7 May 2017

None of That: A Black Books podcast. Coming soon

So, given that I've burned through every episode of Father Ted and reviewed them on podcast, I need to turn to another podcast subject - what better than Black Books? Graham Linehan's next sitcom following Ted. He and Arthur Mathews had created Big Train in the mean time, for my money the funniest sketch show there's been, which introduced Simon Pegg's to the world.

28 Apr 2017

Ecumenical Matters - The Father Ted Podcast review: Part 2

I called the first part of this look back a review. In hindsight, I probably should have called it a retrospective, but hopefully review has more SEO benefits!

I find it a bit odd that I haven't actually had much negative feedback about the podcast,
Ecumenical Matters The Father Ted Podcast with 5 Star reviews on iTunes
constructive or other wise. It's currently sitting on a healthy five full stars on iTunes (the holy grail of podcast hosting - incidentally I've recently switched to Android and no podcast app holds a candle to the simple user-friendly efficiency of the iPhone's default app. Why is there so many options, Podcast Addict?), and comments on the Facebook page have been overwhelmingly supportive.

7 Mar 2017

Ecumenical Matters: Bonus X-over episode with Media MD

In the last few weeks, since I finished the wrap up episode of Ecumenical Matters, I have been doing a crossover episode with MediaMD, and Australian podcast. They have just put the episode up online, and I did a quick intro for them on my side. 

23 Feb 2017

Ecumenical Matters podcast review: Part 1

James McAnespy hosts Ecumenical Matters - The Father Ted podcast
The podcast cover art I designed in Canva -
probably doesn't have Ted in it enough to be
eye-catching in a podcast library
At the start of the month I released the wrap up episode for Ecumenical Matters, The Father Ted podcast. It was the end of about six months work to definitively review every episode of Father Ted. In case you don't know,

25 Jan 2017

Press Release: FATHER TED PODCAST TO DECLARE FANS’ FAVOURITE EPISODE

  • Belfast-based Father Ted podcast, Ecumenical Matters to reveal results of months-long fan poll
  • Podcast covered every episode of the classic sitcom with weekly hour long discussion with a different guest from local arts and music scenes
  • Host James McAnespy has performed professionally as a Father Dougal impersonator - and had to respond to Graham Linehan’s dislike of these

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

===========================================================================

A Belfast-based podcast that has forensically studied each episode of the seminal nineties sitcom Father Ted is set to reveal the results of a poll where fans chose their favourite episode of the show.

Having undergone a weekly hour-long discussion on each episode of the classic show, the panel - made up of host James McAnespy and a variety of guests from a variety of performance and comedy fields - were asked if they felt the episode deserved a nomination as a ‘Top 5 Contender’ to be decided at the conclusion of the podcast. Listeners of the podcast were then invited to vote on the episodes and the results are now in and are set to be revealed in the podcast’s final episode.

Father Ted was a hugely popular British sitcom about three dysfunctional priests who were sequestered on a remote island off Ireland’s west coast that ran on Channel 4 from 1995 to 1998. Written by Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews, the show still enjoys a remarkably large following, particularly in Ireland, and is still broadcast on More4.

In 2016, actor, writer and Father Ted fan, James McAnespy started a weekly podcast that explored each episode individually to see how it held up to modern standards of comedy.

“Each week we break down episodes and try to give better context for viewers - especially viewers who wouldn't be familiar with the Irish and Catholic aspects of the show,” James explains. “A particular example is our detailing of Bishop Brennan's first appearance, and how it was directly inspired by the scandal of the real life Bishop of Galway who had a son in America, or we provide more context for Dougal's night wear, the Ireland football jersey and why it would have been important to him in the mid 1990s.”

Regular features include a running count of Mrs Doyle's 'Ah Go Ons', a 'Meet your Maker' where the panel spot appearances of writers Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews in the show, ‘Jack’s Drinks Cabinet,’ listing every drink Jack has imbibed, and the ‘Fillum Collection’ - a definitive list of the films that the priests have watched.

“The show is still hilarious, even after all these years, and multiple viewings, I’m still finding myself cracking up at it,” James said. “You can go anywhere in the world you will still find someone who can quote the lines back to you!”

The guests on the podcast were drafted from James’ huge network of artists and comedians from his work as a writer and actor in Belfast and London. Guests have included the street artist Friz (Marian Noone) and her husband Gerry Norman of A Plastic Rose, performance poet and musician Colin Hassard, Comedy duo Victoria E Armstrong and David Doherty-Jebb, as well a host of other performers and writers from Belfast and beyond.

Over the course of the podcast, James recorded mostly in his central-Belfast flat, but he also recorded episodes in London, a live episode as part of Culture Night Belfast (where it was one of the festival’s Best Bits) and even in a public square during the Edinburgh festival, while cellist Ursula Burns could be heard in the background.

The podcast dove right into a controversy, by responding directly to Graham Linehan's distaste of tribute shows - James has performed as a tribute to Father Dougal in a number of these shows. During the podcast covering the seminal episode Speed 3 - where Dougal is trapped on a milk float by a randy milkman - James played a clip of Linehan from an interview with Richard Herring, released a day before recording and responded directly to the creator's complaints.

All the podcast episodes are available to download for free on iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/ecumencial-matters-father/id1116660897?mt=2), Soundcloud and all major podcast platforms, and the results episode will be release on the 31st January. Listeners can also interact with the show on the Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/EcumicalMatters

======================================================================

23 Jan 2017

Past Collaborators: Michael Keane

Past Collaborators is a feature where I look back at some of the performers I've worked with over the years, with an update of what they are doing now.

Michael Keane is an actor and improv artist from Westmeath who I've a great relationship with, knowing him from London Comedy Writers, as a guest on my podcast, and a friend.

13 Dec 2016

Ecumenical Matters: Episode 25 - A Christmassy Ted

IT'S CHRISTMAS! So naturally it's Golden Cleric time on Craggy Island! Dirty Words members Colin Hassard and Ashley Manners get trapped with Ted and Dougal in the Largest Lingerie Department in Ireland. Mrs Doyle gets a new, mechanical nemesis and Jack prepares for his own awards. 

Ash (left) was getting some good drinking done for Chrstmas the night before.
Colin is channeling his inner Liam Gallagher!
Subscribe now to get a new episode every Sunday morning - just in time for Mass! Subscribe on iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/ecumencial-matters-father/id1116660897?mt=2) or search for Father Ted on your favourite podcast provider and leave a comment on our Facebook page.

Check out Dirty Words on Youtube - this is the track we sampled on the podcast.

17 Oct 2016

Episode 24 - Going To America

Writers and producers Muireann McGinty and Dee Harvey dream big in the final ever episode of Father Ted! [sniff]

After talking Tommy Tiernan off a ledge at a priest's convention Ted is seduced by visions of a glamourous life in America, but can he really leave Craggy Island and it's inhabitants behind? The episode takes a reflective tone towards the end, and we discuss Kevin Spacey's relative anonymity in 1998, the draw of magic America and Radiohead: depressing or not?


Subscribe now to get a new episode every Sunday morning - just in time for Mass! Subscribe on iTunes (itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/ecume…d1116660897?mt=2) or search for Father Ted on your favourite podcast provider and leave a comment on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EcumenicalMatters.

13 Oct 2016

Ecumenical Matters The Father Ted Podcast Very Small Edition

Here's a bite-size video version of the Ecumenical Matters The Father Ted Podcast on YouTube. Subscribe to the channel for more!

9 Oct 2016

Episode 23 - Night of the Nearly Dead

Kiel Cathers, lead singer of folk rock behemoths The Logues wards off the huddled masses of Eoin McLove fans in this hilarious send up of Daniel O’Donnell. Mrs Doyle is besotted when she wins a competition to have her beloved TV host Eoin McLove visit her, but she's not the only one on the island who wants to meet him. Dougal thinks he's very cheeky, Ted doesn't approve of his poetry tastes and Jack waxes lyrical on the nature of fandom. 
Kiel Cathers (The Logues) and James McAnespy on Ecumenical Matters The Father Ted Podcast
Kiel Cathers (The Logues) on Ecumenical Matters - The Father Ted Podcast

We also talk about treacherous male bonding games such as Eyeball Chicken and Killerball, fainting Michael Jackson fans and false rumours about Pope John Paul II.


Subscribe now to get a new episode every Sunday morning - just in time for Mass! Subscribe on iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/ecumencial-matters-father/id1116660897?mt=2) or search for Father Ted on your favourite podcast provider and leave a comment on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EcumenicalMatters.

2 Oct 2016

Episode 22 (LIVE!) - Kicking Bishop Brennan Up the Arse




LIVE EPISODE! We broadcast live from the Fenderesky Gallery on Belfast's North Street during Culture Night Belfast 2016 in front of an adorning audience and streamed to Facebook Live. All with the obligatory Craggy Island production values!

After losing the bet to Dick Byrne in the Over 75s Football Challenge in the last episode, Ted has to kick Bishop Brennan up the arse to satisfy his forfeit. Dougal is on hand to document the kicking with photographic evidence, while Jack and Mrs Doyle have their own way of dealing with the world's most sarcastic priest.

Subscribe now to get a new episode every Sunday morning - just in time for Mass! Subscribe on iTunes (itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/ecume…d1116660897?mt=2) or search for Father Ted on your favourite podcast provider and leave a comment on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EcumenicalMatters.

25 Sep 2016

Episode 21 - Escape From Victory




Another Road Show! This time to Mexico. Well south of the (Ireland/UK) border in Letterkenny. 


Ted is embroiled in a high stakes bet with his hated rival Dick Byrne in the Annual All-Priests 5-a-Side Over 75 Indoor Football Challenge Match. Dougal's on a career break from being physio, in order to protect the corner flags. Jack downs a full bottle of Dreamy Sleepy Nighty Snoozy Snooze (banned in most European countries, so you know it's good), while Mrs Doyle rounds up a firm of fellow football converts for the terraces.

We also discuss Amazon's toilet roll delivery service, lying in a confessional and there's a host of expertise offered by self-proclaimed Bikram Yoga Expert, Sean Treanor.

Subscribe now to get a new episode every Sunday morning - just in time for Mass! Subscribe on iTunes (itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/ecume…d1116660897?mt=2) or search for Father Ted on your favourite podcast provider and leave a comment on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EcumenicalMatters.

18 Sep 2016

Episode 20 - The Mainland

I don't believe it! Twenty episodes, so celebrate with actor Glenn Hamill and Vince! The Islanders take a day trip to the Mainland, despite Mrs Doyle's misgivings. Ted and Dougal meet Victor Meldrew from One Foot in the Grave, but learn very quickly that you should never meet your heroes. A hasty exit sends them to a sojourn into the Very Dark Caves, where they run into Noel Furlong. Mrs Doyle argues over a cheque and Jack's eyesight deceives him. 

We discuss the etiquette of Irish fighting, what made Bruce Willis a miserable scrote and we have a very deep (and controversial) discussion about the nature of offensive humour


Subscribe now to get a new episode every Sunday morning - just in time for Mass! Subscribe on iTunes (itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/ecume…d1116660897?mt=2) or search for Father Ted on your favourite podcast provider and leave a comment on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EcumenicalMatters.

11 Sep 2016

Episode 19 - Speed 3

PAT MUSTARD! Comedians Victoria E Armstrong and David Doherty-Jebb commandeer a milk float in this seminal episode. Randy milkman Pat Mustard has been getting Mrs Doyle all hot and bothered, and Ted doesn't like it. He organises a sting operation and the fallout has Dougal in charge of the milk run. Unfortunately, Pat has left a little surprise on it if Dougal's speed goes below 4 mph and Jack adopts a new pet brick that comes in useful later on.


Victoria E Armstrong and David Doherty-Jebb with James McAnespy on Ecumenical Matters The Father Ted Podcast
Victoria E Armstrong and David Doherty-Jebb on Ecumeenical Matters The Father Ted Podcast
We were recording in Alan's Causeway Cafe, Belfast
We also talk about Francophones misunderstanding Touts Out graffiti in Belfast, the virtues and follies of Mrs Brown's Boys (The Greatest British sitcom of the 21st Century according to Radio Times readers), ageing ferrets and I officially respond to Graham Linehan's comments on Father Ted tribute shows.


Subscribe now to get a new episode every Sunday morning - just in time for Mass! Subscribe on iTunes (itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/ecume…d1116660897?mt=2) or search for Father Ted on your favourite podcast provider and leave a comment on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EcumenicalMatters.

4 Sep 2016

Episode 18 - Chirpy Burpy Cheap Sheep

Actor, writer and improv artist Michael Keane is at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, cowering from the menace of the Beast in this terrifying mystery episode. Ted's got in over his head, betting the entire heating allowance on Chris winning the King of the Sheep 1998, but Chris artistic temperament has been put askew by the howling of the beast. Everything is a bit askew as Mrs Doyle finally gets to use the sheep tea, Dougal takes up shoplifting and Jack temporarily feels the serenity of a leap year.

We also delve into running the numbers at weddings, extreme artistic temperament, Yeats quotes and Tropical Birds in South East London. Fuckin' 'ell.


Subscribe now to get a new episode every Sunday morning - just in time for Mass! Subscribe on iTunes (itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/ecume…d1116660897?mt=2) or search for Father Ted on your favourite podcast provider and leave a comment on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EcumenicalMatters.

28 Aug 2016

Episode 17 - Are You Right There, Father Ted

Belfast Comedy Writers Johnny Nicholl and Jonathan McCoy watch Ted insult a sixth of the world's population when he tries to impersonate a Chinese person. Dougal helps him come up with an idea, but he didn't realise there were a lot of small ideas after. Mrs Doyle uses a novel form of chiropractic after she falls off the roof and Jack develops agoraphobia. 

We also fill in the cultural and historical gaps between seasons two and three, discuss the racism in Breakfast at Tiffanys, the Nazi marketing machine, how the Irish kids TV show The Den delayed the news EVERY DAY, and how hard it is to find black clothes (the regular shops shaft us every time!). 

Subscribe now to get a new episode every Sunday morning - just in time for Mass! Subscribe on iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/ecumencial-matters-father/id1116660897?mt=2) or search for Father Ted on your favourite podcast provider and leave a comment on our Facebook page.

21 Aug 2016

Episode 16 - Flight Into Terror

Gerry Norman of rock band A Plastic Rose and his wife, street artist Friz (Marian Noone), board a flight with us where everything goes wrong - what is it with rock stars and planes?

Ted's fear of flying is justified after Dougal is given access to the cockpit and dooms the plane that they are on. Along with all the other priests on board, Ted must devise a way to distribute the two parachutes on board. Jack devises his own way, along with the drinks cart!

We also talk about maverick pilots and their handbrake turns, people's fake smiles, the influence of The Simpsons on the series and honeymoons to the Father Ted house! You're making a noise!


Subscribe now to get a new episode every Sunday morning - just in time for Mass! Subscribe on iTunes (itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/ecume…d1116660897?mt=2) or search for Father Ted on your favourite podcast provider and leave a comment on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EcumenicalMatters.

14 Aug 2016

Episode 15 - New Jack City

Lifelong Ted fan, Sean Treanor hosts the nightmarish Father Fintan Stack and his 3am jungle music, but at least he had his fun, and that's all matters. 

Jack's hairy hands has him stationed up in 'Jurassic Park', so Ted and Dougal have to entertain their new cereal-stealing housemate and Mrs Doyle manages to get her message above the din. We also talk about sports days, hairy hands, Blaxploitation cinema and Dougal getting drunk!


Subscribe now to get a new episode every Sunday morning - just in time for Mass! Subscribe on iTunes (itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/ecume…d1116660897?mt=2) or search for Father Ted on your favourite podcast provider and leave a comment on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EcumenicalMatters.

7 Aug 2016

Episode 14 - Cigarettes and Alcohol and Rollerblading

Lifelong Ted fan Eamonn Turbett joins in the giving things up competition, or sorry, the sacrifice to Our Lord (Arnold, who's Arnold?). After Father Dick Byrne lays down the challenge, Ted volunteers himself Dougal and Jack to give up their vices, while Mrs Doyle has a good miserable time on St Patrick's Hill. 

Also in the sermon, we discuss the scourge of airhorns from the 90s, Opus Dei and their pain-is-the-cleanser ethos, and Pulp Fiction gimps.


Subscribe now to get a new episode every Sunday morning - just in time for Mass! Subscribe on iTunes (itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/ecume…d1116660897?mt=2) or search for Father Ted on your favourite podcast provider and leave a comment on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EcumenicalMatters.

31 Jul 2016

Episode 13 - Rick a Hula Ted

Actress Lindsey Mitchell and prodigal son Vince (they all have lovely bottoms) are on the judging panel for The Lovely Girls. Ted's has the honour of picking the winner, who will have the honour of paying for dinner for him. Dougal has to house sit but fiery feminist rock star Niamh Connolly is in the property market. Jack takes up charity fraud, while Mrs Doyle shows her competency with power tools. 

Todd Unctious has been up to no good again, and we discuss amateur stress testers, Sinead O'Connor and Delores O'Riordan's impact on the musical and cultural landscape, and Vince's on-stage escapades where he leaves his drum kit mid-set! Shoddy workmanship. Shoddy, shoddy workmanship. 


Subscribe now to get a new episode every Sunday morning - just in time for Mass! Subscribe on iTunes (itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/ecume…d1116660897?mt=2) or search for Father Ted on your favourite podcast provider and leave a comment on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EcumenicalMatters.