"There’s a lot of different things which force them to grow up a bit."

Saoirse-Monica Jackson (Erin), Nicola Coughlan (Clare), Dylan Llewellyn (James), Louisa Harland (Orla) and Jamie-Lee O’Donnell (Michelle) will bid their final farewell to the '90s comedy series next week when 'Derry Girls' season three begins on Channel 4.

The last we saw of the five best friends was the season two finale where former US President Bill Clinton touched down in Derry ("any word on Chelsea?"). The event of the year, the girls were distracted by the news that James is set to leave Derry and head back to London with his wayward mum. The adopted Derry Girl didn't leave of course, and the friends walked away from the President's gathering arm-in-arm, happy knowing that they're all back together once again.

Series creator and writer Lisa McGee spills the beans to NME about what fans can expect from the final season. She reveals: "I wanted this first episode to feel like: 'We’re back!'

"We start quite stupidly, but on a high. They’re getting into trouble again and everything is reassuringly the same."

However, it's not going to be all laughs, as the teens are going to have to go through the motions. She continues: "They really grapple with some serious stuff this season. There’s a lot of different things which force them to grow up a bit.

"It all leads to a big thing at the end of the series, which is the first time they don’t have the same view about something. It’s a really big deal for them."

Galway actor Nicola Coughlan agrees that this season has more at stake compared to the previous two. She said: "It’s very much the same as before but at a much more heightened level. They’re still an absolute bunch of idiots so there’s no change there."

McGee added: "The final episode is quite epic. I knew how I wanted it to end initially, but then I wound up making some big changes. There are other episodes that I think I’ve done something quite a bit different with. Some of the scenes are probably the most idiotic we’ve ever done. We really went for it!"

Whispers of a 'Derry Girls' movie have been heard for a number of years, and McGee admits that it could still happen: "I think I have an idea for one. I need to take a break first."

Coughlan, however, remains adamant that she won't be returning to 'Derry Girls' after season three, saying she's "definitely played Clare for the last time".

Given that Coughlan is a main player in Netflix's most-successful period drama 'Bridgerton', and Saoirse-Monica Jackson will appear in DC's 'The Flash' in 2023, the cast's agendas are steadily filling up. Not to mention these actors are very much not in their teens anymore, ageing between their late 20s to mid 30s, and they're probably keen to leave this adolescence behind them. No matter how much fun they had making it.

'Derry Girls' season three begins on Channel 4 on April 12 at 9.15 pm.