Entertainment Theatre & Arts

Thursday 15 November 2018

It's on: Father Ted the musical is set for stage

Iconic: Dermot Morgan as Father Ted Crilly
Iconic: Dermot Morgan as Father Ted Crilly

Alice Vincent

Father Ted left the small screen more than 20 years ago. But now co-writer Graham Linehan has revealed, the much loved sitcom will be making a comeback - as a musical.

Linehan, who with Arthur Matthews created the absurd comedy about three priests exiled on a fictional island, announced the news through his Twitter account yesterday morning.

"'Pope Ted - The Father Ted Musical' written by Arthur Mathews and myself, music by Neil Hannon, is almost written," Linehan tweeted, adding: "I just thought you'd like to know. THIS IS NOT A DRILL!"

Linehan went on to explain that the comeback was "the real final episode of Father Ted".

The television finale of Father Ted, called Going to America, screened in 1998, saw Ted (played by the late Dermot Morgan) nearly leave Craggy Island for a priesthood in Los Angeles - before the city's reputation for gang culture persuaded him to stay on the island.

Two of the four stars of Father Ted, however, have died since the final episode. Morgan was just 45 when he was killed by a heart attack days after filming Going to America, and co-star Frank Kelly, who played the recalcitrant and blasphemous Father Jack, died 18 years later, in 2016.

Linehan wrote on Twitter that casting announcements were "all ahead of us". He also stressed the validity of the news after dozens of fans asked if this was just another joke.

Linehan replied: "This is true and not one of my stupid jokes, I promise. Didn't want to do something until the right idea came along. This was the right idea. Arthur and I have been laughing our arses off while writing it. Just like the old days."

Sunday Independent

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