Graham Linehan claims he was offered £200k to remove name from Father Ted musical

Graham Linehan has spoken out about the resulting fallout after sharing his views opposing the trans rights movement, claiming he was asked to disassociate himself from the Father Ted stage musical.

Linehan is known to many for being the co-creator and co-writer of the classic sitcom, along with Arthur Mathews, as well as of shows including Black Books and The IT Crowd.

He was suspended from Twitter in 2020 after making a series of controversial remarks about transgender people, but has since been reinstated on the platform.

Though he was reinstated in 2022, Linehan has claimed that his career and social status have not recovered since he began making critical remarks about the trans community.

In an interview with The Times, Linehan claimed that despite previously being involved in reforming Father Ted for the theatre, he’d been asked to end his involvement with the show due to the controversy surrounding him.

“I went to London and they said, ‘We want you off the show.’ And they offered me £200,000 to walk away from it,” he said.

He claimed his refusal to step away led to plans for the show being abandoned, suggesting the producers were “waiting for me to die”.

When approached by the publication, Jimmy Mulville, the managing director of Father Ted’s production company Hat Trick, did not confirm or deny Linehan’s claim about being offered to have his name removed.

However, he said that Linehan’s involvement would make the show impossible to stage in the current climate.

The Independent has contacted Mulville for comment.

Graham Linehan (PA)
Graham Linehan (PA)

Previously, Linehan stated that he would refuse to work with Channel 4 again as long as the broadcaster upheld its removal of an episode of The IT Crowd from its streaming services after complaints of transphobia.

Elsewhere in the interview, Linehan is described as being effectively “cancelled”, as he has “virtually no income, no television career and has lost his old media friends”.