The creator of some of Britain’s best-loved comedies has confirmed he has testicular cancer.
Graham Linehan, the man behind Father Ted, Black Books and The IT Crowd, revealed to his 679,000 Twitter followers that he had received “a bit of bad news”.
The Irish writer described the illness as “a little touch of the old cancer”, adding: “Luckily, ball cancer is one of the best ones to have (sorry, ladies!), and they got rid of it all pretty quickly, along with a ball.
“Bye, ball! I’ll never forget the good times!”.
The news comes after Linehan cancelled his upcoming tour of Australia for “personal reasons”.
He said he is due to undergo chemotherapy, something he is “not looking forward to…but it’s better than dying”.
Linehan, 50, also gave an update on the Father Ted stage musical Pope Ted, which he is writing with Arthur Mathews with music by Neil Hannon.
He said the show was “coming along nicely”, adding: “It is really making us laugh”.
“I’m not sure whether I’ll have to stop working on it or what, but the script (sorry, ‘book’) is so close to being done that I can walk away from it for a while and we’re still in good shape,” he said.
“I’m hoping I’ll just continue to be the happy-go-lucky, beloved Twitter personality you all know, but if there are moments of quiet from me, don’t worry. I’m just dealing with it.”
Father Ted followed the lives of three priests and their housekeeper on the fictional Craggy Island off the west coast of Ireland.
It ran for three series on Channel 4 between April 1995 and May 1998.