Graham Linehan: ‘I could never write Father Ted now’

Father Ted creator Graham Linehan has revealed he couldn’t write the show now, because he has come to dislike the Catholic church.

The Bafta-winning Irish writer admitted scandals involving a number of priests has turned him off the priesthood, and that the hit programme, which starred Dermot Morgan as Father Ted Crilly and Ardal O’Hanlon as Father Dougal McGuire, could never come to fruition in the present day.

“I was never beaten or abused by priests who taught me at CUS [Catholic University School, his secondary school in Dublin] – some of them were a bit eccentric, but they all seemed harmless enough. But since Ted, and everything that’s come out, I’ve just come to really hate the church,” he told The Independent.

“I could never write Ted now because I’d be so angry my fingers would go through the keyboard.”

The 45-year-old added the show, which he co-wrote with writing partner Arthur Mathews, was a success because it mocked the priesthood.

“It brought a lot of people together, and I think that was only possible because we didn’t take the hard-edged satirical approach. We were just silly.”

Graham – who is working on new BBC Two sitcom, Count Arthur Strong – was also the mastermind behind Channel 4 comedy The IT Crowd, which propelled Chris O’Dowd and Richard Ayoade to worldwide fame.

“Before I wrote The IT Crowd I had a bee in my bonnet about showing I could do it on my own,” he admitted. “But since then I’ve realised that the reason to do things is to enjoy them. The writing has to be fun because nothing else about the process is fun… It’s a pain in the a***.”


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