CAREFUL NOW BY JOHN BRAINE
Father Ted is a sitcom created by Irish writers Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews and produced by British production company Hat Trick Productions for Channel 4. It aired over three series from 21 April 1995 until 1 May 1998, including a Christmas special, for a total of 25 episodes. It aired on Nine Network (series 1) and ABC Television (series 2 and 3) in Australia, and on TV2 in New Zealand.
Set on the fictional Craggy Island, a remote location off Ireland’s west coast, Father Ted stars Dermot Morgan as Father Ted Crilly, alongside fellow priests Father Dougal McGuire (Ardal O’Hanlon) and Father Jack Hackett (Frank Kelly). Dishonourably exiled on the island by Bishop Leonard Brennan (Jim Norton) for various reasons, the priests live together in the parochial house with their housekeeper Mrs Doyle (Pauline McLynn). The show subverts parodies of low-brow humour as it portrays nuanced themes of loneliness, agnosticism, existentialism and purgatory experienced by its title character; this deeper meaning of the show has been much acclaimed.
Father Ted won several British Academy Television Awards—including twice for Best Comedy Series, and remains a popular sitcom in the UK and Ireland. In a 2001 Channel 4 poll, Dougal was ranked fifth on their list of the 100 Greatest TV Characters. In 2019, Father Ted was named the second-greatest British sitcom (after Fawlty Towers) by a panel of comedy experts for Radio Times.