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Series / Ballykissangel

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Ballykissangel is a BBC Sunday Evening Drama Series that aired from 1996 to 2001. Peter Clifford, an English Catholic priest, is sent from England to work in a small Irish village named Ballykissangel. For three years, he tries to overcome the disadvantages of his nationality through community outreach, assimilation, and drinking a great deal of lager.

Tropes featured include:

  • Cerebus Syndrome: The show starts out as a dramedy and gets gradually more serious.
  • Crossover: Comic Relief did one between Ballykissangel and The Vicar of Dibley called "Ballykissdibley".
    • There is also a homage at the start of an episode of Father Ted, where as Assumpta falls for the newcomer Father Ted Crilly, Father Clifford is seen in the background, bags packed, trying to attract their attention to the fact he is leaving. All he gets is a cursory "bye" from Assumpta as she falls for Ted... (And then he wakes up in bed in the priests' house on Craggy island).
  • Downer Ending: Father Clifford decides to renounce his faith to marry Assumpta. Assumpta randomly dies shortly afterwards when she gets electrocuted while mending a fuse box. Father Clifford's remaining faith is shattered, and he leaves forever, brokenhearted.
  • Hero's Classic Car: An elderly parishioner bequeaths Father Clifford a Jowett Javelin, a luxury car only produced from 1947 to 1953. It's unfortunately destroyed in series three when it rolls off a cliff after a visiting seminarian uses it and forgets to set the parking brake.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Liam and Donal are more or less inseparable, to the point where seeing one without the other is enough to draw comment.
  • If I Had a Nickel...: In "River Dance":
    Assumpta: Thanks for last night. You were good.
    Enda: If I had a pound for every time a woman said that to me...
  • I Own This Town: Quigley thinks he does.
  • Kindly Vet: Siobhan will be your sympathetic ear, and also deliver your calves.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Zig-zagged with Nainsi in season three. She thinks Padraig might be her father. It's Father Mac.
  • Meet Cute: Virtually the whole cast meets Father Clifford in some unlikely fashion.
  • My Local: Fitzgerald's.
  • Never Bareheaded: Liam's increasingly battered black and yellow baseball cap only leaves his head if he's in a church.
  • Noodle Incident: Apparently the first time Padraig tried his hand at homebrewing beer, it blew up in Brendan's face. Or something.
  • Nosy Neighbor: Kathleen Hendley.
  • Oireland
  • One-Steve Limit: An unusual example, where shady politician Sean Dooley returns in the fifth season as Paul Dooley, presumably so the viewers won't confuse him with Niamh's new love interest, Sean Dillon.
  • Oop North: Father Clifford was a Manchester native.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Assumpta and Niamh.
  • Sentimental Music Cue: In particular, precious woodwind underscores seem to follow Father Clifford around.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: An aged one-hit wonder appears in three episodes, during which he sings about being an aged musician and having the sort of romantic troubles any Romantic False Lead might expect.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Both leads leave after season 4. Father Clifford gets replaced by Father Aiden O'Connell, an ex-monk, and later Father Vincent Sheahan, an Australian. Assumpta gets replaced by Niamh in season 4 and then Oonagh in season 5 as the Fitzgerald's landlady. The Will They or Won't They? plots get farmed out to other pairings.
  • Suspiciously Specific Sermon: Played with in the episode where the village has gone nuts over the radio report that the jackpot-winning lottery ticket was bought in the town store. Everyone's trying like mad to figure out which of their number has suddenly become rich, with Quigley in particular trying to get them to invest with him. Father MacAnally, filling in for Clifford, gets fed up and delivers a hellfire-and-brimstone sermon on the Seven Deadly Sins, particularly lust and greed. But the sermon is short-circuited by one of the village kids coming into the church to reveal that the winner was announced to be a tourist from Dublin.
  • Vow of Celibacy: Naturally Father Clifford's vow is the main stumbling block in his relationship with Assumpta. He's trying to be a good priest and keep their relationship purely platonic, but by season 3 it becomes increasingly clear it isn't working. He eventually renounces the priesthood, only for Assumpta to have a Bridge Dropped on Her.