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Father Ted tribute show makers 'a bunch of chancers', says Graham Linehan

The dinner-comedy act is staged by UK company Laughlines – whose director hung up on TheJournal.ie when asked if they had permission to use the characters.

Image: YouTube

A BRITISH COMEDY company staging a ‘tribute’ to Father Ted have been described as “a bunch of chancers” by the sitcom’s co-creator Graham Linehan.

The Edinburgh Fringe event, staged by Laughlines Ltd, is called Father Ted: The Dinner Show and described on the firm’s website as “a hilarious piece of interactive comedy at its best”. It features “much loved and extravagant Father Ted Crilly”,  “young, dim-witted Father Dougal McGuire” and “alcoholic swear machine Father Jack Hackett”, the website adds. There is also a video clip of the show.

Last night Graham Linehan, who created the show with Arthur Mathews in 1995, wrote on Twitter that Laughlines were “a bunch of chancers, all right”, adding “oh, my God. Just watched the video.”

Father Ted: The Dinner Show audience members will pay £39 a head to be entertained while they eat. Sketches will include show favourites such as the Craggy Island disco, Eurovision entry My Lovely Horse and a priest cabaret, according to comedy news website Chortle.

When asked by TheJournal.ie whether Laughlines had authorisation to use the characters, company director Michael Wilson-Green responded: “That’s for me to know.” He then said “I’m not discussing this with you whatsoever,” and hung up.

Laughlines Ltd is a UK firm which offers “unique comedy entertainment” for corporate events, weddings and theme nights, according to its website.

Graham Linehan later tweeted: “Despite the somewhat charming naffness, I think a solution might be to get them to give a hefty cut of the profits to charity. Dunno.”

The comedy’s creators have previously allowed Father Ted characters to be used in other productions, including Father Ted: The Play. However, Paul Cohen of Hat Trick Productions, who made the series for Channel 4, told Chortle: “This has not been authorised by Hat Trick. Today is the first time we’ve become aware of it and we’re looking into it.”

Here’s a clip of Father Ted: The Dinner Show. Try not to curl your toes:

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Michael Freeman

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