Bless Me, Father [TV Series] (1978)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Period Film, Religious Comedy, Sitcom [TV]  |   Run Time - 30 min.  |   Countries - UK  |  
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Based on a series of autobiographical novels by Peter de Rosa (writing pseudonymously as "Peter Boyd"), the British sitcom Bless Me, Father was set in Fairwater, a London suburb of the 1950s. Arthur Lowe of Dad's Army fame starred as Father Duddleswell, veteran parish priest of St. Jude Church, who did his best to instill such values as good judgment, common sense, and fair play to St. Jude's young curate, the feckless Father Boyd (the "Peter de Rosa" counterpart, played by Daniel Abineri). Supporting characters included Father Duddleswell's acerbic housekeeper, Mrs. Pring (Gabrielle Daye), and the good Father's humorless, by-the-book superior Bishop O' Reilly (Derek Francis); another of Duddeswell's colleague-antagonists, the hidebound Mother Stephen (Sheila Keith); and the Father's lifelong friend from the "auld sod," hard-drinking, chain-smoking general practitioner Dr. Daley (Patrick McAlinney). Never missing the opportunity to drive home important points about the changing face of Catholicism in the second half of the 20th century, yet also never stooping to cheap laughs or gratuitous irreverence, Bless Me, Father was produced on behalf of the ITV network's London Weekend Television division. Twenty-one half-hour episodes were telecast between September 24, 1978, and August 16, 1981.