Bless Me Father

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Bless Me Father
Bless Me Father.jpg
Title screen of Series 1
Genre Comedy
Written by Peter de Rosa
Directed by David Askey
Starring Arthur Lowe
Daniel Abineri
Gabrielle Daye
Patrick McAlinney
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 21
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) London Weekend Television
Original network ITV
Picture format 4:3 (576i)
Original release 24 September 1978 (1978-09-24) – 16 August 1981 (1981-08-16)

Bless Me Father is a British situation comedy 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. 21 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).

The series' creator Peter De Rosa (born 1932) is also a significant figure in the history of 20th Century Catholic theology in Britain. A lecturer at the controversial Corpus Christi College in London who lost his job when the college - known for its radical presentation of the Catholic Faith - was abruptly closed by Cardinal Heenan. It was this, together with his disillusion with the way in which the decrees of the Second Vatican Council were being implemented, that caused de Rosa to leave the active priesthood. His books on religious subjects include "Jesus who Became Christ", "Come Holy Spirit" and "Vicars of Christ - the Dark Side of the Papacy".


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.


Series 1 (1978)[edit]

No.  Title  Directed by  Written by  Original air date 
1 "Baptism of Fire" David Askey Peter de Rosa 24 September 1978 (1978-09-24)
2 "The Bells of St. Jude's" David Askey Peter de Rosa 1 October 1978 (1978-10-01)
3 "The Parish Bazaar" David Askey Peter de Rosa 8 October 1978 (1978-10-08)
4 "The Doomsday Chair" David Askey Peter de Rosa 15 October 1978 (1978-10-15)
5 "Father & Mother" David Askey Peter de Rosa 22 October 1978 (1978-10-22)
6 "The Tennis Match" David Askey Peter de Rosa 29 October 1978 (1978-10-29)
7 "The Seal of Confession" David Askey Peter de Rosa 5 November 1978 (1978-11-05)

Series 2[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
8 "Blessings from Heaven" David Askey Peter de Rosa 11 November 1979 (1979-11-11)
9 "Father Neil's First Miracle" David Askey Peter de Rosa 18 November 1979 (1979-11-18)
10 "Fatal Lady" David Askey Peter de Rosa 25 November 1979 (1979-11-25)
11 "The Heart of a Curate" David Askey Peter de Rosa 9 December 1979 (1979-12-09)
12 "All at Sea" David Askey Peter de Rosa 16 December 1979 (1979-12-16)
13 "The Season of Goodwill" David Askey Peter de Rosa 23 December 1979 (1979-12-23)
14 "A Back to Front Wedding" David Askey Peter de Rosa 6 January 1980 (1980-01-06)

Series 3[edit]

No.  Title  Directed by  Written by  Original air date 
15 "Things Are Not What They Seem" David Askey Peter de Rosa 5 July 1981 (1981-07-05)
16 "Women" David Askey Peter de Rosa 12 July 1981 (1981-07-12)
17 "Beddings and Weddings" David Askey Peter de Rosa 19 July 1981 (1981-07-19)
18 "Fire & Brimstone" David Askey Peter de Rosa 26 July 1981 (1981-07-26)
19 "A Legend Comes to Stay" David Askey Peter de Rosa 2 August 1981 (1981-08-02)
20 "Porgy & Bess" David Askey Peter de Rosa 9 August 1981 (1981-08-09)
21 "A Mixed-Up Marriage" David Askey Peter de Rosa 16 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 released the complete series on 6 August 2007. In Australia, the complete series will be released on 11 March 2015 via distribution company Reel DVD.[1]


Lewisohn, Mark (1998). Radio Times guide to TV comedy. London: BBC Worldwide. p. 800. ISBN 0-563-36977-9. 

The Bless Me, Father series:
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. ^ "Bless Me Father Series 1 3 on DVD". Retrieved March 5, 2015. 

External links[edit]