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An episode of The Simpsons focused entirely on Westminster Abbey

Wednesday, 13th May 2009

An episode of The Simpsons focused entirely on Westminster Abbey

Fox TV has given a US airing to an episode of The Simpsons focused entirely on Westminster Abbey.

Abbey Head of Communications Duncan Jeffery has been working on the project with Simpsons’ co-executive producer Rob LaZebnik for over a year.

In Father Knows Worst, Homer attempts to build a replica model of the Abbey for son Bart’s school competition. Preoccupied with the project, Homer dreams about the cast of historical characters buried in the world-famous coronation church.

Initially I was apprehensive about letting the Simpsons’ team loose on such an iconic building as the Abbey but after an initial chat with Rob I was convinced it could do nothing but good for us. The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, is delighted.
Americans make up a large chunk of Abbey’s million-plus visitors every year and the Simpsons' audience is worldwide so the potential spin-off for the Abbey is enormous.

From March 2008 onwards Duncan Jeffery briefed LaZebnik on the Abbey's history and supplied a portfolio of images as raw material for the show's animators. The two finally met in London in April as the show was nearing completion.

Father Knows Worst is expected to be shown on UK television shortly.

Since its debut on 17th December 1989 The Simpsons has broadcast 439 episodes and attracts huge audiences across generations.

The biggest challenge we face is actually time – getting all our work done alongside the daily routine of the Abbey as a working church, visitor attraction and home to 1,000 years of history.

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