on the box
Friday 07 June 1996
With the honourable exception of Drop the Dead Donkey, Channel 4 has perhaps not had as much success with home-grown sitcoms as it might have wished for. What celestial joy there was, then, when they hit upon Father Ted (right), the funniest sitcom about priests since... well, ever. The ratings bear out the channel's faith in the series. In the week ending 12 May, Father Ted, co-written by Graham Linehan (who moonlights as a columnist on this newspaper) and Arthur Mathews, was Channel 4's second most popular programme, after that perennial chart-topper, Brookside. Weighing in with nearly four million, the show was more than a million viewers ahead of its nearest C4 sitcom rival, Roseanne. Shows what a bit of divine inspiration can do for you.
The press has been invited "for a wizard show and lashings of ginger beer" at the launch of a new ITV children's series, Enid Blyton's The Famous Five, which begins on Monday 1 July. Ignoring PC reservations about Blyton, children will no doubt greet the new adaptation with delight. Their parents, on the other hand, may find it hard to watch without thinking of the Comic Strip's classic spoof, Five Go Mad in Dorset.
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women
- 1 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 World peace? These are the only 11 countries in the world that are actually free from conflict
- 4 Nicki Minaj 'Anaconda': Singer finally releases predictable video
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence