Written by Peter de Rosa
Country of origin United Kingdom
First episode date 24 September 1978
Directed by David Askey
Original language(s) English
Final episode date 16 August 1981
|Starring Arthur LoweDaniel AbineriGabrielle DayePatrick McAlinney|
Cast Arthur Lowe, Daniel Abineri, Gabrielle Daye, Patrick McAlinney
Bless Me, Father is a British sitcom starring Arthur Lowe, Daniel Abineri, Gabrielle Daye, Patrick McAlinney, David Ryall, and Sheila Keith. It was aired on ITV from 1978 until 1981 and described the adventures of an Irish Catholic priest, Father Charles Duddleswell (Lowe) and his young curate (Abineri) in the fictional parish of St. Jude's in suburban London. Twenty-one episodes, written by Peter De Rosa (who had previously been a novice curate), were aired. De Rosa wrote the books on which the series was based using the pseudonym of Neil Boyd which was also the name of the young curate character; Boyd also served as the narrator in the series of novels upon which the series was based. It was made for the ITV network by London Weekend Television.
The series was set in 1950 and 1951 and marked a departure from the middle class "bank manager" roles associated with Lowe such as that in Dad's Army. The other regular characters included Mrs Pring (Daye), the housekeeper, the hard-drinking Dr Daley (McAlinney), the non-religious neighbour Billy Buzzle (Ryall), and abbess Reverend Mother Stephen (Keith).
Bless me father episode 1
Guest appearances on the series include Derek Francis, Phoebe Nicholls, Daniel Gerroll, Peter Bowles, Clive Swift, Rynagh O'Grady, Michael Troughton, Geoffrey Palmer and Peter Copley.
The complete series of Bless Me, Father has been released on DVD in region 1, region 2 and region 4. In the United States and Canada, "The Complete Collection" was released on 26 April 2005 from Acorn Media. In the United Kingdom, distribution company Network released the complete series on 6 August 2007. In Australia, the complete series was released on 11 March 2015 via distribution company Reel DVD.
Peter De Rosa, formerly an ordained Catholic priest and lecturer, left the priesthood in 1970 and later became a full-time author. Under the pen-name Neil Boyd he wrote the Bless Me, Father books from which the TV series was adapted.
Boyd, Neil (1977). Bless Me, Father. London: Robert Hale.
Boyd, Neil (1978). A Father Before Christmas. London: Michael Joseph.
Boyd, Neil (1979). Father in a Fix. London: Michael Joseph.
Boyd, Neil (1980). Father Under Fire. London: Michael Joseph.
Boyd, Neil (1981). Bless Me Again, Father. London: Michael Joseph.