Inside Derry Girls’ Nicola Coughlan’s life off-screen including friendship with Queer Eye star

Inside Derry Girls’ Nicola Coughlan’s life off-screen including friendship with Queer Eye star

May 18, 2022

ActressNicola Coughlanhas been very much in the limelight in recent months.

The star, 35, plays teenager Clare Devlin on Channel 4’sDerry Girlsand can also be seen onNetflixas Penelope Featherington inBridgerton.

Hailing from Ireland, Nicola grew up in County Galway and decided to become an actress at the age of five after watching her sister perform in plays.

After graduating with a degree in English and Classical Civilisation from the National University of Ireland, Nicola moved to England and studied at the Oxford School of Drama and Birmingham School of Acting.

Though, her first break came years before this at the age of ten when she played a role in action thriller film My Brother’s War.

In 2016, after moving back to Ireland and working as a part time optician, Nicola won the role of Jess in Jess and Joe Forever at The Old Vic and went on tour that September.

Fast forward two years and she took on the role of Clare Devlin in Derry Girls and went on to take on a role in period drama Harlots.

This set her up perfectly for her role as Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton which premiered in late 2020.


The series is set tofocus more on Nicola’s character’s romance with Colin Bridgertonin season three and according to actress Simone Ashley will have “less sex”.

Simone, 27, said the "steamy scenes will be less in abundance", during a panel event for the upcoming season.

Nicola confirmed the storyline on Instagram, telling her followers: “Like Lady Whistledown, I've been keeping quite a big secret for quite a long time… but I can finally tell you that @bridgertonnetflix Season Three is Colin and Penelope’s Story.”

Outside of her acting endeavours, Nicola shares a fun friendship with Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness and the two often post about each other on Instagram.


In 2021, the pair spoke toPeopleabout their friendship which began on Instagram.

Nicola said: “Queer Eye had just come out, and I was like, 'I don't know who that person is, but I love that person.”

While Jonathan, 35, recalls: “Our friendship really is just so special to me because Nicola's been in this industry for a minute, and I haven't, and there's just been so many times where I had questions and didn't know what to do, and needed feedback.

“She's helped me navigate all sorts of situations that I never thought I'd find myself in.”

The pair met up in 2019 when Nicola visited New York City, where they went to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child together on Broadway.

Nicola posted a sweet message of herself and Jonathon on Instagram to celebrate his show Getting Curious premiering on Netflix earlier this year: “Gorgeous, Gorgeous Girls have their reminders set for #GettingCurious which premieres on @netflix tomorrow!!

“I’m so proud of you @jvn this show is magic and spesh people are going to love it so much

“To quote the great song “You, are the love of my life, you’re so perfect and cute, in every single waayyyyyy”.”

While Jonathan repaid the compliment for Nicola’s second season of Bridgerton: “Going to go watch sweetest frand @nicolacoughlan on @bridgertonnetflix for the 8th time. I’ll hopefully get to come visit again for all the intrigue & drama hunty of season 2 Xx yours, Lady Catmotherington & Lady Featherington.”

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