Derry Girls star Nicola Coughlan urged fans not to give up on their dreams as she pointed out that three years ago she was working part-time in an opticians.

The actress, 32, shared a picture on Twitter of a leaving card and presents as she recalled quitting her job in 2016 to do a play in London.

She told her thousands of followers on the site: “Seems like an unremarkable photo but it’s a reminder that three years ago today I left my part time job in an opticians in Galway to go do a play in London.”

She continued: “It’s mad how much your life can change in such a short space of time so like don’t give up on your dreams k?”

She added: “I had a two day a week job there (actually quite a nice job) reminding people when their eye tests were due (I used to practice my autograph on letters I sent out).

“I was working there because I’d ‘failed’ to make it as an actor four years out of drama school.”

Coughlan is best known for playing Clare Devlin in the comedy set in Derry, Northern Ireland in the 1990s.

She is next set to star alongside Dame Julie Andrews in a TV adaptation of Julia Quinn’s novels about the Bridgerton family, which will be produced by Shonda Rhimes for Netflix.

The Irish star will play sharp-witted Penelope Featherington in the series, which is set in the high society of Regency London.