Northern Ireland

Father Ted star Mrs Doyle recalls the unholy fun of it all

Dermot Morgan played Father Ted in the 1995 tv comedy Image copyright other
Image caption Dermot Morgan played Father Ted in the 1995 tv comedy

The Irish actress who played the priests' housekeeper in comedy series Father Ted has confessed that she has had real difficulty offering anyone a cup of tea ever since.

Pauline McLynn was the earnest, scatty priest's housekeeper Mrs Doyle in the sitcom.

Her catchphrase was "You will, you will, you will," as she pressed tea upon all newcomers.

It is 20 years since the Channel 4 comedy was first screened.

It told the story of three priests and their housekeeper on remote Craggy Island and captivated audiences in Ireland and across the UK with its unholy brand of fun.

Famous Father Ted catchphrases

Down with this sort of thing!

That would be an ecumenical matter.

You will, you will, you will!

That money was just resting in my account.

Nuns! Nuns! Reverse!

Ms McLynn said the series resonates with all ages.

"A friend of mine has two children who are five and seven and they are totally devoted to Father Ted. Every new generation we are getting new fans," said Ms McLynn.

"This time 20 years ago, we had made six episodes. Honestly, we didn't think anybody would watch it, or notice it was on, although we found it funny. But that doesn't necessarily mean everybody else would."

Ms McLynn told BBC NI's Good Morning Ulster on Tuesday that there was an innocence to the show.

Image copyright other
Image caption Pauline McLynn as the scatty priest's housekeeper with the "cup of tea" fetish, Mrs Doyle

"It is about these four people who are stuck with one another and every week we start at the same place, which is hell.

"It is so simple and so stupid that everybody can enjoy it. By stupid, I mean desperately funny. These things couldn't happen in real life, but they do in the land of Ted."

She confessed that it had taken her years to be able to offer anyone tea after her role in Father Ted.

When she landed her current role in the BBC's Eastenders, she said she had to offer someone tea in her role as Charlie Cotton's mother, Yvonne, and she was reluctant to do it.

In 1998, Dermot Morgan who played loveable rogue Fr Ted died suddenly at his home in London. He was 45 years old.

"The best thing would be if he was here. He'd be dining out on Father Ted. But he will never grow old and he will always be gorgeous," Ms McLynn said.

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