Father Ted actor Dermot Morgan has died

Dermot Morgan, famous for playing loveable rogue Father Ted, died aged 45 after collapsing at the home in Richmond he shared with his partner, Fiona. The actor had three sons.

Father Ted, the Bilko of the black cassock, was one of the funniest and best-loved comedy heroes of the 90's. Avowed atheist Morgan had just completed his third series of the madcap Irish sitcom.

Dermot Morgan (centre-back) with Fr Ted colleaguesHis death came after the silver-haired comedian  revealed plans to quit the show because he did not want to become type-cast.
The Father Ted series turned Dermot Morgan into a sex symbol and was voted Best Comedy at the Bafta Awards.

The show - centred around a group of  eccentric priests living on the remote Craggy Island -  won Best Sitcom for two years running at the British Comedy Awards, and was one of  Channel 4's most popular programmes.

Fr. Ted, side-kick Fr. Dougal, and the bishop's bunniesWeeks before his death Morgan (left) said: "After three series playing this priest, I want to get out of the dog collar.

"I don't want to be the next Clive Dunn and end up playing the same character for years."

Morgan had written a new TV drama series which was in the process of being made. The quick-witted Irishman had spent years before he landed the sitcom role treading the boards as a stand-up comedian

The third series due to hit the screens on March 6 is billed as the funniest yet.

But despite finding fame and fortune as the dry-witted priest with the cheeky smile, Morgan had been publicly critical of the church.

He was recently quoted as saying: "I don't believe in confessional, any of it. Bit organisations are bad news."Fascists are people who dress in black and tell you what to do and priests, well, er ..."

For more on Dermot Morgan see this recent ITN interview. For more on Morgan's death see the BBC report.


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