Wednesday 17 July 2019

Bye ball - Linehan jokes about cancer diagnosis

Graham Linehan. Photo: Teri Pengilley
Graham Linehan. Photo: Teri Pengilley
Arthur Matthews. Photo: Niall Carson

Father Ted creator Graham Linehan revealed yesterday that he has been diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Despite the diagnosis, the writer and director is remaining upbeat, taking to Twitter yesterday morning to share the news.

He told fans he had recently had a procedure to remove the cancer.

"I got a bit of bad news recently. A little touch of the old cancer," he wrote.

"Luckily, ball cancer is one of the best ones to have (sorry, ladies!) and they got rid of it all pretty quickly, along with a ball. Bye, ball! I'll never forget the good times," he said.

The Dubliner will now begin a course of chemotherapy, and while he is apprehensive about the treatment, he felt it was a necessary evil to return to good health.

"Next up is a course of chemo to make sure it doesn't come back," he wrote.

"Not looking forward to that, obviously, but it's better than dying."

Linehan has been working on the musical version of his ecclesiastical sitcom with co-creator Arthur Mathews, and he assured fans that Pope Ted: The Father Ted Musical was still in the works despite his illness.


"Pope Ted is coming along nicely. It's really making us laugh," he told fans.

"I'm not sure whether I'll have to stop working on it or what, but the script (sorry, 'book') is so close to being done that I can walk away from it for a while and we're still in good shape."

Linehan also apologised to those who had bought tickets for his upcoming event in Australia, Insights Into The Art Of TV Comedy Writing, saying he was "hoping to make it back next year".

He said he aims to continue being his "happy-go-lucky" self, but told fans that if he was quiet on Twitter he would be dealing with the illness.

Linehan was clearly overwhelmed by the many messages of support he received when he revealed the news yesterday, thanking well-wishers who included comedian Dara O Briain and British comedy writer John O'Farrell.

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