Frank's takes on another fatherly role, this time on 'Emmerdale'
VETERAN actor Frank Kelly opened the latest chapter of his career last night when he made his screen debut in UK soap 'Emmerdale'.
Ten million viewers tuned in to see the 71-year-old arrive into the Yorkshire drama as character Dermot Macey, the eccentric father of businessman Declan Macey in the ITV series.
"I arrive very unexpectedly and made feel not very welcome by my son," Kelly said last night about his debut on the popular ITV soap.
A key player as part of the new Macey family, Kelly was seen in an unexpected meeting with his estranged son, played by Jason Merrells.
"The two don't get on for reasons not yet revealed," Kelly said. "He drops me a few bob in the hope I'll go away without realising his wife and daughter have invited me to stay for Christmas. It's going to be an eventful Christmas but I can't tell you or else the 'Emmerdale' people would kill me."
The 'Father Ted' star arrived on set for the first time little over a month ago.
"The scale of it is unbelievable. It's more like an industry than a soap with 60 actors alone working on it," he said.
Kelly landed his role after meeting 'Emmerdale' series producer Gavin Blyth at the TV Now Awards in Dublin earlier this year. And having never previously watched the series, he has been catching up on the soap in between his four-day-week shoots.
The Dublin grandfather said he was delighted to be back on the box. "You know I was on the first TV programme RTE made in 1960 called 'Broadsheet'. Now 'Emmerdale' in 2011. That's the wonderful thing about acting: you can go on doing it until you drop. That's what I fully intend to do," he said.