Linehan sets record straight on the birth of Father Ted in tribute show

Caitlin McBride

THE creator of Father Ted is determined to set the record straight about the show's origin, and is filming a documentary to prove it.

The iconic sitcom was the brainchild of Graham Linehan, but the comedy genius revealed that he is rarely credited for it.

Late actor Dermot Morgan, who played Ted, is often mistaken as the creator of the programme, and Linehan said that he decided to film the documentary now as a way to clarify any misconceptions.

The night Dermot died in 1998, BBC News reported his death and said that he wrote and created Father Ted.

Linehan explained: "That was one of those moments where I was standing there very upset, and then I heard this thing and I thought 'Wow, should I say something?' And, of course, that became a myth that took off.

"It [the documentary] was just a way of asserting, or putting our names to it again and saying it was us, it was our baby."

Although Linehan is one of the country's most successful screenwriters, penning episodes of cult comedy hit Black Books and The IT Crowd, Father Ted is still his biggest success to date.

The talented writer said that he still gets a kick out of Father Ted inspired events, and is eager to give fans some inside information with the upcoming documentary.

"It's not so much to let it go, because I am in no way sick of the fandom," he said. "I love things like Ted Fest, I am hugely proud that people gather to be silly once a year in the West of Ireland, which is amazing.

"So it's definitely a case of 'let's give everybody everything they ever wanted to know about Father Ted but didn't know to ask'."

Linehan is currently working on the Hat Trick documentary that will be shown on Channel 4 as part of a Father Ted night this Christmas, which will see cast members Ardal O'Hanlon and Frank Kelly reunited on the small screen as they return to visit the sites immortalised by the sitcom.

"It was lovely to be back, hanging out with everyone," Graham explained. "We got a taste of what it was like for the actors, hanging around, doing retakes and all that stuff."