The Greatest Hits Of ‘Father Ted’

As St Patrick’s Day draws closer, now seems a good time to celebrate the finest Irish sitcom ever made, with a look at some of its best bits. (Own the entire series on DVD via the BBC America Shop.)

Not that you need an excuse. Sifting through the three series and one Christmas special of Father Ted for favorite moments is only a pain in that there’s an embarrassment of riches to pick from.

So here’s an entirely personal selection, in no particular order. You may wish to suggest your own favorites in the comments below:

Speed 3

Ted and Dougal have exposed a philandering milkman, who has been sacked and vows revenge. Dougal takes on his rounds, only to discover the milk float has been booby-trapped, and that the bomb underneath will be detonated if his speed drops below four miles an hour. Thankfully, Ted is on the case:

Father Jack’s Elocution Lesson

Three bishops are on their way to Craggy Island to perform a ceremony on a nearby holy relic, and Ted realizes he must try and rein in Father Jack’s worst impulses. This requires some harsh training:

My Lovely Horse

Ted and Dougal have entered the Eurovision Song Contest, but are horrified to discover they have no talent when it comes to the writing of that all-important song. Luckily, their words fit the tune to the b-side of an old Norwegian entry, so they resolve to bluff their way through it. Like this:

Mrs Doyle Delivers The Tea

It’s a toss-up between this and the magnificent series of window cleaning prat-falls for the best Mrs Doyle moment in the show. No matter what calamity befalls our hapless priests, you can depend on their faithful housekeeper to be on hand with tea, sympathy, and steamrolled hospitality:

Ted Explains Perspective

The set-up is self-explanitory. Ted and Dougal are stuck in a caravan and bored. Time passes. We rejoin them in the middle of a conversation, and then there’s a joke about cows, which remains the thing I have laughed longest and hardest at than any other thing in the history of funny things on TV that I have personally seen, ever.

Go on then, tell me I’m wrong:

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2. He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage. Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic
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