STARS AND the creator of hit show Derry Girls have reacted to an ex-Minister's claim that the show is 'distinctively British'.
Given the premise of the show-- Irish teenagers in Derry living through the 'Troubles', who attend a Catholic school, escape the city during The Twelfth and regularly refer to themselves as Irish-- a comment from a former UK Media Minister stating the show is 'distinctively British' has, understandably, caused some controversy.
John Whittingdale-- who has just been axed as Media Minister in Boris Johnson's recent reshuffle-- earlier this week told the Royal Television Society that he wanted a new legal requirement for public service broadcasters to produce more "distinctively British content".
Clarifying what he meant by "distinctively British" shows, Mr Whittingdale used several examples: Only Fools and Horses, Fleabag, Gogglebox-- and Derry Girls.
According to The Belfast Telegraph, Mr Whittington admitted that 'Britishness' was a "difficult concept to measure", but explained he meant "programmes that are ours and only ours, that could only have been made in the United Kingdom".
"Take Derry Girls, a show that addresses the Troubles and the rise and fall of Take That with equal passion-- it could only have been made here."
Mr Whittingdale's comments immediately caused a mocking Twitter storm, with one person tagging Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee in the article, to which she replied:
"The most 'ach, I can't be dealing with this today' headline I've seen about the show. And there's been a few."
And star Siobhán McSweeney, who plays the fan-favourite Sister Michael, said:
"Derry Girls is made by a British company and aired by a British channel. But it's not a 'distinctively British' programme.
"But what would I know?"
Fans of the show also pointed out the issues with the comment-- including one user who asked "Derry Girls is distinctly British? If that were the case, would it not be called Londonderry Girls?"
Another show produced by a British company and aired on a British channel is Father Ted-- but you'd be hard pressed to find someone trying to describe that as 'Distinctively British'.