Cult classic 'Father Ted' to be returning as a musical titled 'Pope Ted,' confirms co-creator Graham Linehan

Cult classic British sitcom 'Father Ted,' which originally aired for three seasons and 25 episodes will be returning as a stage musical entitled 'Pope Ted: The Father Ted Musical'.


                            Cult classic 'Father Ted' to be returning as a musical titled 'Pope Ted,' confirms co-creator Graham Linehan
Graham Linehan (Source : Getty Images)

Cult classic British sitcom 'Father Ted,' which originally aired for three seasons and 25 episodes between 1995 and 1998 will be returning as a stage musical entitled 'Pope Ted: The Father Ted Musical', confirmed co-creator and writer Graham Linehan.

Also returning for the project is fellow co-writer Arthur Matthews and The Divine Comedy's lead singer Neil Hannon, who wrote the show's popular theme tune 'The Songs of Love' and original music, with Linehan proclaiming the musical to be 'the real final episode of Father Ted.'

Hannon — who collaborated with Linehan and Matthews on songs such as 'Big Men in Frocks,' 'My Lovely Horse,' 'The Miracle is Mine,' and 'My Lovely Mayo Mummy' for the 1990s sitcom — will be penning and composing the music for the upcoming musical.

'Father Ted' was set on the fictional Craggy Island, a remote location off Ireland's west coast and starred Dermot Morgan as the eponymous Irish parish priest Father Ted Crilly, alongside fellow priests Father Dougal McGuire (Ardal O'Hanlon) and Father Jack Hackett (Frank Kelly).

The trio, who have been banished to the island as punishment for different incidents in the past, chaotically lived together in a parochial house along with their tea-addicted housekeeper Mrs. Doyle, who is portrayed by Pauline McLynn.

The musical will see Father Crilly, 'the least qualified man in the world,' inexplicably become the new Pope and move into the Vatican for his new role.

Speaking on the upcoming project, Linehan said, "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," he continued.

Upon release, 'Father Ted' was met with critical acclaim and came to be one of the most popular shows in Irish TV history, winning the BAFTA for Best Comedy in 1996 as well as 1999.

Fans of the show include the likes of Steven Spielberg, Liam Gallagher, Cher, Madonna, Jim Carrey, Steve Martin, Ricky Gervais, Sinead O'Connor, and Bee Gees' Maurice Gibb, who even asked to be buried with a DVD copy of the box set.

McLynn, O'Hanlon, and Kelly have all reprised their roles in the show for the sake of promotions or advertisements but Morgan infamously and tragically passed away from a heart attack just one day after filming the final episode.

While the musical is expected to see a 2019 release, Lineham said that he was unsure when it would be ready to make its debut. However, the creator expressed his excitement at returning to the characters, "You can pull the most ridiculous stunts to get around a plot problem... and it's lovely to be working with Arthur again."