Entertainment & Arts

Father Ted writer Arthur Mathews pens BBC-based sitcom

Robert Bathurst and Vicky McClure
Image caption The radio comedy will star Robert Bathurst and Vicky McClure

Father Ted creator Arthur Mathews has written a new comedy about life in BBC Broadcasting House in the 1930s.

The Golden Age will star Robert Bathurst, from Downton Abbey, and Bafta winner Vicky McClure, from Shane Meadow's This Is England series.

They play the BBC's director of programmes and his assistant, who have to deal with frisky band-leaders and depressed newsreaders.

The three-part series will be broadcast on Radio 4 later this year.

It also stars Scottish comedian Ford Keirnan as Lord Reith, the first director general of the BBC.

His increasingly bizarre orders - he demands a programme on grouse-hunting with artillery guns - cause further headaches for the BBC executives.

Image copyright Channel 4
Image caption Father Ted ran for three series from 1995 to 1998

Mathews was one-half of the Father Ted writing team, alongside Graham Linehan.

His other credits include sketch shows Big Train, The Catherine Tate Show and Harry and Paul.

Most recently, he wrote two series of political satire Val Falvey for Irish broadcaster RTE.

The show starred Father Ted's Ardal O'Hanlon as a small-town politician and drew parallels to the religious sitcom for its affectionate, but often bitter, portrayal of provincial Ireland.

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