Local Fr Dougal impersonator creates Fr Ted podcast

James McAnespy
A professional Fr Dougal impersonator from Omagh has created his own Father Ted themed podcast entitled ‘Ecumenical Matters’.

Actor and writer James McAnespy has been polling like-minded Fr Ted enthusiasts for the past few months to develop the online show.

It covers every episode of the classic sitcom with a weekly hour long discussion involving different guests from the local arts and music scenes
Following each podcast, the panel are  asked if they felt the episode deserved a nomination as a ‘Top 5 Contender.’

Listeners are then invited to vote on the episodes and the results will be revealed in the podcast’s final episode.

Having forensically studied each episode of the seminal 1990s sitcom, James wanted the weekly podcast to see how Fr Ted holds up to modern comedy.

“Each week we break down episodes and try to provide a better context for viewers – especially those who wouldn’t be familiar with the Irish and Catholic aspects of the show,” James explains.

“A particular example is our detailing of Bishop Brennan’s first appearance, and how it was directly inspired by the scandal of the real life Bishop of Galway who had a son in America.

“Or we provide the context for Dougal’s nightwear, the Ireland football jersey and why it would have been important to him in the mid 1990s.”
Regular features include a running count of Mrs Doyle’s ‘Ah Go Ons’, a ‘Meet your Maker’ where the panel spot appearances of Fr Ted writers Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews in the show, ‘Jack’s Drinks Cabinet,’ listing every drink Jack has imbibed, and the ‘Fillum Collection’ – which is a definitive list of the films that the priests have watched.

“The show is still hilarious, even after all these years and multiple viewings, I’m still finding myself cracking up at it,” James said. “You can go anywhere in the world you will still find someone who can quote the lines back to you!”

The guests on the podcast were drafted from James’ network of artists and comedians from his work as a writer and actor in Belfast and London.
James mostly recorded the podcast in his central-Belfast flat, but he also recorded episodes in London and even in a public square during the Edinburgh festival.

• All the podcast episodes are available to download for free on iTunes (, Soundcloud and all major podcast platforms, and the results episode was announced on Tuesday.
Listeners can also interact with the show on the Facebook page,


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