Father Ted 'A Christmassy Ted' is a classic without which it simply wouldn't be Christmas. But how did a special about priests hanging around a lingerie section become such an important part of Christmas?
It's a special that almost wasn't about Todd Unctious and his Golden Cleric stealing plans; Graham Lineham once said in the the commentaries of the original DVDs that there was an idea that this special would be about Dougal losing his belief in Father Christmas, while Ted dressed Jack up as Santa to try to convince him that Father Christmas was real.
However, this was later dropped because Graham worried it was all a bit too predictable, something you certainly couldn't accuse a 'Christmassy Ted' of...
The most classic and iconic moment is when Ted, Dougal and a gang of other priests find themselves lost in Ireland's biggest lingerie section. They are trapped until Father Fitzgerald's boring voice enables them to fake a tannoy announcement and escape.
The lingerie department itself is that of Dunnes in the town of Ennis, County Clare (where the series was shot in and around), which claims to be 'Ireland's biggest lingerie section'. In fact, the store's owner called on it to be named a national landmark in 2014!
'A Chirstmassy Ted' is packed full of parodies. Did you know that Mrs Doyle's famous priest name guessing game is based on a similar scene in the novel The Third Policeman? Or that when Ted mentions getting 'A one-way ticket to Palookaville', he's referencing the film On The Waterfront? You probably recognised the Mission Impossible reference at the end though, when Todd drops from the ceiling to steal Ted's award!
Despite being unconventional for a Christmas special, it's become probably the most beloved Father Ted episode. Right from the start, when Ted is being chased down the hill by giant peanuts, you know you're about to watch something special!
Almost every line has been quoted again and again. Even fans at football games hold up replicas of Dougal's Matador Banner. It's hard to think of a more famous comedy Christmas special and that's due to the magic of Father Ted in general: a special with such surreal plots, and really little to do with Christmas, could become so important that Channel 4 make sure they repeat it every year.
After all, 'A Christmassy Ted' never gets old.
Written by Rhianna Evans