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'Mrs Doyle' Pauline McLynn breaks down while paying tribute to 'Father Jack' Frank Kelly: 'I knew I'd cry, he'd kill me if he heard this!'

Published 29/02/2016

Pauline McLynn has paid an emotional tribute to fellow Father Ted star Frank Kelly following his death on Sunday.

The actor passed away on the 18th anniversary of the death of Dermot Morgan who starred as Ted in the Arthur Matthews and Graham Linehan penned comedy.

Frank Kelly played Father Jack in the hit comedy series Father Ted
Frank Kelly played Father Jack in the hit comedy series Father Ted

McLynn starred opposite Kelly, Morgan, and Ardal O'Hanlon in the hit Channel 4 series throughout its three series from 1995 to 1998.

Speaking to Anton Savage on Today FM, the actress celebrated Kelly's talent and wit and became very emotional towards the end of the interview when she related a story about when Frank married his wife Barbara.

"He told me that his local priest and clergy in general did not approve that he was going to marry Barbara because she already had a family and he was hauled over the coals and brought to meet them and talk about it and they said, 'Why are you going to marry this woman?' and he said, 'Because I love her.' And nobody spoke to them like that in those days," revealed Pauline.

"And marry her he did and they had so many decades of happiness. My heart goes out to them, because they more than us - we mourned him as a nation, as admirers, those of us like myself lucky enough to spend time and work with him - their loss is is so much harder because they had all of him..."

Pauline broke down and joked, "I knew I was going to cry.  Bloody hell. He'd kill me if he heard this!".

She added, "For us now to have lived at a time when we could have a bit of him we don't know our luck.  I really don't believe we will see his like again."

Of working with Frank on Father Ted, she said she was thrilled to work with "one of my heroes" because she had been a fan of his show Hall's Pictorial Weekly in the 70s.

"In many ways I wonder if we [Pauline, Dermot Morgan and Ardal O'Hanlon] were just the set up people while he did the gags because always at the end of anything you'd work really hard at he'd walk off with it all, with something from Father Jack's chair," she said.

Pauline McLynn as she is today
Pauline McLynn as she is today

The actress also revealed that he often used to fall asleep in the chair, and had a penchant for making up "filthy Limericks".

"He would use his brain to keep himself amused and to make up in particular the filthiest Limericks that were the cleverest things, not only too clever for me to remember, but also you could not say them aloud. He'd sidle up every so often and give you five lines of such brilliance."

Fellow Father Ted star Ardal O'Hanlon paid tribute to Frank with a tweet, "Extremely sad news today. A gentleman, great comedy priest, friend. RIP Frank" while Graham Linehan also tweeted, "Just hearing from various sources that Frank Kelly has passed away. Terribly sad news. Thanks for everything, Frank."

Aoife Kelly, Independent.ie

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