Gifts Today magazine

Derry Girls set to Rocket

Independent licensing company Rocket Licensing has been appointed by Hat Trick to manage the UK and Ireland licensing campaign for the hit Channel 4 comedy series Derry Girls

With an average audience of 2.5 million viewers per episode, this six-part series more than doubled its slot average and became Channel 4’s most popular comedy launch since 2004, trending worldwide on Twitter. Derry Girls’ sharp and funny dialogue and strong characters make it an instantly appealing watch, while its poignant political setting sets it apart from other coming-of-age comedies. This story of four spirited teenage girls (and one awkward teenage boy) attending convent school takes place against a backdrop of the bomb threats, armed soldiers and roadblocks of 1990s Northern Ireland, drawing upon the personal experiences of its writer; award-winning stage and screenwriter Lisa McGee.

McGee’s series brilliantly pulls together these elements of politics, humour and nostalgia in a way that has given Derry Girls a consistent and enthusiastic audience since its launch, and quickly guaranteed a second series, commissioned for early next year.

The success of the sitcom has inspired a licensing campaign which is to be managed by Rocket Licensing. Rocket will be focusing on a number of major categories to appeal to fans including apparel, accessories, gifting and homewares, stationery and social stationery, health and beauty, and games and puzzles.

The core market for licensed product is expected to be teen and young adult women from 16-30, who form a strong part of the show’s audience. However, its cross-generational appeal gives Derry Girls great licensing potential, with the show proving popular amongst older adults and receiving a massive response in Northern Ireland. These markets are also expected to respond positively to licensed Derry Girls output.

The first licensing announcements are expected shortly, with initial product ranges set to coincide with the launch of the second series in spring 2019 as well as St Patrick’s Day.

Rob Wijeratna, Joint Managing Director of Rocket Licensing, says: 'Derry Girls is a wildly funny, superbly scripted, brilliantly acted and totally unique comedy that has deservedly become a phenomenon in a very short time. Repeat showings and a new series are likely to keep awareness high and fuel demand for licensed products. We’re looking forward enormously to building a targeted, appropriate programme that meets that demand.'

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