FATHER TED ACTOR FRANK KELLY DIES AGED 77 0 274

Irish actor Frank Kelly, best known for playing foul-mouthed Father Jack Hackett on the Channel 4 show Father Ted which ran from 1995-1998, has died at the age of 77.

Kelly’s death comes 18 years to the day after the passing of his co-star Dermot Morgan who played the title role.

The actor had suffered from a number of illnesses and had a several health problems in the past few years. He was also diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease last year, when he was also treated for skin cancer. He was given the all-clear from bowel cancer in 2011.

Kelly starred in 25 episodes of the comedy show alongside Ardal O’Hanlon as Dougal McGuire, Pauline McLynn as Mrs Doyle and Morgan, who died of a heart attack just a day after filming the shows’ final episode.

 

His other acting credits included playing Dermot Macey, father to Declan, in Emmerdale as well as Justice Cannon in Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie. Writer and star of the film Brendan O’Carroll led the tributes to him on Twitter.

O’Hanlon also paid tribute to his co-star saying:

“Very sad news. We had lunch together at Christmas when he was in his usual feisty form. Frank was an all-round talent, an institution in Irish entertainment, a very determined professional and he’ll be greatly missed by all who knew him.”

Irish President Michael D Higgins said Kelly was:

“…a distinguished actor who made such a wide and valued contribution both on the stage and in film He will forever be remembered for his roles. To his wife Bairbre and his family I send deepest sympathy; for theirs is the greatest loss of such a great and loving person.”

Frank Kelly is survived by his wife of 51 years, Bairbre, their seven children and seventeen grand-children.

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HOLBY CITY & CASUALTY CROSSOVER ANNOUNCED FOR MARCH 0 125

For the first time since 2005, the cast of Holby City and Casualty will join forces for a two-part crossover special on BBC One as the staff of the emergency department and the wards come together when Holby City Hospital is plunged into chaos.

Characters from both series will interact as their storylines are intertwined across the two dramatic, action-packed episodes.

A major cyber-attack plunges Holby into blackout and disables most of the hospital’s automated monitoring equipment. At the same time Sacha (Bob Barrett) is in a car crash which injures his daughter Bekka (Francesca Barrett) and Ric’s (Hugh Quarshie) granddaughter Darla (Naomi Katiyo), one of whom might be pregnant. Fighting a different battle amongst the chaos, Connie (Amanda Mealing) is left to save the life of a member of her own team with surgery. As Sasha’s injuries become apparent Jac (Rosie Marcel) comes to his rescue and is ready to operate but with only one theatre available in the blackout, Connie and Jac have to make the impossible decision of which of their friends to try and save first.

Simon Harper, Executive Producer of Holby City and Casualty, says: “We’ve known for some time there’s been major audience appetite for a mega crossover between these sister shows, so that’s exactly what we are serving up! You’ll see both the Casualty and Holby teams striving heroically against the odds in two episodes of pure, nail-biting, taut, emotional medical drama. I’m quite literally in awe of Michelle Lipton’s writing achievement and Steve Brett’s direction in pulling off this double, and so proud of both the Cardiff Casualty and Elstree Holby crews and casts in making the mind boggling logistics work, quite aside from their creative wizardry. There’s so much to relish in the cross-show character interactions: an especially poignant thematic resonance between two regulars, Connie and Jac in delicious conflict, and perhaps most vitally, who from Casualty has been secretly carrying on with whom from Holby!”

The crossover will begin during Casualty on Saturday 2 March and will conclude during Holby City on Tuesday 5 March on BBC One.

Throughout 2019, Holby City is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a host of guest appearances from previous Holby characters and fan favourites across the year. Amanda Mealing will be the latest returner in the crossover, coming back to her old stomping ground in Holby as Connie Beauchamp.

GRAHAM NORTON & ALAN CARR CONFIRMED AS JUDGES ON RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE UK 0 115

BBC Three has confirmed two of TV’s best loved presenters and personalities, Graham Norton and Alan Carr, will be joining RuPaul and Michelle Visage on the judging panel for RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.

Eight-time Bafta TV award-winner Graham Norton is no stranger to RuPaul’s Drag Race, having already appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars season two in the US as a guest judge in 2016. Whilst comedian Alan Carr is a long-time fan of RuPaul, having made his acquaintance when Ru appeared on his chat show Alan Carr’s Chatty Man.

Both Graham and Alan share a passion for the drag scene and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

The first UK adaption of the global hit will showcase the most fabulous drag queens that the UK has to offer, and Graham and Alan will appear as rotating resident judges. Each week, they will join RuPaul, Michelle Visage and a celebrity guest judge.

For the grand finale, Graham and Alan will both appear on the judging panel alongside previously announced judge Michelle Visage, where together they will assist host RuPaul in crowning the UK’s Next Drag Superstar.

Graham Norton says: “Becoming part of the drag race family makes me ridiculously happy! I can’t wait to see what the UK drag queens bring to the party, but they better weeeeerk!!!”

Alan Carr, says: “Wow! To be sat next to Michelle Visage and Mama Ru as a guest judge on possibly one of my all-time favourite shows EVER is a dream come true. I can’t wait to see what the UK Queens have got in store – it’s going to be sickening! *does death drop*”

RuPaul, says: “I was both shocked and delighted when Graham and Alan told me they’d be wearing tucking panties when sitting at the judges’ table. I told them it was not necessary, but they insisted. Now that’s what I call dedication!”

Kate Phillips, Controller, Entertainment Commissioning, says: “I am so excited that self-confessed Drag Race fans Graham and Alan have agreed to join Ru and Michelle on our judging panel. Their immense wit and wisdom will be invaluable in ensuring the most deserving Queen sashays away with the title.”