‘I had the worst time of my life’: Nicola Coughlan discusses loneliness in London on Jonathan Van Ness podcast
07th Feb 2020
Famous friends Jonathan Van Ness and Nicola Coughlan chatted about Ireland, loneliness in London and priests in a very special episode of Jonathan’s podcast Getting Curious
When we discovered Jonathan Van Ness and Derry Girls star Nicola Coughlan were friends, our hearts skipped a beat.
After joining forces last year to campaign and celebrate LGBTQ and w0men’s reproductive rights in Northern Ireland, the stars have remained firm acquaintances.
And now, we get to hear their relationship in full flow with Nicola appearing as a guest on Jonathan’s podcast Getting Curious. The episode is titled What It’s Like To Be A Booked And Busy Irish Queen and covers everything from how they met to how Nicola got her part on Derry Girls and even the history of Ireland.
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London and loneliness
During the episode, Nicola speaks about how lonely she was moving from Birmingham to London. England’s capital city is notoriously cold and unforgiving and many people struggle with its nature.
She tells Van Ness: “I had the worst time of my life. It sucked so hard. I found it difficult… I was so lonely when I moved. That was one of the killer things for me. I was like ‘I don’t like it here because I don’t know anyone’. I used to let that city, that whole rat race thing get to me.
“I’m little, so I’d be on the Tube and people would put their elbows on my head. I was going into work feeling really sad. That first year totally sucked, hated it.
“I left London because I was like ‘this is not happening’.”
After this experience, she realised the importance of making friends and nurturing those relationships, saying: “And that’s one thing that I really made a conscious effort to do after that period of time – make friends. I’m going to make sure that I make an effort because sometimes we neglect friendships. People get in relationships but I’m like I’m going to be a good ass friend, I’m going to make friends and nurture these [friendships].”
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Fighting with priests
She also touches on the strides Ireland has made in terms of equality and how negative social media interactions affect her and how she deals with them. “Somedays I think I’m invincible and then others I feel really crap and I’m like is that why, because I’ve been letting people shout at me.”
Nicola is also a vocal activist and canvassed for both referendums and this fire for what’s right has been something she has always possessed, even causing her to get in a fight with a priest as a child.
“One of my teachers in school said in my report that I have a keen moral sense and she also said she doesn’t like anything boring. But, yeah, I have always had a thing between right and wrong, like I got in a fight with a priest when I was a kid.”
She continued: “He came into our class and we have this thing in Ireland called the Trócaire box where every Lent you collect money. So if you give up chocolate and eat it, you put a pound in, as it was at the time, in the box and the priest came in and said you have to bring the box back to your local church and I put my hand up and was like, my parents give it to this church because they went to a different church and the priest was like no.
“And I said surely it doesn’t matter where the money is coming from, it is where the money is going to and that is to these poor children. I got in so much trouble with him and with the teacher and that is how my personality has been since!”
You can listen to the full podcast episode on Spotify and the Apple Store.
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