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03rd Sep 2018

6 Behind The Scenes Secrets Of Father Ted We Guarantee You Never Knew


Father Ted, arguably one of the most brilliant creations of all time, is still going strong: We all have our favourite episodes and we’ll never not crack up at Ted explaining the difference between ‘small’ and ‘far away’ to Dougal in a campervan.

The legendary show aired over three series from 21 April 1995 until 1 May 1998, including a Christmas special, for a total of 25 episodes which were jointly written by Arthur Matthews and Graham Linehan.

But did you know about these six behind the scenes secrets? We don’t believe you do, so we got the inside scoop from Father Ted creator Arthur Matthews on what went on when the cameras weren’t rolling…

Father Ted himself would go to great lengths for a bitta pizza

Dermot Morgan once sent out for pizzas for all the cast and crew to Ennis – about 25 km from where they were based in Ennistymon.

Pretty sound considering 25km in a taxi (with today’s wild fares) works out at about €50 for the one way trip alone. We hope those cheesy pies were worth it.

The ‘boring voice’ priest? You might recognise him…

Sean Barret, who played a ‘priest with a very boring voice’ in the Christmas special, is on the cover of a Smiths single and starred in the 1958 film of ‘Dunkirk.’

Not so boring now, is he?

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Locals were more impressed with murderers than the TV actors

When they were filming in a local pub, a suspect for a notorious murder at the time had come in for a drink a few days previously. This prompted the barman to say to Dermot: ‘You’re not the only celebrity around here’.

Ahh, nothing like a good local celeb, right?

And the priests were based on family relatives

Arthur’s Uncle Tom was a priest, and growing up around all that Catholicism inspired some brilliant Father Ted characters.

Matthew’s uncle once said mass in a car in Dublin airport with him and his sister Ria in the car. A.KA ‘A Very Father Ted moment.’

People are seriously helpful if they think you’re a priest

While out on location on The Burren, Ardal O’Hanlon (Dougal) was left behind by the crew once, and it was so cold he knocked on the door of a local house so he could go in and keep warm. When they saw he was (dressed as) a priest, he was heartily welcomed.

Nothing like a bitta Irish hospitality.

And the show had some pretty impressive fans

Arthur revealed the show had some pretty “famous” fans…. He said: “I met a woman called Yoko at the initial Father Ted festival. She’d come from Tokyo. Also, there was a man from England who turned up – he was going through a divorce at the time, and should have been in a courtroom in Preston (or somewhere like that – can’t quite remember) facing his wife.”

Although considering John Lennon was assassinated in 1980, we’re pretty sure this is just Arthur being the comedic fella that he is…


The greatest thing to come out of Ireland? 100%.

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