Bless Me, Father

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Bless Me, Father
Bless Me Father.jpg
Title screen of Series 1
Written byPeter de Rosa
Directed byDavid Askey
StarringArthur Lowe
Daniel Abineri
Gabrielle Daye
Patrick McAlinney
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series3
No. of episodes21
Running time30 minutes
Production companyLondon Weekend Television
Original networkITV
Picture format4:3 (576i)
Original release24 September 1978 (1978-09-24) –
16 August 1981 (1981-08-16)

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).

Yes I enjoyed that very much. I enjoyed that because it was such a change from playing these bumbling old Englishmen, but... I would have liked to do more of that but for some reason or other we didn't and I don't know quite why. For one thing I know young Abineri, the boy who played my curate, he went to Australia, more or less on a permanent basis. He married a girl out there and we've lost him to the clergy but... I don't think that was a sufficient reason in itself, I mean there must've been some other politics behind it, because one can always get another curate [for the series]... however Lionel Jeffries has done something similar as recently so...

— Arthur Lowe on the series, interviewed on Pebble Mill at One on 14 April 1982, the day before his death.


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 series was repeated from March 2020 on Fox Classics.[1]

Series 1[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"Baptism of Fire"David AskeyPeter de Rosa24 September 1978 (1978-09-24)
2"The Bells of St. Jude's"David AskeyPeter de Rosa1 October 1978 (1978-10-01)
3"The Parish Bazaar"David AskeyPeter de Rosa8 October 1978 (1978-10-08)
4"The Doomsday Chair"David AskeyPeter de Rosa15 October 1978 (1978-10-15)
5"Father & Mother"David AskeyPeter de Rosa22 October 1978 (1978-10-22)
6"The Tennis Match"David AskeyPeter de Rosa29 October 1978 (1978-10-29)
7"The Seal of Confession"David AskeyPeter de Rosa5 November 1978 (1978-11-05)

Series 2[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
8"Blessings from Heaven"David AskeyPeter de Rosa11 November 1979 (1979-11-11)
9"Father Neil's First Miracle"David AskeyPeter de Rosa18 November 1979 (1979-11-18)
10"Fatal Lady"David AskeyPeter de Rosa25 November 1979 (1979-11-25)
11"The Heart of a Curate"David AskeyPeter de Rosa9 December 1979 (1979-12-09)
12"All at Sea"David AskeyPeter de Rosa16 December 1979 (1979-12-16)
13"The Season of Goodwill"David AskeyPeter de Rosa23 December 1979 (1979-12-23)
14"A Back to Front Wedding"David AskeyPeter de Rosa6 January 1980 (1980-01-06)

Series 3[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
15"Things Are Not What They Seem"David AskeyPeter de Rosa5 July 1981 (1981-07-05)
16"Women"David AskeyPeter de Rosa12 July 1981 (1981-07-12)
17"Beddings and Weddings"David AskeyPeter de Rosa19 July 1981 (1981-07-19)
18"Fire & Brimstone"David AskeyPeter de Rosa26 July 1981 (1981-07-26)
19"A Legend Comes to Stay"David AskeyPeter de Rosa2 August 1981 (1981-08-02)
20"Porgy & Bess"David AskeyPeter de Rosa9 August 1981 (1981-08-09)
21"A Mixed-Up Marriage"David AskeyPeter de Rosa16 August 1981 (1981-08-16)

Home media[edit]

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 DVD released the complete series on 6 August 2007. In Australia, the complete series was released on 11 March 2015 via distribution company Reel DVD.[2]

Book series[edit]

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 novels from which the TV series was adapted.[3]

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.


  1. ^ Website requires Foxtel app.
  2. ^ "Bless Me Father Series 1 3 on DVD". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Authors: Peter De Rosa". Andrew Nurnberg Associates. Archived from the original on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.

External links[edit]