Co-creator of Channel 4 comedy series Father Ted has hinted at making the show into a musical.
Graham Linehan, along with Arthur Mathews, are the ones responsible for bringing the show to our screens . UK funded and produced, it is regarded as an Irish sitcom classic.
The show, starring the late great Dermot Morgan and Frank Kelly with Ardal O’Hanlon and Pauline McLynn, ended in 1998 after the writers felt that series had run its course. Any chance of another series was certainly ended after Morgan’s sudden and sad death from a heart attack the day after the final studio recording of the final episode of series 3.
NB – we did publish a story on April Fools Day about Father Ted: The Movie with Irish actor Chris O’Dowd taking the lead role. See below. There were 2 hidden clues it was a spoof. The movie was going to be produced by Pallis Roof Productions (anagram for April Fools) and the story was written by Al Ellis (= All lies). Promise – that was the only false news story we ever posted!
But if we were totally messing heads about the movie version maybe we sparked a thought somewhere as Linehan said he could see the show revived on the stage.
He told the (Irish) Sunday Business Post: “I think if you look at something like the South Park boys and the Book of Mormon, that’s pretty hardcore and I think there is an argument you could make a Ted musical where you really go for the jugular and you get all the things people loved about it, all the innocence and all the sweetness, but introduce a harder edge. Because it’s such a special event, it would have to be about something that’s kind of world-shaking. It would have to be about Ted becoming Pope, or some weird succession thing that means Ted’s next in line. It would have to be substantial and big.”
He has a set vision in his head of what the musical would entail:
“The only thing that’s stuck in my head is a dance sequence in the Vatican with spinning cardinals. I can see that quite clearly,” he described.
Linehan also revealed that Father Ted could never be written today in light of the recent church scandals.
He explained: “There’s no way on earth that Arthur and I could write the same show today, given all that’s come to light since then. The Lovely Girls competition [for example], that was written before we had a full knowledge of things like the Magdalene Laundries. That makes Ireland’s sexism evil . . . institutional evil. And it would be hard for us to sit down and write about jolly old Ted afterwards.”
The original TV programme featured cameos from many (then) rising stars such as Tommy Tiernan and Graham Norton, among others.
And this story is true …