Rev Jolly resurrected to preach in Lanarkshire
He was the dour-faced, wry reverend who became an essential New Year TV tradition when the late Rikki Fulton donned his minister’s grab, settled back into his leather Chesterfield armchair and delivered a highly inappropriate, but hilarious sermon.
The last time TV audiences witnessed the Rev Jolly in full flow was when Rikki made his appearance on BBC for The Final Last Call on December 31, 1999. It was a short but memorable skit in that it marked the end of the Church of Scotland cleric’s regular appearances that had started back in 1978 on the TV show, Scotch and Wry.
But now the Rev I.M. Jolly is set to “preach again” in and East Kilbride this October.
The character’s theatrical comeback is spearheaded by Scottish entertainers Johnny Mac and Liam Dolan who have for the past four years taken their Francie and Josie tribute shows all over Scotland. Rikki and co-star Jack Milroy had a successful career as the two Glasgow wide-boy characters with their hilarious banter, song and dance routines and wise-cracking jibes at each other’s character. Their performances spanned five decades, launching in 1958 with the duo landing their own TV show in the early 60s on STV.
After debuting his take on Jolly in February, Johnny Mac is donning his minister’s dog-caller and impersonating Jolly as part of the duo’s new Francie and Josie: A Tribute show. And it will be the first time the duo has played out the Jolly sketch in the Lanarkshire venues.
Johnny said: “We’re so looking forward to meeting the Lanarkshire audiences with our new show! It’s all very exciting. For us to share some of Rikki’s magnificently crafted and highly entertaining sermons which delighted many thousands over the years in our shows is a big honour.
“From the moment he appeared on TV as the Rev Jolly in his armchair and just said “hullo” in his droll manner he had the audiences laughing. I’ve been rehearsing for days to get the tone and timing spot on – I want to do Rikki’s legacy proud when I settle into the iconic armchair and begin the sermon.”
Francie and Josie: A Tribute starring Johnny Mac and Liam Dolan is on October 6 at 7.30pm in Rutherglen Town Hall and on October 7 at at 2.30pm/7.30pm at
East Kilbride Village Theatre.
Johnny Mac as Rev Jolly and with Liam Dolan as Francie and Josie