Father Ted fans – I bring bad news. Graham Linehan has told RadioTimes.com that there is no chance of the hit Channel 4 comedy ever returning.
He said that his production company Delightful Industries is often sent ideas revolving around priests but even that has not tempted him to revive the show.
The much-loved Father Ted came to an abrupt end in 1998 after 25 episodes when the lead actor Dermot Morgan died suddenly from a heart attack.
The other cast members remain alive including Ardal O’Hanlon who played the hapless Father Dougal McGuire and Pauline McLynn, who played the housekeeper Mrs Doyle.
“I would never bring Dougal back,” Linehan said of the character played by Ardal O’Hanlon. “Someone suggested to me a way of doing it but I am totally different person now. We have said everything we have to about the imaginary world of priests.”
Linehan said his over-riding reaction to seeing repeats of Father Ted is regret that they are not generating him more money.
“When I see them on think, I wish they were making more money,” said Linehan with a laugh. “Every time they are on I wish they were paying me more for them.”
Linehan said that the last time he wrote with Father Ted co-writer Arthur Matthews was on a film idea that did not quite come off.
“We got back together for a film bit found it hard to find our rhythm, together,” Linehan said.
He said he has really enjoyed Matthews’ sitcom Toast – co-written with Matt Berry. “it is very close to his voice,” he said.
Linehan’s next project is The Walshes, a family sitcom which he co-wrote with the Irish comedy troupe Diet of Worms which is due to air on BBC4 at the end of this month [March].
It follows the tight-knit family from the West Dublin suburb of Strollinstown. Tony (Niall Gaffney) and Carmel (Philippa Dunne) are parents to Ciara (Amy Stephenson) and Rory (Rory Connolly), who have been forced home because of the state of the Irish economy.
Already, Linehan and the Diet of Worms have been sketching out ideas for a second series.
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years. After a two year stint on local newspapers in the mid 1990s, he spent more than 5 years as the broadcast reporter at the Stage newspaper. Following that he enjoyed staff reporting positions at the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times breaking stories and writing features before settling as a full time freelance writing for an array of newspapers and magazines - but mainly for the Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.