We've known Nicola Coughlan was a wee Irish legend ever since she scored the role of Claire in the hilarious Channel 4 series Derry Girls, and never fails to stand up for LGBTQ+ and reproductive rights.
It's now been confirmed that none other than Shonda Rhimes, veteran TV producer, writer and creator of Grey's Anatomy, agrees with us.
Netflix and Shondaland have announced hugely exciting casting news; Coughlan has secured the role of Penelope Featherton in Bridgerton, premiering on the streaming site in 2020.
The actress will work alongside massive names in the industry, such as Phoebe Dynevor, Regé-Jean Page, Golda Rosheuvel, Jonathan Bailey, Luke Newton, Claudia Jessie, Ruby Barker, Sabrina Bartlett, Ruth Gemmell, Adjoa Andoh and Polly Walker.
Oh, and the one and only Julie Andrews is lending her voice to the character of Lady Whistledown…So that's amazing.
Bridgerton is based on Julia Quinn's best-selling series of novels by the same name, set in the lavish and competitive world of Regency London high society.
— Nicola Coughlan (@nicolacoughlan) July 10, 2019
The show is described as uber-glamorous;
"From the glittering ballrooms of Mayfair to the aristocratic palaces of Park Lane and beyond, the series unveils a seductive, sumptuous world replete with intricate rules and dramatic power struggles, where no one is truly ever on steady ground.
"At the heart of the show is the powerful Bridgerton family. Comprised of eight close-knit siblings, this funny, witty, daring and clever group must navigate the upper ten thousand’s marriage mart in search of romance, adventure and love."
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) July 10, 2019
Nicola's character Penelope is a vastly intelligent girl with a sharp wit and kind heart, who prefers to quietly sway away on the outskirts of any ballroom rather than steal the spotlight.
Sadly, Penelope was born into a family who will never truly understand her and has to deal with the cut-throat environment of Regency London relatively alone.
Shonda will executive produce the show alongside Betsy Beers, and creator Chris Van Dusen, who commented; “We could not have found a more gifted group of actors to bring Bridgerton to life.
He added; "When creating this series, the goal was to turn a very traditional genre on its head and make something fresh, smart, sexy and fun.
"That’s exactly what this cast embodies and I'm ridiculously excited to see them inhabit these characters and captivate viewers in their own incredibly brilliant ways.”
Gowan Nicola, keep slaying our lives. You're doing Ireland proud. Let's celebrate by watching the ultimate Claire compilation, shall we?
Feature image: Instagram/@nicolacoughlan