Old Grey Whistle Theft

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"Old Grey Whistle Theft"
Father Ted episode
Episode no.Series 2
Episode 4
Directed byDeclan Lowney
Written by
Produced byLissa Evans
Featured musicThe Divine Comedy
Cinematography byChris Owen
Editing by
Original air date29 March 1996 (1996-03-29)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Tentacles of Doom"
Next →
"A Song for Europe"
List of Father Ted episodes

"Old Grey Whistle Theft" is the fourth episode of the second series of the Channel 4 sitcom Father Ted. The title is a pun on the BBC TV music show The Old Grey Whistle Test.


Ted prepares for a picnic outing with other priests, but find they have been waylayed, while Dougal makes an excuse to not be able to go as to spend more time with a rebellious new priest, Father Damien "Damo" Lennon, who behaves like an insolent teenager; Ted expresses his concerns about Damien to Dougal, but Dougal continues to hang out with him. Ted and Jack go to the desolate picnic area alone. Despite no one else there, a couple of aggressive regulars accost Ted, demanding they move, and the overzealous groundskeeper Benson intercedes, blowing his whistle frequently. Ted leaves with Jack in disgust.

That night, an unknown person steals Benson's whistle, and the next day, the whole of Craggy Island is in arms about the theft; Benson is so traumatized about the theft that he lost the use of his leg and forced to a wheelchair. Ted discovers the whistle in a pack of cigarettes in Dougal's coat, and starts to get Dougal to confess. Just then, Benson and Police Sergeant Hodgkins arrive at the parochial house, with news that a witness to the crime said it was done by a priest. Dougal, having misinterpreted what Ted was telling him, states Ted stole the whistle. Shocked, Ted leaves to come up with an explanation. While he is out of the room, Father Frost arrives, dragging Damien with him, having discovered Damien was the actual thief and who tried to frame Dougal. Ted returns by this point, and starts into a long fabrication of the reasons why he stole the whistle until he realises the case has been solved. After the others leave, Ted gives Dougal a lecture about trusting those that are "cool. He explains that there is no place in the Roman Catholic Church for bad apples such as Father Damien, the Bishop of Galway, a priest who lived with his housekeeper, a priest who was running guns into Iraq - "the list goes on and on". He then asks him if he learned anything, to which Dougal replies, "No".


In 2015, Joe Rooney said that he would be interested in making a Father Damo spin-off, and suggested that Damo would probably be working in The Projects in New York City, living with "a girl and a gay fella" and rapping Mass.[1] In 2016, Rooney reprised the role of Damo for an Over The Top wrestling match alongside Patrick McDonnell and Michael Redmond as Eoin McLove and Father Stone.[2]


  1. ^ Rooney, Joe (16 July 2015). Pod-a-Rooney Episode 15 – Katherine Lynch (Podcast). Ireland: Castaway Media.
  2. ^ Kelly, Daniel (1 March 2016). "Eoin McLove, Father Damo and Father Stone all turned up at a Dublin wrestling event". Newstalk. Retrieved 1 March 2016.

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