Father Ted
"Craggy Island" redircts here. For other places with this name, see Craggy Island (disambiguation).
Father Ted
Father Ted.jpg
Opening title
Format Comedy
Created by Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews
Starring Dermot Morgan
Ardal O'Hanlon
Frank Kelly
Pauline McLynn
Opening theme "Songs of Love"
(instrumental), The Divine Comedy
Country of origin United Kingdom (primary)
Ireland
Language(s) English
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 25 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time 24 minutes approx.
Broadcast
Original channel Channel 4 (UK)
Original run 21 April 1995[1] – 1 May 1998

Father Ted is a comedy series set in Ireland[2] that was produced by Hat Trick Productions for British broadcaster Channel 4. Written jointly by Irish writers Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan and starring a predominantly Irish cast, it originally aired over three series from 21 April 1995 until 1 May 1998, including a Christmas special, for a total of 25 episodes.

The show also aired on RTÉ Two in Ireland and Nine Network (First Season Only) and ABC Television (Second and Third Seasons) in Australia.

Set on the remote fictional Craggy Island off Ireland's west coast, the show starred Dermot Morgan as the titular Father Ted Crilly, alongside fellow priests Father Dougal McGuire (Ardal O'Hanlon) and Father Jack Hackett (Frank Kelly). Exiled on the island for various past incidents, the priests live together in the Parochial House with their housekeeper Mrs. Doyle (Pauline McLynn).

The show was critically acclaimed, receiving multiple BAFTA awards. The series also featured a number of contemporary Irish actors and comedians, including Dervla Kirwan, Graham Norton, Tommy Tiernan, Patrick McDonnell, Don Wycherley, Joe Rooney, Jason Byrne, Jim Norton, Pat Shortt, Jon Kenny, Ed Byrne, Brendan Grace, Maria Doyle Kennedy and Gerard McSorley.

Contents

Synopsis

The show follows the misadventures of three Roman Catholic priests who live in a parish on the fictional Craggy Island, located off the west coast of Ireland. Father Ted Crilly, Father Dougal McGuire and Father Jack Hackett live together in Craggy Island's parochial house, along with their housekeeper Mrs Doyle, who often wants to serve them tea. The three priests answer to Bishop Len Brennan, who assigned them the Craggy Island parish due to different incidents in their past: Ted for alleged financial impropriety (apparently involving some money 'resting' in his account and a child being deprived a visit to Lourdes so that Ted could go to Las Vegas), Dougal for something only referred to as the "Blackrock Incident" (resulting in many "lives irreparably damaged"), and Jack for his alcoholism and womanising. The show revolves around the priests' lives on Craggy Island, sometimes dealing with matters of the church but more often dealing with Father Ted's schemes to either resolve a situation with the parish or other Craggy Island residents, or to win games of one-upmanship against his arch-nemesis, Father Dick Byrne of the nearby Rugged Island parish.

Critical acclaim

In 1995 and 1998, the show won the BAFTA award for Best Comedy, while Morgan also won a BAFTA in 1998 for Best Comedy Performance.[3] At the 1996 British Comedy Awards, McLynn took the Top TV Comedy Actress award.[4] In 2004, the series finished eleventh in the BBC's poll to find "Britain's Best Sitcom". It was the highest-placed comedy not originally broadcast by the BBC.

Characters

Episodes

DVD releases

In the United States, all series have been released on DVD NTSC Region 1.

  • Father Ted - Series 1-2 (3-disc set, 1995)
  • Father Ted - Series 3 (2-disc set, 1997. Includes the "A Christmassy Ted" episode)

In Australia, all series have been released on DVD PAL Region 4.

  • Father Ted - The Complete 1st Series - 18 August 2003
  • Father Ted - Series 2. Part 1–8 August 2003
  • Father Ted - Series 2. Part 2–22 September 2003
  • Father Ted - The Complete 3rd Series - Late 2003
  • Father Ted - The Definitive Collection (5 Disc Box Set) - 5 November 2007
  • Father Ted - The Complete 1st Series - 4 March 2010
  • Father Ted - The Complete 2nd Series (2 Disc Set) - 4 March 2010
  • Father Ted - The Complete 3rd Series (2 Disc Set) - 4 February 2010

Conception

According to Linehan, Father Ted was a character created by Mathews for Paul Woodfull, when the three men performed together as The Joshua Trio on the comedy circuit in Ireland. Dermot Morgan was picked for the role because he had previously played a priest in stand-up as "Father Trendy".[5]

Mathews has described Seinfeld as a major influence on the comedy of Father Ted, with himself and Linehan being "big fans" of the show.[6]

Production details

The show was pitched directly to the UK's Hat Trick Productions and Channel 4 by the duo, contrary to rumours that RTÉ (the Irish national broadcaster) were originally offered the series but rejected it.[citation needed]

Recording

Three series and one Christmas special were completed. In addition, Morgan and O'Hanlon hosted an hour of Comic Relief in character, during which Kelly and McLynn also made brief guest appearances. After the completion of the shooting of series three, Dermot Morgan died of a heart attack, aged 45. As a mark of respect, the third series was first broadcast a week later than originally planned.

Just weeks before his death Morgan said that he did not want to continue playing the role of Father Ted for fear of being typecast: "I don't want to be the next Clive Dunn and end up playing the same character for years."[7]

Music

The theme tune for the series was written and performed by The Divine Comedy, and was later reworked into "Songs of Love", a track from the album Casanova. (The song "Woman of the World" from the same album was also offered as a potential theme tune, but rejected.[8])

The band also contributed most of the show's original music, including "My Lovely Horse", as used in the episode "Song For Europe" and "My Lovely Mayo Mammy" for the episode "Night of the Nearly Dead". Singer Neil Hannon also provided Ted's vocal in the "enhanced" version of My Lovely Horse, which later appeared as a B-side on the band's single Gin Soaked Boy.

Location

Location work for Father Ted was done mostly in County Clare, including locations at Ennis, Kilfenora, Ennistymon, and Kilnaboy. The Parochial House is McCormack's at Glenquin, on the Boston road from Kilnaboy.[9][10] The cinema featured in "The Passion of St Tibulus" was the Ormonde Cinema, Greystones, County Wicklow[11] and "The Field", the location for Funland in "Good Luck, Father Ted", is in Portrane, North County Dublin. The 'Very dark caves' featured in "The Mainland" were the Aillwee caves in the Burren, County Clare. Some exterior shots for the episode "And God Created Woman" were filmed in Dún Laoghaire, South County Dublin. The opening sequence (including shots of the Plassey ship wreck) were filmed over Inis Oírr - the smallest of the Aran Islands. The interior scenes were recorded at LWT's The London Studios.

Legacy

Ted Fest, a Father Ted fan convention, has been held annually since 2007 after the show achieved a cult following.

In January 2007 a dispute arose between Inis Oírr (pop. 250) and Inis Mór (pop. 1,200) over which island can claim to be Craggy Island, and thereby host a three-day Friends of Ted Festival.[12][13] It was decided that in appropriate Father Ted fashion the dispute would be settled by a five-a-side football match held on 25 February 2007.[14] This was won by Inis Mór in a 2-0 match[13] allowing them to use the title of Craggy Island until February 2008, while Inis Oírr was given the title of Rugged Island.

As of January 2011, the show is being repeated on More4 and RTÉ Two. All three series have been available through the OnDemand service of Virgin Media in the UK but now they have only one series at a time, switching between the three, however series one and three and the Christmas Special are available on 4oD. BBC Two showed an episode on 8 November 2008[15] as part of its tribute night to producer Geoffrey Perkins, who had died just over two months before.[not in citation given]

Pauline McLynn reprised her role as Mrs Doyle in 2001 for a run of advertisements for the Inland Revenue, reminding people to get their taxes in on time by uttering her catchphrase from the programme ('Go on, go on' repeated over and over again). It was later voted as the worst advert of the year.

The series has been referred to in regard to lack of political policy. Speaking in Carlow in June 2010, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and Green Party leader John Gormley said the Labour Party is coming very close to being the "Father Ted of Irish politics" because, according to Gormley they have no policies.[16]

Father Ted Night

On 1 January 2011, a night dedicated to the show was screened by Channel 4 from 9pm to 11pm in celebration of its 15th anniversary year.[17][18] This included the nation's and the writers' favourite episodes plus a documentary of the cast and creators that revisited the show's locations. Pauline McLynn decided not to take part in the documentary.[19] The show was also dedicated to Dermot Morgan.[20]

References

  1. ^ IMDB.com - Release dates for "Father Ted"
  2. ^ http://www.rte.ie/ten/2011/0104/fatherted.html
  3. ^ "British Academy of Film and Television Arts Past Nominations 1995". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. http://www.bafta.org/awards/television/nominations/?year=1995. Retrieved 2 November 2010. ; "British Academy of Film and Television Arts Past Nominations 1998". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. http://www.bafta.org/awards/television/nominations/?year=1998. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  4. ^ "British Comedy Awards Past Winners 1996". http://www.britishcomedyawards.com/pastwinners96.html. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  5. ^ DVD commentary of Episode 1, Series 1
  6. ^ http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/features/2010/1231/1224286538617.html?via=mr
  7. ^ "Father Ted star dies". BBC News UK. 1 March 1998. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/61112.stm. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  8. ^ As stated by Neil Hannon in the documentary Half Minute Melodies, BBC Radio 4, 3 February 2000. Hannon offered a choice of tunes to the producers; his personal preference was for "Woman of the World".
  9. ^ McCormack's at Glenquin used for external shots of the parochial house in the Father Ted TV series 53°00′35″N 9°01′48″W / 53.00976°N 9.02998°W / 53.00976; -9.02998
  10. ^ "Father Ted FEQ". Feck.net. http://www.feck.net/splange/ftfaq.html. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  11. ^ http://cinematreasures.org/theater/22717/
  12. ^ "Craggy islands row over Father Ted". BBC News. 22 January 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/6285923.stm. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  13. ^ a b Owen Bowcott (26 February 2007). "Drink! Footy! Girls! It's the Father Ted fest". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2007/feb/26/broadcasting.travel. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  14. ^ "Peace plan for Craggy Island row". BBC News. 25 January 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/6297367.stm. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  15. ^ "Two Programmes - Father Ted". BBC. 2008-11-08. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00fn9ns. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  16. ^ Labour 'Fr Ted of Irish politics' says Gormley. RTÉ. 28 June 2010
  17. ^ "A return to Craggy Island". Irish Times. 2001-12-31. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/features/2010/1231/1224286538617.html. Retrieved 2011-01-05. 
  18. ^ "New Adrian McCarthy Doc is Ecumenical Matter". iftn.ie. 2001-12-23. http://www.iftn.ie/news/?act1=record&only=1&aid=73&rid=4283579&tpl=archnews&force=1. Retrieved 2011-01-05. 
  19. ^ "Ted". Pauline McLynn. 2 January 2011. http://www.paulinemclynn.com/site/blog/ted. Retrieved 3 January 2011. 
  20. ^ "In Ted We Trust". RTE Entertainment. 2011-01-04. http://www.rte.ie/ten/2011/0104/fatherted.html. Retrieved 2011-01-05. 

References

External links


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