Derry Girls star Saoirse-Monica Jackson has said that the beloved sitcom “would never get made” under a privatised Channel 4.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries confirmed last week that plans are continuing to progress to privatise Channel 4, which would result in the broadcaster being sold off after 40 years in public ownership.
Jackson, who plays Erin in Derry Girls, told Radio 1 Newsbeat (per BBC) that the news was “devastating”.
“To be honest I think it’s absolutely terrible,” she said, adding: “I’d be really worried about undiscovered talent and the lack of that ever being brought to our forefront and being pushed.
“I think you need the opportunity to grow and writers need the opportunity to have comedies come out on Channel 4 and be nourished.”
Last year former Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said that the privatisation of Channel 4 was “needed” in order for it to “compete with the streaming giants”.
“Without [more money], Channel 4 won’t have the money to invest in technology and programming, and it won’t be able to compete with the streaming giants,” he said, according to Sky News.
In a five-star review of Derry Girls season three, NME wrote: “Though Derry Girls will be greatly missed when it wraps up for good at the end of this season, the first episode at least proves that the funniest, sharpest sitcom on TV is also bowing out on a high.”
Derry Girls returns today (April 12) on Channel 4 and All 4 at 9.15pm.