The Derry Girls on Great British Bake Off Is the Only Good Thing to Happen in 2020

Two of my top ten all-time favorite TV shows are Derry Girls and Great British Bake Off, so when Netflix dropped the holiday crossover special this week — which apparently aired in January in the UK and is why Sandi Toksvig is still bringing her gay joy to the tent — I hit play as fast as my fingers would go. I was not disappointed! In fact, I giggled so much out loud that Stacy was like, “I have never heard you giggle so much out loud in my entire life.” Which may or may not be true; 2020 has been stingy with the laughs. The episode features Saoirse-Monica Jackson (Erin), Nicola Coughlan (wee lesbian Clare), Jamie-Lee O’Donnell (Michelle), Siobhan McSweeney (Sister Michael), and Dylan Llewellyn (James), and they play off each other in real life as well as they do on the series. Siobhan McSweeney even Jim Halpert-ed the camera better than Jim Halpert himself. (Although, I guess in the UK you call it Tim Canterbury-ing the camera?)

“See, in Ireland, we love slime,” Siobhan explains when Paul and Prue say her trifle looks like an aquarium. “It’s traditional that we have slime for the New Year. So, please don’t dis the culture of my people.”

The signature trifle challenge is followed by a technical challenge of salmon and beetroot blinis and a showstopper of 3D cakes based on 3D cake based on their favorite decade. Jamie-Lee O’Donnell trying to coax a fondant Amelia Earhart to life is one of the most hysterical things I have ever witnessed. But listen, don’t just believe me. Twitter, too, has spoken!

What was really lovely about the episode is that it was kind of messy and ridiculous, but also — just like real Bake Off — they were all just doing their very best and so nervous about trying to impress Paul and Prue. Do yourself a solid and watch it on Netflix as soon as you can.

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.


  1. Someday, I am going to see “Derry Girls” and not read it as “Derby Girls”.

    Today is not that day.

    • The Derry Girls as roller girls? I love it. I see wee little Claire as winning, and poor Orla flat on her ass.

  2. Ive been waiting all year to see this and I’m so happy it’s finally made it’s way to the States!

  3. HEATHER we watched this Sunday night I think and it was hilarious. I have never watched Derry Girls but I might, now. It was still incredibly enjoyable without knowing at all who these people were.

  4. The proof is in the pudding though: this isn’t from 2020, it’s from 2019! It only made it to US Netflix in 2020. But it (and you!) remain a gift all the same.

  5. I had never seen Derry Girls before. After watching the GBBO episode I promptly binged both seasons the next day. Fantastic cast and just hilarious.

  6. Soooo f*cking funny, the only time in 2020 I had more fun was watching both season of derry girls in 3 days!

  7. Heads up that some guy on a blog site called “Hobbledehoy” (???) seems to have copy and pasted your article and published it. It does link to this page at the bottom so I don’t know if it’s a big deal but thought I’d mention it in case!

  8. The National Unity Government of Myanmar – a coalition comprising pro-democracy figures, representatives of armed ethnic groups and members of the NLD – condemned the killings, saying they were “extremely shocked and saddened”.

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