=-=-=-=-= Society of the Rusting TARDIS Newsletter (#83,
>>> Items of interest to British media fans and Seattle-area residents, <<<
>>> and whatever else I feel like spewing about. You have been warned. <<<
Sad news this time - Dermot Morgan, who played Father Ted, died last week.
In addition to the news stories below, more links can be found at
On tap this time:
Quick news items
Father Ted star Dermot Morgan dies
Cult comedian who angered the Church
Upcoming SotRT events
Subject: Quick news items
Currently (or recently) airing in the UK: New seasons of "Jonathan
Creek", "Never Mind the Buzzcocks", "Vicar of Dibley", and "Dressing for
Build your own set for the new season of "The Adam and Joe Show" at
The fifth and final season of "Goodnight Sweetheart" is airing in the UK.
The third and final season of "Father Ted" began on March 6th on Channel
"Fist of Fun" stars Lee and Herring's new show, "This Morning with
Richard Not Judy", is currently airing on BBC2.
Al Franken's new series "Lateline" begins on Tuesday, March 17, at
9:30pm. Expect many political cameos.
The word is final. Channel 9 has decided to throw its weight around
and prevent KBTC from showing "Monty Python's Flying Circus". Channel 9
has decided to get exclusive rights and air it instead. (Of course,
Channel 9 hadn't even considered it until they learned that KBTC had
plans to air it.) Your Channel 9 pledge $$$ at work once again.
February 14th was "Red Dwarf" night on BBC2. Much of the evening will
show up on the agenda at video meetings (and Anglicon). The line-up
9.00 A Menu with Patrick Stewart (introducing the night's viewing)
9.05 Can't Smeg, Won't Smeg (Chef Ainsley Harriott of "Can't Cook,
Won't Cook teaches the cast to cook chicken curry
9.35 The Smeg Ups (outtakes from all 7 series)
10.00 Universe Challenge (cast and fans compete in a quiz)
10.30 Red Dwarf A-Z (a run through the show's alphabet, as cast
and celeb fans (Stephen Hawking, Terry Pratchett) select
11.00 Gunmen of the Apocalypse
Subject: Father Ted star Dermot Morgan dies
By Jane MacMillan
Dermot Morgan, who played the eccentric Irish priest Father Ted in the
Channel 4 comedy, has died of a suspected heart attack after
collapsing at a dinner party at his home. He was 45.
The actor was taken to hospital late on Saturday night from his home
in Richmond, south-west London. He died shortly after midnight.
Morgan had just finished filming the third and last series of Father
Ted, which is scheduled to start on Friday. A Channel 4 spokesman said
the actor's relatives would be consulted before it was decided whether
to transmit the programme.
Staff at the West Middlesex Hospital in Isleworth told yesterday how
they tried to save the actor's life. A spokesman said: "Attempts were
made to resuscitate him in the ambulance and on arrival at the
hospital. Sadly he did not respond to treatment."
Morgan lived with his long-term girlfriend, Fiona, and their
four-year-old son, Ben. He also had two adult sons from his first
Born in Dublin, he was a schoolteacher and stand-up comedian before
landing the part of Father Ted. The sit-com, about three eccentric
priests living on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland,
achieved cult status when it was first televised in 1995 and won a
BAFTA award for Best Comedy.
It also brought Morgan personal success with a Top TV Comedy Actor
award at the British Comedy Awards in 1996. But despite this, he made
it clear in interviews last week that he was glad not to be doing
another series because of the fear of being type-cast.
Father Ted, made by Hat Trick Productions, attracted nearly five
million viewers and was Channel 4's most popular British comedy.
Arthur Matthews, who wrote the scripts with Graham Linehan, described
the actor's death as "shocking and tragic". He said: "Dermot was very
funny and very talented. It was not that easy a role and I cannot
imagine anyone else having done it. He really made it his own."
Frank Kelly, the actor who plays the drunken Father Jack, said:
"Dermot's mind was mercurial. I think he was a kind of comedic
meteor. He burned himself out."
Bertie Ahern, the Irish premier, was "shocked and saddened" to hear of
the actor's death. He said: "He was one of the greatest entertainers
ever produced by his country."
Copyright Telegraph Group Limited 1998
Subject: Cult comedian who angered the Church
By Michael Smith
FATHER Ted was developed from a character used to great effect during
Dermot Morgan's days as a stand-up comedian.
Father Brian Trendy, a Roman Catholic priest, was willing to try any
new fad to woo a young congregation. The character enraged Ireland's
Roman Catholic establishment and turned its creator into a cult
The part of Ted Crilly, a backsliding Irish priest with a fascination
for ladies' underwear and an alleged hand in the collection box, was
not written for Morgan. But the producers soon realised he would play
it to perfection.
"I come from a lapsed Catholic background," 45-year-old Morgan said
last week at the launch of the latest series of Father Ted. "I suppose
obviously I would pick up some of the nuances of Catholic priests."
Father Ted, set on the fictional Craggy Island - in reality an old
farmhouse in County Clare - was based around an Irish country parish
run by three priests: Morgan's neurotic Father Ted Crilly, his naive,
junior colleague Father Dougal, and the perpetually drunk Father
Jack. They were overseen by the housekeeper, Mrs Doyle, played by
Born in Dublin, the son of a civil servant, it was Morgan's
upbringing, and in particular his strict education under Roman
Catholic monks that led him to direct his humour at the
Church. Originally, he had ambitions to become a priest. But when,
after a brief teaching career, he turned to comedy, Morgan's satirical
attacks on Ireland's Roman Catholic Church irritated and then
infuriated the bishops.
"I did really try to be a good Catholic," Morgan said recently. "But I
came to the conclusion that it was impossible and I'd much prefer to
live my life by my own rules."
Morgan's performances as Father Trendy led to the character being
denounced as blasphemous and he found himself banned from the
state-run RTE's radio and television stations, a move that threatened
his comedy career.
At the same time, his marriage began to fall apart. "It was a period
of total hell," Morgan said. "I felt I was being kicked from every
angle and the Church was having a good laugh at me into the bargain."
But Father Ted brought him success, and Morgan recently told friends
that he planned to marry his long-term girlfriend Fiona, with whom he
had a three-year-old son.
Morgan said: "I've always had a reputation for sailing close to the
wind but with something like Father Ted, although it's cutting edge, I
really don't think it's offensive. It doesn't at first glance look
like a winner. But people like the characters. If you want the
audience to stick with you, you have to have attractive characters.
"Dougal and Ted are an idiot who knows nothing and an idiot who thinks
he knows something but actually knows nothing. Ted is an everyman guy,
bumbling through life with a half-wit - half may even be overstating
But despite his affection for the character, Morgan had already hinted
that this series would be his last. "I wanted to get out of the dog
collar because I've been doing priests for some time now," he said.
Father Brian Darcy, a friend, said: "He had struggled a lot in his
life and Father Ted had given him the ground to move into something
else. I know he wanted this to be the last one. He thought he had done
enough on it. He wanted to do some more serious and different things.
"It is just tragic that in the week the new series was going to run he
should be taken away. It is a great loss to us all."
Copyright Telegraph Group Limited 1998
Subject: Upcoming SotRT events
Mar 11, 6:30: Video night Round Table Pizza, 5111 25th Ave. NE, Seattle
Mar 17, 7:00: Social Galarias, 210 Broadway E, Seattle (upstairs)
Mar 25, 6:30: Video night Round Table Pizza, 5111 25th Ave. NE, Seattle
Mar 31, 7:00: Social Round Table Pizza, 5111 25th Ave. NE, Seattle
Currently planned for the next video night (March 11th):
(A special repeat)
Series 1, Episode 2 - "The Reconstituted Corpse"
(Alan Davies stars with Caroline Quentin as a magician turned
THE ADAM AND JOE SHOW
Series 1, Episode 2
(Late-night ultra-low-budget comedy sketch show)
(Bizarre sketch comedy that puts the "routine" in "comedy routine")
HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU
Series 10, Episode 3
(Satirical current-events game show)
(The man behind "The Day Today" returns in a news parody so vicious
and over-the-top Channel 4 initially refused to air it)
Coming soon: More of the above.
See you on Wednesday.
"The city slept. Men slept. Women slept. Children
slept. Dogs and Cats slept."
--"March of the Robots", Leo Brett (a.k.a.
Robert Lionel Fanthorpe)
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Contents Copyright 1998, Hand of Onan Enterprises, unless otherwise noted.
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