Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, the new Netflix film starring and co-written by Will Farrell, has produced all manner of reaction, some good, some bad, but for some a wide opened jaw-dropping stare that they managed to utterly rip off one of the more famous sitcom episodes of all time, Father Ted: A Song For Europe. Spoiler ahead for both.
It's not that both Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga and Father Ted: A Song For Europe both feature a version of the Eurovision Song Contest, that are both entered by unlikely acts – that's a given. But one of the major plot twists in both is just so, so similar it seems hard to credit it as a coincidence.
Father Ted is a sitcom about three Irish priests seconded to Craggy Island, a small island off the coast of Ireland where they can do the least damage. Father Ted is an embezzler who insists the money was just resting in his account, Father Dougal, a childish idiot and Father Jack, a violent, foul-mouthed, alcoholic abuser. Hilarious. The first two decide to enter Ireland's hunt for a new act to represent their country in the Song For Europe and, bizarrely get voted through after corrupt intervention – it transpires that Ireland cannot afford to be the host country of the competition and so must deliberately lose, so as to not host it next year.
While Will Farrell is picked to represent Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga for the exact same reasons, Iceland cannot afford to host the competition and so are pinning their hopes on losing with a truly terrible entry, so as to not host it next year.
Coincidence? If so, it would have been one surely pointed out to them by Graham Norton, Irish comedian and broadcaster for the UK Eurovision Song Contest who plays himself in Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, and also appears in Father Ted.
You can watch a few clips from the episode in question:
And creating a song (as performed by The Divine Comedy) which has all four legs of its own…