This chapter looks at the highly popular Channel 4 sitcom, Father Ted (1995-8), dealing with three Catholic priests and their housekeeper living on a fictitious island somewhere off the west coast of Ireland. It examines the circumstances of the programme’s making, its links to both ‘classic’ sitcoms (such as Steptoe and Son) and to ‘alternative’ comedy (such as The Young Ones) and the reasons for its subsequent emergence as a ‘cult’ comedy. It also considers the critical reactions that the series generated in both Britain and Ireland before exploring the programme’s ambivalent relationship to Irish stereotypes. In doing so, the article indicates how the series both draws upon and subverts the formal conventions traditionally associated with the sitcom and the ideologically-laden imagery historically associated with the Irish.
|Title of host publication||British TV Comedies|
|Subtitle of host publication||Cultural Concepts, Contexts and Controversies|
|Editors||Jurgen Kamm, Birgit Neumann|
|Place of Publication||Basingstoke|
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|