Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid says he played a “surrogate role” for Derry Girls


Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid believes he managed to land a role in hit TV comedy Derry Girls by proxy.

The Derry songwriter has revealed that a friend who played the role of a musician on the show chose the character name ‘Sean Óg’ which is Irish for young John.

McDaid, who splits his time between London and Los Angeles with longtime girlfriend Courteney Cox, revealed he’s been a Derry Girls fan from the start.

He was asked if he was disappointed not to get a guest spot on the Lisa McGee-written show.

“A friend of mine has a cameo on the show and he did a little trick for me. He called his character Sean Óg, that’s my name in Irish, so I think I got a wink there. He was a musician,” said the Snow Patrol star.

McDaid also revealed that he wouldn’t say “never” to a possible acting role in the future.

One of the most sought-after songwriters in the music industry, he has written a number of Ed Sheeran’s hits and co-authored “Shape of You,” with the singer, which became the subject of a copyright lawsuit earlier this year.

McDaid, who hails from the Culmore Road area, said he’s always had a close relationship with Sheeran since first meeting the singer.

Both Sheeran and Cox have enjoyed trips to Derry, hitting up shops and bars with the Snow Patrol musician.

The two stars first met when Sheeran was on tour for Snow Patrol and the singer asked McDaid what he thought of an idea for a song. The Derry man said he immediately realized he was in “the orbit of someone extraordinary”.

He said: “He’s like a brother to me. We lived together and I’ve spent more time with Ed than anyone, and I mean everyone; and I have five siblings.”

In a wide-ranging interview in the Irish Independent, McDaid also told how he and Friends star Cox have managed to keep their 11-year relationship alive despite being split across the Atlantic during the Covid lockdown. Both used the time to develop creatively.

“We were able to stay really productive even though being apart was difficult and it was tough.”


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