Graham Linehan, co-creator of Father Ted, has announced a new adventure for Craggy Island’s favourite son: Father Ted will journey to the Vatican in a new stage musical entitled Pope Ted, which has a lot of the beloved Channel 4 sitcom’s original behind-the-scenes talent involved.
Linehan has worked on the script for Pope Ted with Arthur Matthews, the other co-creator and main writer from Father Ted‘s original run. Neil Hannon, who wrote the theme tune and music for Father Ted, is also working on the music for Pope Ted.
Linehan announced the project in a Twitter thread, saying:
“Hey, guess what. It’s very exciting. ‘Pope Ted—The Father Ted Musical’ written by Arthur Mathews and myself, music by Neil Hannon, is almost written. I just thought you’d like to know. THIS IS NOT A DRILL! It’s the real final episode of Father Ted.”
A day or so later, he added this:
“Lots of people sending me casting suggestions and audition requests for the Ted musical. Might be better to leave it until the end of June when I’m getting together with the rest of the gang!”
Linehan also spilt a few beans to the BBC, saying that writing Father Ted again felt “like putting on an old pair of slippers.” And on his motivations for revisiting this world, despite the fact that Ted is “the least qualified man” to become pope, Linehan said this:
“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’.
“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.”
Linehan also mentioned to the BBC that he doesn’t know where the musical will debut, but he hopes to have it on stage next year.
This is the first time since any new Father Ted content has been made since Dermot Morgan, the original Ted actor, sadly died in 1998. His shoes will be big ones to fill for whoever ends up starring in the musical.
Will you be heading to the theatre to catch this new Father Ted adventure? Ah, go on. Go on. Go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on…