'Father Ted' star Frank Kelly is swapping Craggy Island for the Yorkshire Dales after landing a role in 'Emmerdale'.
The 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.
Kelly, who was known for spouting “Drink!”, “Arse!” 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.
Wicks, best known for her role in 'Doctors', said she was thrilled to be working with Kelly.
“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.”
Elia, 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.”
Soap bosses remain tight-lipped about exactly what prompts Ella’s arrival in the village.
But series producer Gavin Blyth said: “The Maceys are glamorous and dynamic, and their move to the big house signals a new era at Home Farm, which will see them firmly at the centre of some of our most compelling storylines.”
Wicks and Elia make their debut in the soap in November, while Kelly hits screens the following month.