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Father Ted's Frank Kelly joins Emmerdale

Father Ted's Frank Kelly joins Emmerdale
Father Ted's Frank Kelly joins Emmerdale (Image credit: PA)

Father Ted (opens in new tab) star Frank Kelly is swapping Craggy Island for the Yorkshire Dales after landing a role in Emmerdale. The Irish actor, who played foul-mouthed alcoholic priest Father Jack Hackett in the sitcom, has been cast as Dermot Macey, the eccentric father of businessman Declan Macey (Jason Merrells). He joins the show along with Declan's ex-wife Ella, played by Corinne Wicks, and the former couple's daughter Mia (Sapphire Elia), who all move into Home Farm in the wake of the Wylde empire's demise. Frank, who was known for spouting "Drink!", "A**e!" and "Girls!" as layabout Father Jack, insists his new character is very different. He said: "He's not that kind of guy. He wouldn't swear. He's a pretty cool dude with a bit of a twinkle in his eye and he likes pretty ladies." The family's arrival in the village is staggered. First, sexy nail-bar boss Ella jets in from Singapore and sets about trying to win back her ex. She is closely followed by her carefree daughter Mia, who is soon turning heads. Dermot lands on their doorstep when he finds himself homeless after his houseboat sinks, and soon starts rubbing his son up the wrong way. Corinne, best known for her role in Doctors, said: "I'm extremely chuffed. When I got married five years ago I walked down the aisle to the theme tune of Father Ted, so I'm very excited." Sapphire, who starred in Britannia High, added: "Emmerdale is such an established and well-loved show and it's a brilliant opportunity for me. Mia is full of fun and I can't wait to see what she's going to get up to." Corinne and Sapphire make their debut in the soap in November, while Frank hits screens the following month. Click here to watch whatsontv.co.uk's weekly soaps video preview, the Soap Scoop (opens in new tab)

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 


An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.