Channel 4 has granted the commission for an all-new comedic thriller titled “How To Get To Heaven From Belfast,” hailing from the imaginative mind of the writer and originator behind the critically acclaimed and extensively awarded series “Derry Girls.”
Conceived and penned by Lisa McGee, this eight-episode comedic saga will shadow the lives of Saoirse, Robyn, and Dara, who have been inseparable pals since their school days. Now in their later thirties, their paths have diverged significantly. Saoirse, a prosperous author with an inclination for self-destructive tendencies; Robyn, a forthright and harried mother of three young boys; and Dara, a devoted caregiver to an elderly parent, inexplicably confined to her teenage haven.
Upon the simultaneous receipt of emails announcing the passing of Greta, a former close classmate, the trio senses a palpable undercurrent of unspoken affairs from the past. Stirred by the news, they decide to attend Greta’s memorial service, only to stumble upon an enigmatic enigma lurking beneath the surface. Thus, they become entwined in a shadowy and intricate enigma, sending shivers down their spines, yet simultaneously igniting an intoxicating sense of exhilaration.
Inevitably, these women stand on the brink of an exceedingly thrilling odyssey, one that will transport them from their native Belfast, a city adorned with vestiges of the past’s agony on every mural, to the fabled untamed expanse of rural Donegal. Throughout their traversing of Ireland, they’ll endeavour to piece together fragments of the larger puzzle, endeavouring to unearth the truth, even as their own intricate, disorderly, and turbulent lives persistently intervene.
This is less a conventional whodunit and more an exploration of the bewitching question: “What on earth occurred?” “How To Get To Heaven From Belfast” becomes a vessel for an absorbing and side-splitting expedition, delving into the nuances of camaraderie, recollection, and the intricate fallout when life veers from our anticipations.
Lisa McGee said: “I feel so incredibly lucky to be making another show for the phenomenal Channel 4 and to be doing it with Hat Trick Productions again and the creative team behind Derry Girls, the mighty Liz Lewin and Caroline Leddy, is just a dream. I’ve wanted to make a comedy thriller set in Northern Ireland for SUCH a long time. I cannot wait to share these flawed funny women with everyone.”
Charlie Perkins, Head of Comedy at Channel 4 said: “This is huge. We couldn’t be prouder that Channel 4 feels like this extraordinary show’s spiritual home. Getting to know the multi-hyphenated talents of Lisa, Liz, Caroline and their collaborators at Hat Trick Productions has been one of the greatest pleasures in my first year as Head of Comedy. We can’t wait to bring Lisa’s next world to life for all those who already love her work and many more to come.”
Jimmy Mulville, Managing Director at Hat Trick Productions, said: “I feel enormously grateful that Lisa, Liz and Caroline have decided once again to team up with Hat Trick and to be yet again working with Channel 4. How To Get To Heaven From Belfast is an extraordinarily rich story which will thrill fans not only of Derry Girls but of lovers of comedy thrillers everywhere.”
How To Get To Heaven From Belfast was commissioned by Charlie Perkins, Head of Comedy at Channel 4. It will be a collaboration between Channel 4’s Comedy and Drama departments. Written and created by Lisa McGee (Derry Girls, London Irish), the 8×60’ series will be produced by Hat Trick Productions and executive produced by Caroline Leddy (Derry Girls, The Inbetweeners, Friday Night Dinner), Liz Lewin (Derry Girls. London Irish, Crashing) and Jimmy Mulville.
Further information about How To Get To Heaven from Belfast, including casting, will be announced in due course.
Lisa McGee wrote and created the multi-award-winning comedy series, Derry Girls for Channel 4. It launched in 2018 and was the biggest-ever comedy launch series on Channel 4 streaming. It also went on to become the biggest series ever in Northern Ireland since modern records began in 2002. All episodes of Derry Girls are available to stream now on Channel 4.