29 February 2008

A fitting tribute to Ted

Not to Ted the cat but to Father Ted star Dermot Morgan. It was ten years ago yesterday that Morgan died a heart attack suffered at his home in Richmond, Surrey. He He was three days short of his 46th birthday. Yesterday, a foundation in his name was launched to provide bursaries for emerging comedy writers. Appropriately, it was announced on the back of a milk-float -- central to an unforgettable 'Father Ted' episode 'Speed 3' -- at Eyre Square in Galway.

A graduate of University College Dublin Morgan spend two years as a teacher before leaving the profession in 1976 to pursue comedy. In 1979, he got his big break from Mike Murphy as a hurley-wielding GAA fanatic on 'The Live Mike'. His alter-ego of Fr Trendy was soon born and he appeared as the religiously hip young curate for the next four years.

His career slumped in the mid-1980s, but in 1986 he recorded a surprise Christmas number one hit with 'Thank you very much, Mr Eastwood', parodying boxer Barry McGuigan and manager Barney Eastwood. Three years later he set up his own company, Cue Productions, which produced 'Scrap Saturday' for RTE Radio. But in 1991 the show was suddenly cancelled by RTE and Dermot Morgan was both angry and frustrated at the decision.

Father Ted appeared on TV in 1995. He had just completed his third season of the show when he died. He was honoured with a posthumous award at the BAFTAs in 1999. The first fundraising event for the Dermot Morgan Bursary, An Evening Without Dermot Morgan, will be held in Dublin on June 9.

Father Ted is in my view second only to Black Adder as the funniest sitcom ever to appear on TV. This of course gives me an excuse for a few clips (as if I ever needed an excuse). Enjoy!

Ted and Dougal escape from Ireland's largest lingerie department

Dougal describes the Beast of Craggy Island

Mrs Doyle ruins Ted's breakfast


Anonymous said...

Now those are funny!

he's got an RC sense of humour ;-)

jams o donnell said...

glad you liked them!

Barbara said...

I loved watching Father Ted and bought some of the videos, I can't believe it is 10 years since Dermot Morgan died! I am pleased to hear a foundation has been started in his name.

jams o donnell said...

You're right It doesn't sem like it's ben 10 years. I suppose the frequent re-runs have helped the time fly.