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'Father Ted' church fundraiser

PUBLISHED: 09:20 04 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:31 30 June 2010

It is a small fictional Irish island famous for its drunken abusive priest, a tea loving housemaid and the dumb antics of Father Dougal.

And now the bizarre world of Father Ted and the mad residents of Craggy Island are coming to Norfolk in support of a picturesque church.

It is a small fictional Irish island famous for its drunken abusive priest, a tea loving housemaid and the dumb antics of Father Dougal.

And now the bizarre world of Father Ted and the mad residents of Craggy Island are coming to Norfolk in support of a picturesque church.

Father Adrian Ling of St Mary the Virgin Church at Hemsby, has organised a Father Ted night to raise funds for maintenance and re-thatching work.

The Father Ted night, in honour of the 1990s Channel Four comedy about a trio of strange comical Irish priests, will be held in Hemsby's Bell pub on the night of Friday, February 12.

People are being asked to dress up as characters such as the foul-mouthed drunk Father Jack or his manic housekeeper Mrs Doyle while they watch some of the 25 episodes of the hit comedy.

And in scenes reminiscent of Mrs Doyle's love of making snacks and cups tea for Father Ted and his two fellow priests there will be a buffet available on the night.

Father Ling and congregation member Ted Liddiment have organised the event as they are Father Ted fans and thought a tribute to the show would be a fun way to support St Mary the Virgin Church.

The church, which dates back to the 14th century, needs to raise £24,000 a year just to meet running and maintenance costs.

Father Ling said: “One of my favourite episodes is when Father Ted is outside the church after a service and someone comes up to him and says what the hell his sermon was about. Luckily that has never happened to me so far.

“I think that Father Ted is just fantastically funny and the timing of the jokes is brilliant. I am looking forward to Craggy Island coming here to bring a bit of fun - as long as no one thinks I am the real Father Dougal.”

The Channel Four comedy ran from 1995 to 1998 with Dermot Morgan playing the title role, Ardal O'Hanlon playing Father Dougal, Frank Kelly portraying Father Jack and Pauline McLynn playing Mrs Doyle.

Tickets for the Father Ted night in the Bell pub on February 12 cost £5. To book a place call 01493 393227 or 01493 377627.

Tickets are available on the night but the organisers would prefer it if people booked in advance so Mrs Doyle knows how many sandwiches to make for the buffet.

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