Father Ted creator Graham Linehan has said that the classic Channel 4 sitcom is set to return as a musical.
In a message on Twitter, Linehan revealed that he and co-writer Arthur Matthews had almost finished writing the show, titled Pope Ted: The Father Ted Musical.
Neil Hannon, who created the TV show’s theme tune, has been working on music for the play.
“It’s the real final episode of Father Ted,” Linehan added.
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It’s the real final episode of Father Ted.
— Beloved Internet Personality (@Glinner) June 2, 2018
Linehan had told Radio Times as early as 2015 that he was considering a musical version of the hit comedy, saying, “I have this vision of a dance number, with spinning cardinals”.
Speaking to the BBC, Lineham said the play would see the titular Ted move from his Parochial House parish on Craggy Island to the Vatican in his new role as the Pope.
“I didn’t want to do anything like this until the right idea came along, and when Trump won and Corbyn won [the Labour leadership] I kind of thought, ‘Maybe Ted has a chance’,” he said.
“I thought it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch. Obviously we’re pulling some shenanigans to get him into that position but I think the shenanigans are entertaining enough that people won’t mind.”
The writer, who also created sitcoms The IT Crowd and Black Books, said he didn’t know when the project would be finished, but hoped Pope Ted would make his stage debut next year.
Father Ted, a sitcom following the escapades of three priests and one tea-obsessed housekeeper, first aired on Channel 4 in 1995 and ran for three series. The show starred Pauline McLynn and Death in Paradise star Ardal O’Hanlon, alongside actors such as Graham Norton. Dermot Morgan, who played Ted, died from a heart attack the day after filming the comedy’s final episode in 1998.