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Why Derry Girls favorite Clare Devlin vanished entirely from episode three

Derry Girls Erin, Clare and Michelle.
Erin, Clare and Michelle from Derry Girls. (Image credit: Channel4)

Derry Girls continues to provide us with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, but one of the gang was almost entirely missing from the third episode of Derry Girls season 3.

In "Stranger on a Train", Erin and the gang set off with Ma Mary, Granda Joe, Gerry and Aunt Sarah to head on a family outing to a theme park. Thanks to Mary's overpreparation, the gang found themselves having to make a last-minute dash to the right platform at the train station.

Initially, it seemed all had gone well, and that everyone had made it across the bridge in time to board the train. However, they soon realized that they'd abandoned Clare, who had missed the train because she'd popped into the loo!

Typically, Clare didn't take this realization very well, but she eventually calmed down and settled in to wait for the next one. This wait led to an awkward encounter between Clare and Sister Michael, an encounter that only grew more uncomfortable once the woman working at the ticket desk started recounting all the details of her most recent relationship on the phone!

As it turns out, there was a very real reason behind Clare's abandonment. Whilst speaking to Digital Spy (opens in new tab) earlier this year, Nicola Coughlan revealed that she was forced to miss days of filming due to her obligations for Bridgerton season 2

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton season 2.

Nicola Coughlan as Bridgerton's Penelope Featherington. (Image credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix)

Bridgerton season 2 was filming around the same time as the Channel 4 comedy. Due to pandemic-related delays, there was a filming overlap, and this meant her role in Derry Girls season 3 had to be reduced.

Nicola said: "We were meant to film Derry Girls in January 2021. And I was totally free and they decided to push it again. And that caused me insane stress because I was on [what] in the industry is called first call. So it means you have to go and do the show that you're on first call to, which was Bridgerton.

"And I was like 'Guys, can we just film it?' And they were like, 'No, we're gonna wait.' And I was like, 'oh', so [we had to make] compromises happen in the script of Derry Girls. It was devastating to me because I wanted to be in all of this. But compromises had to be made.

"And you know, they had to cut down my role somewhat, which was hard. Really, really hard. But I think, you know, the fans of the show are going to be happy. I think it's a really nice sign-off for the show", she explained.

Derry Girls airs Tuesdays at 9.15 pm on Channel 4, whilst seasons 1-2 are available to stream on Netflix.

Martin Shore
Martin Shore

Martin is a Staff Writer with WhatToWatch.com, where he produces a variety of articles focused on the latest and greatest films and TV shows. 

Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.