Father Ted (1995–1998)
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A Christmassy Ted 

Father Ted wins the "Golden Cleric", for saving a fellow group of priests from an embarrassing situation.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Guilfoyle ...
Anne Gildea ...
Woman with Baby
Caoilinn McCormack ...
Barry Murphy ...
Father Fitzgerald
Donncha Crowley ...
Father Billy
Colum Gallivan ...
Father Reilly
Neil McCaul ...
Father Terry


In this Christmas special from 1996, Ted manages to avert a major catastrophe when he, Dougal and a group of other priests become lost in the lingerie section of a clothes store. Managing to get them out of the store and averting another scandal in the catholic church. Ted is awarded a Golden Cleric. Ted is undoubtedly pleased but things take an unexpected turn when a priest called Father Todd Unctious turns up who claims to be an old friend of Teds. Although Ted can't for the life of him remember who he is. Written by Robert McElwaine

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

christmas | christmas special | See All (2) »







Release Date:

24 December 1996 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode marks the final appearance of Father Larry Duff (Tony Guilfoyle) on the series. See more »


There is a visit to a department store which boasts (we're told) the largest lingerie department in Ireland. However, the establishing shot of the store is of Oxford Street in London. It even features a bus stop with the easily recognisable London Transport logo. The interior of the shop however is indeed a lingerie section in Dunnes Stores, an Irish shopping chain. See more »


Father Dougal: What's going on?
Other Priest: I think Ted has a plan.
Father Dougal: No, I mean in general.
See more »


References Ballykissangel (1996) See more »


La Marseillaise
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Performed by a Group of Priests
See more »

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User Reviews

A Christmassy Ted: A great hour which avoids the usual seasonal pitfalls and remains consistent with the series
24 May 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Christmas special historically is an extra episode in a show which doesn't fit into the narrative per se, and is deliberately written around Christmas, usually featuring a sense of good will and cheer without being too demanding on an audience trying to stay awake after a day of excess. This episode of Father Ted clearly knows this, and as a result we get a playful moment early on where they ponder on the madcap things that could have happened if the baby they briefly found on the doorstep had really been left for them. From here instead we get a Vietnam flavored adventure in the lingerie section of Dunne Stores, followed by an award being presented for Crilly's heroics in the field.

It terms of narrative it fits really well with every other episode as it is an engagingly absurd plot, with plenty of good laughs and oddity throughout. The extended running time is made to look like no bother at all and it never feels like it is padded out or stretched thin at any point, instead moving well throughout. The small details add to the comedy and generally the episode successfully captures this air of nonsense that is enjoyable and never silly, so it is possible to go with it and find it funnier as a result. A few of the gags have perhaps dated due to them being topical for the time, but it really is the tiny minority.

The cast are strong. This was the final episode to be broadcast before Morgan died at only 45 years old, and here is on great form. While he plays the most "straight" of the characters, he also delivers the weakness and foibles of the characters with great timing. Dougal remain O'Hanlon's best work I think, his delivery and timing is spot on. Kelly's routine is perhaps limited by how simple it is, but still he is funny in small doses – likewise McLynn, who has some great little asides here. The supporting cast throws in some nice surprises (like Kirwan and Tompkinson), but also has good turns from McSorley and others.

Overall a very enjoyable extended episode which stays true to the comedy and tone of the series, and doesn't fall into any of the pitfalls one would often associated with the Christmas special.

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