Nicola Coughlan from Derry Girls and Bridgerton

Jonathan Van Ness and Nicola Coughlan talk loneliness in this relatable podcast chat

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Derry Girls actor Nicola Coughlan opened up to Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness on his Getting Curious podcast, and it is a seriously comforting listen.     

Queer Eye and Derry Girls are Netflix favourites here at Stylist. So, when we learned that Jonathan Van Ness and Nicola Coughlan are IRL friends, we quickly became obsessed. The pair joined forces last year to campaign for and celebrate LGTBQ and women’s reproductive rights in Northern Ireland.

Now, Van Ness and Coughlan have sparked yet more joy with their conversation on the Getting Curious podcast. They discussed everything from how they met (which really is the sweetest story) to the history of Ireland, and how Coughlan landed her part as “the wee lesbian” in Derry Girls.

The episode is called What It’s Like To Be A Booked And Busy Irish Queen – so you can already feel the big mood of this charming listen.

One topic that felt particularly relatable was when Coughlan opened up about the loneliness she felt after moving from Birmingham to London after her studies.

“I had the worst time of my life. It sucked so hard. I found it difficult, I was so lonely,” she told Van Ness.

“And that’s one thing that I really made a conscious effort to do after that period of time – make friends. I’m going to make sure that I make an effort because sometimes we neglect friendships. People get in relationships but I’m like I’m going to be a good ass friend, I’m going to make friends and nuture these [friendships].

“I was so lonely when I moved. That was one of the killer things for me. I was like ‘I don’t like it here because I don’t know anyone. I used to let that city, that whole rat race thing get to me.

“I’m little, so I’d be on the Tube and people would put their elbows on my head. I was going into work feeling really sad. That first year totally sucked, hated it.”

“I left London because I was like ‘this is not happening.”

Van Ness interjected, saying: “I think it always takes two years at least anytime you move somewhere. That’s really trying and trying.

She agreed, replying: !It takes time, it’s the people around you. No matter if you live in the most gorgeous palace ni the world, if you don’t have good people, you might as well live in a toilet.”

But the good news is that, after moving home to Ireland, Coughlan went on to get her part in Derry Girls.

Listen to Jonathan Van Ness’ Getting Curious podcast with Nicola Coughlan

Anyone who relates to her London experience will definitely find comfort in the full podcast conversation.

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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