Father Ted

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Father Ted is a situation comedy produced by Hat Trick Productions for the UK's Channel 4 and written by Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan. It aired over three series and a special, from 21 April 1995 until 1 May 1998. It starred Dermot Morgan in the title role as the Irish Catholic priest Father Ted Crilly, and was set on the remote fictional Craggy Island parish off the west coast of Ireland. The show followed the lives of Ted and his fellow priests, Father Dougal McGuire (Ardal O'Hanlon) and Father Jack Hackett (Frank Kelly), who are exiled on the island, living together in the parochial house with the fourth main character, housekeeper Mrs. Doyle (Pauline McLynn).

The show ran for a total of 25 episodes. The first series comprised 6 episodes, with the second series running for 10 episodes. A Christmas special, A Christmassy Ted, then aired before a third series of 8 episodes. Dermot Morgan died unexpectedly on 28 February 1998 age 45, a day after filming the last episode, leaving the entire final series to be broadcast posthumously. No further shows in the franchise were ever commissioned, the writers having stated that the third series had been intended as the ultimate even prior to Morgan's death.

All of the interior scenes were shot at The London Studios in Studio 2. Exterior filming was shot at various locations on the Irish mainland in County Clare, with the Parochial house being at Glenquin, near Kilnaboy, County Clare. The aerial shot in the opening credits of Craggy Island and the wreck of the Plassey cargo ship depicts the isle of Inisheer, part of the Aran Islands, off the west coast of Ireland.

In 1995[2] and 1998[3] the show won the BAFTA award for Best Comedy, while Morgan won a BAFTA in 1998 for Best Comedy Performance,[3] and McLynn the Top TV Comedy Actress award at the British Comedy Awards in 1996.[4] Having achieved a cult following, since 2007 the Ted Fest, a Father Ted fan convention, has been held annually. The theme tune for the series was written and performed by The Divine Comedy, who also released a B-side of "My Lovely Horse", a song written during the episode "Song for Europe". The series raised the profile of a large number of contemporary Irish actors and comedians, including Ardal O'Hanlon, Pauline McLynn, Graham Norton, Tommy Tiernan, Patrick McDonnell, Don Wycherley, Joe Rooney, Jason Byrne, Pat Shortt, Jon Kenny, Ed Byrne, Brendan Grace and Gerard McSorley.

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