Sunday 18 February 2018

'Father Ted' creator Graham Linehan and Sharon Horgan team up for new motherhood sitcom

Sharon Horgan
Sharon Horgan
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Father Ted creator Graham Linehan is joining forces with fellow writer Sharon Horgan on a new sitcom.

Entitled Motherland, the project has already been snapped up by the BBC despite its still being in the early development stage.

Described as a "light-hearted exploration of the daily trials and tribulations of middle-class motherhood", it also involves Linehan's wife Helena Serafinowicz and comedian Holly Walsh.

A co-production between Linehan's Delightful Industries company and Horgan's Merman, it is expected to be shown on BBC2 some time later this year.

Linehan was most recently involved in TV series Count Arthur Strong, while Horgan is best-known in Britain as the creator of Channel 4's acclaimed Catastrophe.

She created the series along with Rob Delaney and had a leading role in the show.

Graham Linehan
Graham Linehan

The sister of former rugby player Shane Horgan, she is the driving force behind the new HBO series Divorce, which stars Sex and the City actress Sarah Jessica Parker.

Speaking about branching out into producing her own material, Ifta nominee Horgan revealed she had plenty of irons in the fire.

"We are developing a lot of stuff with other writers, performers and comedians," she said.

She name-checked Linehan, who was behind The IT Crowd, as one of the people she hoped to work with in a recent interview.

"I'm working on something at the moment with Aisling Bea, for example, as well as projects with Dennis Kelly, Graham Linehan, Holly Walsh and Ailbhe Keogan, who I previously worked with on a film called Run and Jump," she said.

"That's the great thing about this line of work - you meet all these great minds along the way."

As if all that were not enough, London-based Horgan is also reuniting with her Pulling co-writer Kelly for the first time in a decade to create a pilot on bad dinner parties for Channel 4.


Called The Circuit, the show will star Adeel Akhtar from Chris Morris' Four Lions and Irish actress Eva Birthistle, who starred in Brooklyn.

They will take on the roles of a couple who move to live in a new area where "people oscillate somewhere between highly strung and psychopathic", said Horgan.

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