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.
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