A Televisual Representation of Roman Catholic Priests: Father Ted

Appendix Three

Father Ted Production Company and Team

The Production Company

Father Ted is produced and distributed by Hat Trick Productions of London. Formed in 1986, Hat Trick quickly established a close relationship with Channel 4, developing "distinctive, innovative, quality programming such as Whose Line Is It Anyway? Chelmsford 123, Norbert Smith - A Life and Clive Anderson Talks Back."1 Hat Trick describes itself as: "one of Britain's most successful independent television production companies responsible for award-winning comedy programmes such as Have I Got News For You, Drop the Dead Donkey and Father Ted." Hat Trick has also produced successful programming for BBC 2, including: Have I Got News For You, The Harry Enfield Television Programme, Room 101 and most recently Game On.

From the beginning, Hat Trick has placed an emphasis on comedy and light entertainment. They have "produced the work of some of the country's most prestigious comedy writers (Andy Hamilton, Guy Jenkin, Andrew Davies, Graham Linehan, Arthur Mathews), discovered many of Britain['s] most successful comedy performers, including Clive Anderson, Angus Deayton, Nick Hancock and Paul Merton." Hat Trick programmes have won numerous television awards including: British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), International Emmy, Royal Television Society, British Comedy and Writer's Guild.

The Production Team

Executive Producer:
Father Ted has been one of the latest successes to be produced by Hat Trick Productions, specifically by Hat Trick's deputy managing director, Mary Bell. Mary Bell began her career at BBC Radio Light Entertainment and moved to television in 1986 to join Denise O'Donoghue working on Who Dares Wins for Channel 4. Their collaboration led Bell and O'Donoghue to found Hat Trick Productions in 1986. Bell then worked on Chelmsford 123; produced This is David Harper, Harry Enfield's Television Programme and co-produced The Big One. She has been an executive producer on Have I Got News For You since 1992 and is executive producer of Hat Trick's first radio drama, The Chronicles of Clovis. Bell was the executive producer of both series of Father Ted.
The most recent producer of Father Ted was Lissa Evans. The first series was produced by Geoffrey Perkins. Evans originally studied medicine before beginning her career in radio, first as a senior producer then as a script editor at BBC Radio Light Entertainment. Besides Father Ted, Evans has produced Clive Anderson Talks Back and both series of Room 101 for Hat Trick Productions.
Declan Lowney has directed both series of Father Ted. Lowney has a long history with Channel 4, originally specialising in music programming. Besides his musical credits, Lowney has directed: Smith & Jones - Live, Over the Rainbow, Phobophilia - Penn & Teller and the second series of Jo Brand Through the Cakehole (all for Channel 4).
Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews are the creators and writers of Father Ted. For more on them please refer to "Chapter Two."
Father Ted Crilly:
Father Ted Crilly is portrayed by Dermot Morgan, a native Irish comedian and satirist. As a writer and performer touring with his own one-man stand-up comedy show, he quickly secured a reputation as Ireland's first alternative comedian. His iconoclastic style resulted in state censure-his airtime strictly limited by state TV. His radio programme Scrap Saturday that ran for two years was one of the most popular radio comedies in Ireland. He won the award for Top Television Comedy Actor at the 1996 British Comedy Awards for his performance in Father Ted.
Father Dougal McGuire:
Award-winning stand-up comedian Ardal O'Hanlon portrays Father Dougal McGuire. A native of Ireland, his creation of Father Dougal in 1995 was his first role for television. A well-travelled performer, writer and script-writer, Ardal has toured in Australia and Europe, as well as Montreal's 'Just for Laughs' Festival. He won the award for Best Television Comedy Newcomer at the 1995 British Comedy Awards for his performance in Father Ted.
Father Jack Hackett:
Father Jack is portrayed by native Irishman Frank Kelly. Kelly is the only 'practising' Roman Catholic of the three priest characters. His long career spans radio, television, theatre and film. He has played a wide variety of roles in the Irish theatre as well as touring in the US and Canada. His film credits include: Ryan's Daughter, The Italian Job, Taffin, The War of the Buttons and BBC's television-film O Mary This London. Kelly has written widely for both radio and television and for seven years presented his own weekly radio show. He has released six comedy albums of his material and his hit single, "Comedy Countdown." It charted three times in Britain and reached number one in Australia. Previous television credits include: The Year of the French, Memoirs of an Irish RM, Remington Steele and Troubles.
Mrs. Doyle:
As the only female regular in the cast Pauline McLynn portrays Mrs. Doyle. McLynn has extensive theatre credits including: The Country Wife, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, The Playboy of the Western World, The Taming of the Shrew and The Double Dealer. Her television appearances include: Family, Nothing To It, Commonplaces, The Truth About Claire and Troubles. In Ireland she gained popularity working with Dermot Morgan on the "long-running and hugely successful" Scrap Saturday radio programme. She has also appeared in the films Far and Away and Guiltrip. She won the award for Top Television Comedy Actress at the 1996 British Comedy Awards for his performance in Father Ted.

Notes for Appendix Three

1. All information in this appendix is taken from a Hat Trick Productions press release.

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Changes last made on: Thu Mar 13 14:30:27 1997