***FYI, A GLITCH IN THE POLL, WIPED OUT ALL VOTING SO FAR. WE’LL LEAVE UP ANOTHER DAY TO GIVE YOU A CHANCE TO VOTE EARLY AND OFTEN. A GREAT RESPONSE SO FAR WITH TOTALS SHOWING “Speed 3” IN THE LEAD.
THANKS TO EVERYONE THAT HAS VOTED SO FAR. IF YOU WOULDN’T MIND VOTING AGAIN, I WOULD APPRECIATE IT!***
Oh, to be in the UK over the Christmas holidays. Seems Channel 4 is celebrating the brilliance of Father Ted on Boxing Day (26 December) this year with a self-described mini-marathon of comedy sainthood. Hosted by co-writers Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews. Linehan, who is also responsible for the greatness of The IT Crowd and the even greater, Black Books, and Mathews have selected eight of their favorite episodes for the
sole purpose of goading fans to vote for their personal “best-ever” Father Ted episode which will air following the documentary. Linehan as taken to Twitter (@Glinner) to plead his case to get people to vote. In looking at their fab eight, the cool thing is to get their comments on each as to why each made the finals.
#1 – Read Graham and Arthur’s list of favorites.
#2 – Over analyze and agonize over your decision.
#3 – If in the UK vote on the Channel 4 site here.
#4 – Outside the UK, VOTE BELOW.
#5 – We’ll post the results of the UK vote vs. the non-UK vote when the polls close and see who knows Father Ted the best. Voting ends 13, October 2010.
Graham and Arthur’s Elite Eight
Entertaining Father Stone – Series 1 Episode 2
Father Stone is the dullest priest on the planet who seems incapable of more than one word sentences. When he turns up on Craggy Island to visit Ted for his annual holiday Ted, Dougal, Jack and even Mrs Doyle do whatever they can to avoid being with him. Ted prays for Father Stone to leave by any means but after the very dull cleric Father Stone is struck by lightning during a game of crazy golf Ted is racked with guilt.
‘Possibly my favourite episode. Based on a true story – friends of mine suffered a colleague’s visit every year. They couldn’t get rid of him, or succeed in dissuading him from coming. Not as frantic as some episodes, which I like. Very simple plot – with a nice twist of Father Stone being struck by lightning on a crazy golf course.‘ – Arthur
Competition Time – Series 1 Episode 4
It’s the annual All Priests Stars in Their Eyes Lookalike Competition and Ted is up against his arch nemesis, Father Dick Byrne from Rugged Island. TV celebrity Henry Sellers arrives from the mainland to judge the competition but a little of Mrs Doyle’s persistent hospitality sees the recovering alcoholic off into the woods on a sherry bender. Sellers recovers in time to judge the competition and despite Dick Byrne and his two side kicks making a decent fist of The Three Degrees, Ted, Dougal and Jack win with their entry, The Three Ages of Elvis.
‘I’m always fond of the rivalry with the lads on Rugged Island. Ted, Dougal and Jack representing Elvis at three iconic periods in his career seemed to fit snugly. Jack going feral and taking to the woods is something I’m also very fond of. Niall Buggy is a fine Henry Sellers.’ – Arthur
Hell – Series 2 Episode 1
Ted, Dougal and Jack take their annual holiday at Kilkelly Caravan Park. After a double booking, they have to share with Father Noel Furlong, played by Graham Norton, and a handful of his youth group. Ted and Dougal spend their time trying to avoid the annoying Father Noel but Ted keeps getting into trouble when in a series of unfortunate accidents he inadvertently spies on a romancing couple when they’re naked, making love and even on the toilet.
‘Revisiting many a caravan holiday of my youth. Very happy with almost everything about this episode, but the element of the nearby couple with whom Ted keeps having ‘moments’ is a particular favourite.’ – Graham
Old Grey Whistle Theft – Series 2 Episode 4
A disruptive influence turns up on Craggy island in the form Father ‘Damo’ Lennon and Dougal is led astray. When a valuable whistle is stolen from groundskeeper Benson’s cabin the whole island goes into a panic. A priest was seen at the scene of the crime and the investigation leads to Dougal’s door.
‘An episode we thought didn’t work when we made it, and if you pick it apart, it really shouldn’t work. But it’s carried by the relationship between Father Dougal and Father Damo, which is lovely, we think.’ -Graham
A Song for Europe – Series 2 Episode 5
Ted is goaded by rival Father Dick Byrne into entering for Eurosong ’96. Ted and Dougal have to write an original song but can only manage a one note dirge. Ted decides to copy an obscure B-side and pass it off as his own. When he realises this song is very well-known he has to revert back to his and Dougal’s original one-note assault on the pop song. But as the competition is rigged for the worst song to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Ted and Dougal still manage to win!
‘What can you say? At the time, Ireland seemed to be winning the Eurovision every year, and as winners they have to host the following year, which was costing millions. There was an urban myth that the organisers would have to arrange for a weaker entry to guarantee we wouldn’t win. Neil Hannon’s music for My Lovely Horse and the resulting Ted and Dougal music video – which is based on an actual video by a group called The Swarbrigg Brothers – is obviously great but I’m especially proud of the scene where they’re writing the lyrics.’ – Graham
Are you Right There, Father Ted – Series 3 Episode 1
Ted’s unfortunate impression of a Chinaman is seen by Craggy Island’s newly arrived Chinese family and he is branded a racist. Nazi-saluting in front of a spot of dirt on the front window doesn’t help his case.Ted sets out to convince the island he isn’t a right-wing sympathizer, but after being left some Second World War memorabilia by another priest this doesn’t help his case.
‘At the time of writing immigration was rising in Ireland and there was a lot of tension as a result – ironic in a country that has been re-populating the globe for centuries! We weren’t making any kind of serious comment on the situation. It was just a good way of putting Ted into full-on damage limitation mode. Ted doing his Hitler impression and the unexpected Chinese family are two of our favourite ‘window related’ jokes.’ – Graham
Speed 3 – Series 3 Episode 3
When Ted and Dougal expose the local milkman Pat Mustard, as a philandering gigolo, he loses his job and Dougal takes over his milk round. Based loosely on the plot of Speed, Pat takes his revenge by putting a bomb on milk float. If Dougal drops below 4mph the bomb will explode, taking Dougal and the islands supply of milk with it. A team of priests are called in to save Dougal but can only come up with saying Mass on the back of a truck along side the speeding milk float.
‘One of the silliest episodes. Everybody related to the joke about UHT milk being horrible. Great action sequences! Watch out for those boxes! The actual roundabout is still used for St Patrick’s Day parades.’ – Arthur
Kicking Bishop Brennan Up the Arse – Series 3 Episode 6
The second episode in a two-parter sees Ted in a pickle. After losing the All Priests Over-75’s Five-a-Side Football Championship to Dick Byrne’s side, his forfeit is to kick the angriest Bishop in Christendom up the backside. Being a priest of his word Ted gives the Bishop a big belt up the backside but desperate to avoid being excommunicated from his own genitals listens to a devilishly cunning plan from Dougal. Just pretend it didn’t happen.
‘Hah! He certainly does get a good toefull! Based slightly on an incident from Seinfeld and an incident from the life of Magritte. Ted gets a nice kick at the end too when Bishop Brennan wreaks his revenge. Features some great lying from Ted.’ – Arthur