Father Ted: the US remake

Is nothing - nothing?! - sacred? Father Ted US-style starts early next year, and the casting has already begun...

Father Ted: we need to organise a protest. Just like this one.

Sacrilege! It seems those bloomin’ American TV suits are looking to remake a modern comedy classic it can’t just be me that thinks this is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Father Ted in its three series (and of course Christmas Special) is a piece of perfect comedy, whether it’s a trip to the ‘Very Dark Caves (it’s almost like being blind) with Richard Wilson, or the Lovely Girls competion or the milk-float masterpiece of Speed 3, Father Ted is everything that is right with British comedy. Check out our review just last week of the new boxset here. But now it seems the vultures in Hollywood want to get their grubby little mits on the folk of Graggy Island.

With the exception of The Office, remakes of modern UK comedy shows in the US have fallen flat with Red Dwarf and Men Behaving Badly being two prime examples. There is something essentially British about our vein of our comedy, a heritage and class that defies remaking, tweaking or creative fiddling on any part. There is no way on earth that Black Adder, Vic and Bob or The League of Gentlemen could translate into a US version (just think Christopher Lee Wicker Man vs Nic Cage Wicker Man) so how are they going to tackle something so essentially English (sorry, Irish) in the US as Ted.. especially when the idea of religion rears its ugly head.

Here is what we know so far. John Michael Higgins (Best in Show, Fred Claus) will be taking the roleof Ted (no word who Jack, Dougal or Mrs Doyle will be) and it seems that the location of Craggy Island will be replaced with a Fishing Village in New England. Terrific.

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It just seems terrifying – how do you do it justic without Craggy Island! It grates me, it really does. How dare they touch such comedy perfection. US remakes just seem to me to be a sort of comedic vampire that sucks all the creative comedy juices out of anything.

And if you feel I have reservations (we’d, er, not got that impression, Rob – Ed) then the cast themselves are also in doubt, with Higgins himself dubious about how the show will go down. “The English have a very robust history of being unkind about religion. We don’t have that in our country, we’re frightened of it. It’s basically that you guys are doing an Irish joke also, we don’t have that. So I’ll be Father Ted, we’ll see how it goes.”

One word: feck.