Creators of Father Ted pick their favourite moments from the show
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Creators of Father Ted pick their favourite moments from the show

THE first episode of the anarchic Irish comedy Father Ted was broadcast on Channel 4 in April 1995.

The show, which followed the exploits of three incompetent priests on the fictional Craggy Island off Ireland's west coast, is arguably one of the best sitcoms that Ireland and Britain have ever seen.

Writers Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan have picked a few of their favourite moments from the show featuring Father Ted Crilly, Father Dougal and the brilliant supporting cast. 

1. Lightning strike on a golf course

Father Stone is the dullest priest on the planet so when he turns up on Craggy Island to visit Ted for his annual holiday, Ted, Dougal, Jack and Mrs Doyle do whatever they can to avoid him. Ted prays for Father Stone to leave by any means but after Father Stone is struck by lightning during a game of crazy golf Ted is racked with guilt.  "One of my favourite episodes," says Arthur Mathews. "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."

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2. Dougal's blue jumper

"This is one of those times you get to sit back and have fun with some of the aspects of Dougal's personality, in this case his inability to retain any memories despite their extreme significance…so the blue jumper is the one thing he remembers. It was one of those things we discovered as we were writing it," explains Linehan.

3. Mass by milk float

When Ted and Dougal expose 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 his milk float. 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.

"The reason I like this clip is because it's the one time we broke our rule that you would never see them performing Mass or doing any duties associated with the the job of being a priest. It was a very strict rule but with the Mass and the milk float we just thought 'Sorry that's too good, we have to show it,'" says Linehan.

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4. Hitler moustache

The perfectly square bit of black dirt on the window is what gets Ted into trouble here. "It's a great performance by Dermot," says Mathews. "He had to be put in some sort of neck brace to keep his head perfectly still as he did all the gestures," says Linehan. "I didn't realise you needed artificial help to act like Hitler."

5. Father Ted kicking Bishop Brennan

"Hugely enjoyable, and also kinda based a little bit on a Seinfeld plot line," says Linehan. Mathews adds: "The basic idea is you do something outrageous and then pretend it didn't happen…and the person you did it to has to play along."

"Especially if the person you did it to is one of the angriest people in the world," says Linehan. "Considering you have people kissing bishops' rings when you meet them, the sheer drop in respect would just be too much for [Bishop Brennan's] brain to handle."

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