Fleabag's Andrew Scott was almost replaced as Hot Priest

andrew scott as the priest, phoebe waller bridge as fleabag, fleabag season 2
Fleabag's Andrew Scott almost wasn't Hot PriestLuke Varley - BBC

Fleabag star Andrew Scott was almost replaced as the famous Hot Priest on the comedy-drama, according to former BBC Director of Comedy Shane Allen.

The actor starred as The Priest in the second series of the BBC show, striking up a relationship with the titular character, played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

The character became a hit with both audiences and critics as Scott won a Critics' Choice Award for his role, but Allen revealed in an interview with Radio Times that the actor was almost replaced in the role following the arrival of new executives.

phoebe wallerbridge, andrew scott, fleabag

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"A whole raft of US male execs turned up to the read-through and - bear in mind this was a piece exploring self-destructive feminism - proceeded to tear the show apart and demand Andrew Scott was recast with only four days until the shoot started," he recalled. "Anyone less effervescently charming and smart than Phoebe would have buckled."

Waller-Bridge, who has since starred in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, outlined back in 2019 why she cast Scott in the role, saying: "Honestly, I don't think this character would exist if Andrew didn't do it...

"And this idea that there's a character she meets, and this is her priest, and she's like: 'Cool, sweary Priest – that's who he is. I get this guy. And then halfway through [the first] episode, she's like, 'Oh. He's not who I thought he was.'"

fleabag season 2's final scene

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Whilst Fleabag seemingly concluded with its second series, Waller-Bridge did tease that she could return to the character when she turns 50, and Scott remarked that he too would be open to reprising his role.

"Oh, I'll probably be dead. But if I'm still alive, yeah. Listen, I'll be there, whatever she wants me to do," he quipped. "I love the fact that that story was completely self-contained and beautiful. I think sometimes when something is a success, you just want to elongate it for the wrong reasons."

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