a new Channel 4 documentary about the show’s titular city, Derry.

The documentary, The Real Derry: Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, will explore how things have changed in the city since the actor was growing up there.

The Real Derry

The Derry-born 30-year-old will give viewers insight into what growing up in the infamous area was really like, including her own personal insight from her upbringing in a Catholic community – just like her on-screen character.

The release reads: ‘Viewers will hear from real Derry girls, students at Jamie-Lee’s old school, about the regeneration of the city and why, despite this, many young people feel that they need to leave Derry to gain new skills and experiences.’

The Real Derry: Jamie-Lee O’Donnell

But mainly, in the doc – commissioned by Alf Lawrie’s Factual Entertainment department – O’Donnell will be looking at what the ongoing impact of The Troubles is for new generations coming through the city today.

Other details of what O’Donnell will get up to are being kept tightly under wraps, as is the documentary’s air date as Channel 4 is yet to release it.

Derry’s ‘National Prominence’

Channel 4 has commissioned Northern Ireland’s Tyrone Productions to make the feature, which Daniel Fromm, Commissioning Editor of Popular Factual, said he is ‘hugely excited to be working with’ as well as talking about the ‘national prominence’ O’Donnell and the show Derry Girls has given for the city.

He said: ‘I’m hugely excited to be working with Tyrone Productions on their first commission for Channel 4 – and with Jamie-Lee in a brand new role for her. Derry Girls has brought the city to national prominence, now this film gives a voice to a new generation of its young people, so they can tell us what it’s like to grow up there in 2022.’

Jamie-Lee O’Donnell in Derry by the peace bridge…Londonderry

Patricia Carroll, Executive Producer, Tyrone Productions, said the documentary is coming at an ‘important time in the city’s story’ as O’Donnell explores Derry.

She said: ‘As a Northern Ireland company, we are delighted to be working with Channel 4 and Jamie-Lee O’Donnell on this very personal documentary at such an important time in the city’s story.

‘Fiercely proud of her home city, Jamie-Lee is the perfect person to explore Derry’s past and share her hopes for its future and we know that Channel 4 audiences will be both entertained and intrigued by what she discovers.’

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