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Reverend I. M. Jolly all set for a Hogmanay return

Gregor Fisher will take on the role of the morose minister made famous by by Rikki Fulton.

Fisher: Will take on role made famous by Rikki Fulton.
Fisher: Will take on role made famous by Rikki Fulton. PA

The Reverend I.M. Jolly will be played by Rab C. Nesbitt star Gregor Fisher when the much-loved character makes a return to television screens this New Year.

Fisher will don the clerical collar to take on the role of the the morose minister made famous by by Rikki Fulton in a one-off sketch to mark the 40th anniversary of Scotch & Wry.

"I'm delighted to do it," he said. "I think there was a bit of Rikki that always saw me as the heir apparent - I'm sure he had many heirs apparent - and I think he'd like the idea of Jolly being back on screen again.

"It's not an impression of Rikki - there wasn't any way we would even attempt that, you just couldn't do it. He was absolutely unique.

"The script is based on a lot of Rikki's stuff, though, and hopefully there's a flavour of his performances about it.

"I watched the last ever I.M. Jolly sketch that he did, just purely to get the timing of it, before I came in to film. It was great and funny and joyous. He was a one-off."

The character first appeared in 1978 in a sketch which parodies the late-night sermon, Late Call, which aired during the 1970s and 1980s.

Fisher said that he would love to see younger audiences discover the character.

Hogmanay Live executive producer David Staite brought together the script from some of the best-known I.M. Jolly sketches, adding that the comedy has proven to be a timeless classic.

"Scotch & Wry was, and still is, such a huge part of Hogmanay in Scotland," he said.

"The writing was so clever and has very much stood the test of time. Going over old scripts, it struck me how the lines are still as funny today as they ever were."

Colin Gilbert, the original script editor for Scotch & Wry, has been brought in to add extra authenticity to the production.

He said: "It's nice to be involved again all these years later. It's a sketch that has a real place in the hearts of Scotland and was such a fixture of Hogmanay."

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