Father Ted makes front page in the US


FATHER TED has made the front page of the Washington Post as the Irish priest whose TV show has them "rolling in the Isles" (Geddit?). The caption with a picture of Dermot Morgan says he has "created a fad in Britain".

The article concedes that you may not fancy Father Ted "if you are offended by bad language or full posterior nudity, or by lighthearted treatment of feminism, alcoholism, cigarette addiction, paedophilia, old people, dumb people, Catholic people, the Irish, the Pope and God".

But they're "crazy for it in Britain, Ireland, France, Iceland, New Zealand and Scandinavia" and a Father Ted cult is fast emerging, reports the newspaper's London correspondent, Fred Barbash.

There has even been a Patner Ted column in "Ireland's most intellectual newspaper, The Irish Times, and a raft of pundits trying to explain its popularity".

"Rumours were reported that among the Father Ted admirers was Ireland's very proper President Mary Robinson, a fact she confirmed in an interview last year with the Washington Post."

Unfortunately, American audiences may never see Father Ted given "the sensitivities of American television". There have been no queries about the series from the US networks which are "traditionally uncomfortable with the raunchier humour that Europeans generally take in their stride", the article says.

"No character in any American sitcom is as blissfully incorrect as Father Jack (who by the way, travels in a wheelchair with his booze and cigarettes); no woman on US television is as happily subservient as Mrs Doyle (who also happens to be not all there)."

The series co writers, Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews, explain the mysterious word "feck" for Americans. "Feck is a polite Irish version of the `F' word as `Are we still on this feckin' island'?"

Father Jack, whose picture is also in the article, "sits in a chair all day, bottle at his side, shouting `Drink, girls, arse and feck'."

Father Dougal is "the dumbest priest in all of Ireland, a young man with the mind of a five year old, likeable but stupid, comparable in some respects to the Woody character in the original Cheers series".

Well, feck that for a patronising comment.