Father Ted star Ardal O'Hanlon joins cast of hit show Derry Girls ahead of series 2

Father Ted star Ardal O'Hanlon joins cast of hit show Derry Girls ahead of series 2

ARDAL O'Hanlon has been announced as the latest addition to the cast of Derry Girls ahead of the hit sitcom's second series.

The 53-year-old, best known for his role as hapless priest Fr Dougal McGuire in Father Ted, will appear as a guest star when series 2 of the Channel 4 show kicks off later this year.

He will play "Eamonn, the awkward, middle-aged mummy’s boy of the Quinn/McCool extended family", the broadcaster confirmed on Thursday.

Set in Derry in the 1990s, the sitcom is written by London Irish creator Lisa McGee and follows teenager Erin Quinn and her pals as they grow up during the Troubles.

Its debut series enjoyed wide acclaim last year and an average of 2.5 million viewers per episode in the UK – making it Channel 4's most successful comedy launch in over a decade before being picked up by Netflix in the US.

Saoirse-Monica Jackson, who plays Erin, revealed that O'Hanlon will play a "real Irish stereotype" in the show, but refused to be drawn on the details.

"Ardal O’Hanlon joins our family this year, which is brilliant," she told RadioTimes.com.

"It was really surreal, just looking at him, because he’s such an iconic figure in Ireland, and he’s such a lovely man. He’s so good in it.

"There's a scene where it gets quite physical, and Lisa [McGee] came over. She was like, ‘Don’t bully Ardal’. And we were like, ‘We’re not bullying him, he’s like a national treasure!’ Cause we had to like go for it in the scene."

Earlier this week, Derry Girls fans got their first look at its highly-anticipated second series after the release of its first official trailer.

All the main characters from series 1 will reprise their roles in the new episodes – which are expected to kick off in March.