Scotland

Miserable minister the Rev IM Jolly to make comeback

Rikki Fulton as The Rev IM Jolly
Image caption Rikki Fulton brought the Rev IM Jolly to Hogmanay TV screens

The Reverend IM Jolly, the miserable minister who preached on TV screens at Hogmanay, is making a comeback.

Comedian Johnny Mac has been given the go-ahead to revive Rikki Fulton's classic character as part of a tribute stage show.

He said he was "over the moon" to have the chance to share the famous armchair monologues with a new audience.

"It's a pleasure to bring it back to the stage", he told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland.

The dour clergyman's "Last Call" sketch was one of the highlights of the long-running Scotch and Wry Hogmanay specials during the 1980s and 1990s.

Earlier in his career, Rikki Fulton was part of the Francie and Josie double act with Jack Milroy.

Image copyright Mike Scott
Image caption Liam Dolan and Johnny Mac play Francie and Josie in a tribute show touring Scottish theatres

The new Rev IM Jolly act will be a new addition to a Francie and Josie tribute show, which has been performed at theatres across Scotland over the last two years.

Johnny Mac, who plays Rikki Fulton's character in the show, said: "We were chatting in rehearsals at the end of last year about where we could take the show to keep it fresh and new for the audience.

"I actually said it would be great to play the Rev IM Jolly and then we started looking into it.

"We spoke to Tony Roper who said that the Scottish SPCA had the rights to Rikki's work so we contacted them.

"After negotiations with them, they granted us permission to be able to do it. So we are absolutely over the moon.

"The scripts are fantastic so it's a pleasure to perform it as a comedian and as an actor."

'Rehearsing long days'

The last person to take on the role of The Rev IM Jolly was former first minister Alex Salmond.

He took on the role of the dour minister for a BBC Scotland Children in Need special.

Asked if his performance would be better than that of Mr Salmond, Johnny Mac said: "I'll give it my best shot.

"I'm trying my best, rehearsing long days and trying to get it right for the audience."

He will perform the new sketch for the first time at the Palace Theatre in Kilmarnock on Friday as part of Francie and Josie: The Return.

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