Nicola Coughlan has been cast in a new six-part series documenting the lives of two close friends as they attempt to navigate the trials and tribulations of adult life. 

Commissioned by Channel 4 and written by Camilla Whitehall, Big Mood will see Nicola play Maggie as she struggles with bipolar disorder. 

Lydia West, best known for her appearance on Inside Man and It’s a Sin, will play her best friend, Eddie. 

The six-part comedy has been described as a “vivacious and rebellious portrayal of female friendship when infiltrated by the complexities of a serious mental illness”. 

Of course, we know Nicola is no stranger to tackling more sensitive subjects while still making us laugh, with her Derry Girls’ character not only coming out on the hit comedy but also dealing with the sudden death of her dad. 

In Big Mood, best pals Maggie and Eddie have lived in each other’s pockets for a decade – through thick and thin. 

However, with careers hanging in the balance, both girls in their 30s, and Maggie’s bipolar disorder making an unwelcome re-emergence, their friendship is really put to the test. 

In fact, it proves to be a pivotal point in both their lives, bringing to the surface those all important questions. 

Could sleeping with your former history teacher be the key to happiness? 

How do you stop your new psychiatrist giving you worry dolls? 

Most importantly, can the girls’ friendship survive? 

Speaking about the upcoming show, Nicola said: “When I first met Camilla Whitehill a long, long time ago, during the time of Indie Sleaze, I quickly realised she was one of the funniest and most talented people I’d ever met. 

“It was always our dream for us to work on something together, and now Channel 4 are making that dream come true.  

“I can’t wait to make this show with this amazing group of people.” 

Lydia said: “I’m so happy to be working with Camilla and Nicola on this project.  

“The writing is genius, and the subject explores the mental health struggles that all of our generation face – coupled with how to navigate complicated, loving and nuanced friendship. “Channel 4 is the perfect home for this heart-warming, hilarious, savvy comedy and I feel truly honoured to tell this story which touched my heart.” 

Big Mood is produced by Freemantle-backed Dancing Ledge Productions and will be directed by Rebecca Asher, who has worked on the likes of Dead to Me and Brooklyn Nine Nine. 

We’ll have to wait a bit longer to find out whether Maggie and Eddie decide to end their friendship. 

But it’s fantastic that Nicola and Lydia will be shining a light on a serious mental health illness characterised by significant mood swings, including manic highs and depressive lows. 

The majority of people with bipolar experience alternating episodes of mania and depression. 

Despite progress in the understanding of bipolar and how it can be managed, research has still not established a cause or cure. 

During periods of mania, a person can feel very self-confident and euphoric but may react with sudden anger, impatience or irritability for even a minor reason. 

They can be easily distracted, more talkative or challenging, and they can become more reckless than usual, which can include spending more money than they have. 

Some people try to deal with their mood swings by self-medicating with alcohol or drugs. 

Someone experiencing mania may not be aware it is happening and symptoms may include verbal aggression, paranoia and hallucinations. 

Sometimes the term psychosis – losing touch with reality – is used to describe these symptoms.