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shonda rhimes

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.


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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.

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." 

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. 


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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


Grey’s Anatomy doesn’t return until the autumn time but we are already feeling excited about the upcoming season thanks to the latest casting news.

Over the years we have had to wave goodbye to some of the most iconic characters including the dashing Derek Shepherd, the fiery Cristina Yang and most recently Arizona Robbins and April Kepner.

Fans of the show will know just how upsetting character exits can be, but this season you can look forward to saying hello to a new ‘Ortho God’.

Nashville star Chris Carmack has joined the cast of the beloved medical drama series.

You may recognise the actor from his days on The O.C where he starred as Luke Ward.

Grey’s Anatomy may be returning for a fifteenth season later this year, but we could be saying goodbye to Meredith, Bailey and co. sooner than we’d like.

Fans of the show have been on an emotional roller-coaster since day one, and despite all the tears we’ve cried, we still love the show.

Ellen Pompeo, who is the star of the show, recently admitted that the end of the popular medical drama series is nearing.

She told US Weekly, "We’re getting there. Shonda and I will make that decision together. There is an end. It’s nearing.”

Grey’s Anatomy has been renewed for at least two more seasons, but who knows what will happen after season 16.


Well, when you consider the amount of emotional turmoil any Grey’s Anatomy episode will result in, then it should probably not be a surprise that the same person responsible wants to take on Romeo and Juliet.

ABC takeover continues: Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers are executive producing a new Romeo and Juliet sequel (of sorts) for the network on which she already has three award winning series. 

Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy producer Heather Mitchell will also be writing and also executive producing the series named Still Star-Crossed.

We are so very intrigued by this. 

The drama will follow the conflicts between the Capulets and Montagues that arise after Romeo and Juliet’s deaths.

ShondaLand (Shonda’s production company) is already responsible for the trifecta of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder. 

The network will be debuting another Rhimes-helmed drama when it replaces How to Get Away With Murder with new drama The Catch during the midseason. 

According to Variety the series is to be based on the young adult novel Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub.

While there has been no word of casting yet, we feel like it may not even matter all that much. Given how Shonda likes to toy with her audiences emotions, and basically kill-off anyone we love we should probably not get too attached. 

Also, this is a sequel to Romeo and Juliet, and Shakespeare didn’t exactly end that with smiles all around.

However, this is Shonda Rhimes and no doubt anyone who enjoys her creations (which includes the Princess Diaries, FYI) should definitely tune in. 


In case you missed it, Shonda Rhimes has become a pretty big deal in TV land.

Not only is she the emotionally reckless mastermind behind Grey’s Anatomy, she is also responsible for bringing Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder to our screens.

She is also the reason that one our favourite fictional ladies (possibly ever), Meredith Grey was spotted flinging red wine at some of Hollywood’s other leading ladies, including Kerry Washington, Scandal’s star.

Not to worry though, there isn’t another celebrity spat about to wreak havoc on social media. The TV stars were just doing a bit of promotional work.

To be honest, any Scandal fans out there know that Olivia would never be one to waste a good glass of red.

The cast of Shonda’s three series got together for one epic photoshoot. So epic in fact that it led to four different cover shots for Entertainment Weekly.

Sitting down over some wine and cheese with the show’s creator, stars Viola Davis, Ellen Pompeo and Kerry Washington had a frank discussion about Hollywood and McDreamy, of course.

Ellen pointed out that a lot of the reaction to the much loved characters death was something she recognised as quite sexist:

 “All of a sudden, ­Patrick [Dempsey] leaves, and it’s like, Oh my God, ­Meredith’s gonna get killed with Alzheimer’s! The show couldn’t possibly go on ­without the man!

Shonda is famous for keeping her storylines under lock and key and making all of her actors swear to secrecy to avoid spoilers breaking free.

However, there was one nugget of information for any Scandal fans out there as she revealed Cyrus (played by Jeff Perry), will be something of a “monster of the loose” in upcoming episodes.

“He had an arena to play in before, and now the monster is out, and that is a dangerous thing.” 


In the last year Shonda Rhimes has been getting an awful lot of grief from Grey’s Anatomy fans. If you or anyone in your life was a Grey’s fan, specifically if they were fond of one Dr. McDreamy, then you probably heard all about it.

In the latest season he came to an untimely ending and fans were not happy. Not one bit.

This week Shonda has revealed that she didn’t do it entirely out a need to make her fans cry, well, that’s what she claims anyway.

She explained that with Patrick Dempsey, who played handsome brain surgeon Derek Shepherd for almost 11 years, exiting the show she saw no other way to wrap up his storyline.

"What were the options? Either Der was going to walk out on Mer and leave her high and dry, and what was that going to mean?"

So, instead of breaking Meredith’s heart she decided to go and break the hearts of her millions of viewers instead. Nice Shonda.

"As painful as it was for me as a storyteller, the only way to preserve what felt true to me was Derek was going to have to die for that love to remain honest."

She went on to say that next season will be a “rebirth” of sorts:

"We do have this world in which Meredith is single, and she is living this life that she hadn't thought she was going to be living again.”

To be honest, we hadn’t thought of a world where one of television’s most pivotal couples was going to be ripped away from us either.



Katherine Heigl has a reputation for being a major diva in Hollywood and one person who is always keen to fuel those rumours is Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes, something which thirty-five-year-old Katherine struggles to deal with.

In a revealing and emotional interview with Mario Lopez, the Knocked Up star said: “I am sorry that she feels that way, and I wish her nothing but greatness, and I have nothing negative to say about Shonda.” Aw, does anyone else feel a little sad for Katherine right now?

Shonda was recently interviewed about the cast of her latest show Scandal and the 44-year-old director and producer couldn’t help but make a dig at the former Grey’s Anatomy star, saying: “There are no Heigls in this situation. I don’t put up with bullsh*t or nasty people.” Ouch.

Responding to Shonda’s comments and appearing to reach out to the director, Katherine says: “I’m sorry she’s left with such a crappy impression of me. I wish I could do something to change that. Maybe I will be able to someday.”

Katherine has been asked in the past to address the supposed feud with Shonda and has said: “Of course, just like any human being, I’ve made mistakes and unwittingly or carelessly spoken or acted, but I always try to make any wrong right.”

We think Katherine's most recent comments suggest just that she may be more affected by Shonda's remarks than we might have thought.

What do you think?

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