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Random Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Fr Ted!

fr ted

  • Who knew Fr Fintan Stack was based on a real person?!! The comedian Brendan Grace, who very memorably played the sarcastic Fr Stack, based his portrayal of the character on a teacher he once had in school. He said, “The man in question used to talk in a slow sarcastic tone of voice, all while wearing a smile on his face, and it often occurred to me afterwards that had he become a priest in stead of a teacher, there would be a real life Fr Stack out there somewhere!” Today, fans regularly approach Brendan and ask him to record phone messages for their friends in the character of Fr Stack!    


  • Greys Anatomy fans will love this trivial nugget from the Christmassy Ted episode. Remember the young Glasweigan priest, Fr Deegan? He was played by Kevin McKidd (below) whom today happens to be known as Owen Hunt on the Grey’s Anatomy! He also played Tommy in the film Trainspotting, and voiced the characters of Lord MacGuffin and young MacGuffin the the Pixar’s Brave.

kevin mckidd

  • Fr Hernandez – the seriously flashy Cuban priest who visits Ted and Dougal, plays a disastrous game of Cluedo and gifts them a video recorder – was played by Mumbai born actor Derrick Branche, who was a classmate of Freddie Mercury, and even played in Mercury’s first band!

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  • Ardal O’Hanlon kept a souvenir from the show – the small framed painting of Fr Ted and Fr Stone. Ardal was also given some of Dougal’s tank-tops from the show however these have since been auctioned off for different charities. Below is the picture of the painting Ardal kept, and Fr Stone as he is today i.e. comedian Michael Redmond. You can follow him on Twitter here.fr stone
  • Ardal O’Hanlon’s daughter Emily was one of the hairy babies! Apparently she is the baby in the red and white babygro!

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  • The next time you watch the episode ‘And God Created Woman’ where Mrs Doyle is reeling off all the profanity in the book, keep a close eye on Dermot Morgan’s face. You can see him trying not to laugh. Pauline McGlynn improvised on the script and added in a number of her own profanities. Dermot Morgan was not expecting this and nearly burst out laughing.
  • For a very small fee, you can enjoy tea in Fr Ted’s house! Even though the interior of the house was filmed in a TV studio in London, the famous house itself is situated in Killnaboy, County Clare. (You can book it here) Despite being filmed over 20 years ago, fans still flock to the ‘parochial house’. The house owners, the McCormack family, previously told a local newspaper that they once found a large group of fans conducting a Fr Ted worship ceremony of sorts in their front garden! The McCormack’s children also appeared in the series on a few occasions. Remember the baby that was left on Fr Ted’s doorstep in A Christmassy Ted? That baby is the now 20-something year old, Caoilinn McCormack!

fr ted

  • Apparently, the character of Mrs Doyle is based on Graham Linehan’s mother! Even though Mrs Doyle’s first name is never revealed in the series, the scripts apparently state her name was Joan!
  • Remember Pat Mustard, the milkman from Speed 3. The actor who played him is also famous for his role in The Snapper as George Burgess, the father of Sharon Curley’s child. He also appeared in the Helen Mirren film, The Queen! One of the actors who auditioned for the role of Pat Mustard was Brendan O’Carroll!

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  • Fr Ted creators Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews make a number of cameos in the series. Graham is the man who passes by the parochial house saying “some nutcase has put up a cross”. He was also one of the 4 DJ priests in the venue where the car raffle is taking place. Arthur played one of the priests who decide to hold a mass on the back of a truck for Fr Dougal in Speed 3 (He’s on the far left, while the priest on the right of Ted is today best known for his role as Cass in Fair City!). He also played the man who angrily confronts Ted in the picnic area (“Fup off you grasshole”) in the episode about the theft of the whistle.


  • The role of Fr Ted was originally meant for Arthur but they decided to cast Dermot Morgan after seeing him perform on The Live Mike as Fr Trendy.
  • There is a popular misconception that the series was filmed on the Aran Islands, but it was in fact filmed primarily in County Clare! Ireland’s largest lingerie department … was filmed in Dunnes Stores in Ennis! (Green Party councillor Brian Meaney called for it to be officially recognised as a tourist landmark!) The dream sequence music video for ‘My Lovely Horse’ was filmed right by the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon. The trad music session held by the Craggy Island Chinese community took place in Vaughan’s Pub in Kilfenora. Speed 3 also took place in the village of Kilfenora. In the memorable episode about Chris the sheep, the pub scenes took place in Eugene’s Drinking Emporioum in Ennistymon. The ‘Very Dark Caves’ where Fr Ted, Fr Dougal, Fr Noel Furlong and the St Lukes Youth Group lose their way was set in The Ailwee Caves in Ballyvaughan. A number of scenes were also shot in Dublin and Wicklow. The cinema used for the interior and exterior in the episode, Fr Ted: The Passion Of St Tibulus was the Ormonde cinema in Greystones in Wicklow.

very dark caves

  • Steve Coogan, aka Alan Partridge, says he “bitterly regrets” turning down the role of an RTE presenter in the Song For Europe episode. The role later went to Jon Kenny.
  • Maurice O’Donoghue, the actor who plays Father Dick Byrne, was originally considered for the role of Fr Ted. Mistake alert: in the scene where Father Jack scores a goal in the over-70’s football match, Fr Dick Byrne raises his hands to his face … and we can see he’s wearing a wedding ring! Here he is today:

fr dick byrne

  • For the scene where a priest rolls off the clifftop in his wheelchair, a dummy doll was tied to a wheelchair and pushed off the top of the Cliffs of Moher, but the crew forgot to retrieve it from the water. According to Graham Linehan, “It’s probably still floating in the Atlantic some where! If someone ever came across it, God knows what they thought!”
  • Here’s a rare sketch that was going to be used as a trailer for series 3: 

  • The theme tune to Father Ted was written by Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy. It later became ‘Songs of Love’ on their album ‘Casanova’. Ironically Neil Hannon himself is the son of Rev Brian Hannon, who was Bishop of Clogher from 1986 to 2001.
  • Music enthusiasts will love this one! Seán Barrett, the actor who appeared in the Christmas episode (the one set in “Ireland’s largest lingerie department”) as the priest with “the most boring voice in the world”, also appeared on the cover of the Smiths classic single ‘How Soon Is Now?’

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  • Patrick McDonnell, who played Eoin McLove, once recalled how when his wife was in labour, one of the midwives suddenly looked up at him and said his famous line, “I have no willy!” He has also since said that the “jumper cake tasted awful” and that the jumper itself was also incredibly heavy thanks to all the cake on it. He also added that he developed a rash on his back and arms after eating the jam from the pot, though whether he was being serious about that or joking, we’re not too sure.

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  • Apparently, when Sister Assumpta is dragging Ted and Dougal behind the tractor you can clearly see Dougal’s stunt double is ginger!
  • Father Liam ‘The Dancing Priest‘ Finnegan, who appeared in the episode ‘Think Fast Fr Ted’ was played by Brían F. O Byrne who also starred as Detective Moynihan in Love/Hate and the bus driver/bank robber in Intermission. Graham Linehan revealed that the Game of Thrones and Love/Hate actor, Aidan Gillen, originally auditioned for the role of the dancing priest but was so embarrassed by the dancing he ran out of the room!

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  • And lastly, no Fr Ted list could be complete without the inclusion of Fr Larry Duff. He was played by actor Tony Guilfoyle. Here he is today!

fr larry duff



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