Derry Girls season 3: US release date, plots, cast, guest stars and everything we know

Derry Girls season 3 — The Derry Girls striking a jubilant pose.
Derry Girls season 3 sees the gang unite for one final series of mayhem. (Image credit: Channel4)

Derry Girls season 3 is the final series of the wonderfully funny comedy and has featured some great cameos including one from Liam Neeson! Plus, there's a bonus episode to enjoy.

The award-winning show follows a group of teenagers navigating parents, parties, and school in Derry, Northern Ireland during the 1990s against the backdrop of the Troubles. 

Lisa McGee, the writer of Derry Girls, says: “I love writing this show and I'm so thrilled to be able to continue the Derry Girls story, thank you Channel 4, Erin, and the eejits live to fight another day!"

Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, who plays Michelle, adds: “Lisa has moved them all on slightly within their friendship circles, relationships and maturity. It’s all stepped up a wee bit. You see things that they’ve never had to handle before in such depth. There's a real balance between the girls maturing and the classic Derry Girls madness.”

Nicola Coughlan, who plays Clare, says: “They’re slightly older but not any wiser. They're very much the same bunch of idiots that you know and love!”

Here's everything we know...

Derry Girls season 3 release date

The final season of Derry Girls started on Channel 4 at 9.15 pm on Tuesday, April 12. Episodes are now available on-demand via All4

Netflix has confirmed that the beloved series will be available for US fans on Friday, October 7.

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Is Derry Girls season 3 going to be the final series?

Sadly, series creator Lisa McGee — in an emotional statement on Twitter — has confirmed that this will be the final series.

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It was only to be expected we suppose. After all, there’s only so long the cast can carry on playing teenagers! Saoirse-Monica Jackson is now 27, while co-star Jamie-Lee O'Donnell is 29. The pair hilariously teamed up recently on Celebrity Gogglebox

Is there an extra episode of Derry Girls?

Yes! Although Derry Girls might be coming to an end, it's going out in style as UK fans were treated to a surprise Derry Girls finale on Wednesday, May 18.

Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee has teased what we can expect in the new episode. She 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 just 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 five years.  What a journey it’s been."

Is there a trailer?

Yes, a trailer has arrived and it gives us a look at what to expect from the third and final instalment. All our favourites are back and we'll follow the gang as they try to navigate their GCSEs and leaving school, which will change everything as they know it!

Who’s in the cast of Derry Girls season 3?

All the main characters are set to return. So we will catch up again with Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), her cousin Orla (Louisa Harland) and friends Clare (Bridgerton's Nicola Coughlan), Michelle (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell), and Michelle’s tag along English cousin, aka The Wee English Fella, James (Dylan Llewellyn).

What’s the plot?

It’s now 1996 and sarky teenager Erin Quinn (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), her sugar-addicted cousin Orla McCool (Louisa Harland), tightly wound best friend Clare Devlin (Nicola Coughlan), boy mad Michelle Mallon (Jamie-Lee O’Donnell) and Michelle’s English cousin James McGuire (Dylan Llewellyn) are contemplating the future.

The opening episode of the new series plays on this theme with them all fearing their GCSE results.

What happens in episode one of Derry Girls season 3?

The first episode sees the gang awaiting their GCSE results. And they're so desperate to find them out they set about breaking into their school to get an early look at them. Sadly for them when they arrive they meet a couple of burglars who are nicking all of the school's IT equipment. 

Not being the quickest off the blocks they end up helping the robbers! Cue a trip to the police station where they're questioned by a cop played by none other than Liam Neeson. 

What happened in episode 2?

In episode 2, the girls get swept up in the excitement of Children In Need week at school and hatch a plan to impress everyone at the school's Starz In the Eyes talent show in order to try and appear on TV.

Meanwhile, Mary decides she wants to spice up her life somewhat, which gave Erin the idea that her Ma might have been cheating on Gerry with their hot new plumber, Gabriel...

What happened in episode 3?

The whole gang are heading off on a family getaway to the seaside town of Portrush...although they managed to leave Clare behind at the train station!

While they're on board, the train gets delayed, and Erin, Orla James and Michelle struggle to entertain themselves. James inadvertently swaps bags with a rather unfriendly fellow passenger and discovers that there's a huge amount of cash, tools and a gun stashed inside the rucksack he's got. 

Meanwhile, Mary and Sarah bumped into someone from their past who they cannot recall, and spend the majority of the journey trying (and failing) to remember who they are.

What happened in episode 4?

In episode 4, Sister Michael asks the Derry gang to take the school van to Donegal to clear out her aunt's house after her death.  

Although they plan to have a wild evening away without adult supervision, things go from bad to worse as they get a flat tyre and find themselves in a house that they're convinced is haunted. It wasn't all bad though, as James took the opportunity to confess his feelings to Erin!

Meanwhile, the Quinns go to see a psychic to see whether their mother's spirit is at peace.

What happened in episode 5?

Episode five switched the focus from Erin and the gang over to the Mammies. Mary and Sarah are stressed about their school reunion, as they're not exactly thrilled to see Janette, one of their former friends from back in the day. 

In this episode, we're treated to flashbacks of Mary, Sarah and their friends Geraldine, Deirdre and Janette at their school leavers' disco, and we see what they got up to back in the day and find out just what cause the rift between them and Janette.

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!