Twenty years ago this week, the BBC aired the first episode of the popular dramedy Ballykissangel. Set in a picturesque yet quirky Irish village, the show began with the arrival of Father Peter Clifford, a new Catholic priest sent by the diocese to Ireland from Manchester. Through his eyes we get acquainted with all the characters of the town, the first one being the strong-willed landlady of the local pub, Assumpta Fitzgerald.
Ballykissangel carried on for six series. Through it actors like James Nesbitt who played Assumpta’s husband Leo and Colin Farrell who joined the cast in series four to play Dublin bad boy (and farmer Eamon’s nephew) Danny Byrne were introduced to a larger audience. The program was picked up by a large number of PBS affiliates and, as far as I know, reruns are still being aired in the US to this day. However, significant turnover in cast members over the years eventually led to lower ratings and the show was finally canceled in 2001.