Sunday 24 June 2018

'I no longer see myself when I watch Father Ted' - Pauline McLynn

Pauline McLynn announces the return of Tesco's Communi-Tea parties
Pauline McLynn announces the return of Tesco's Communi-Tea parties

Sean O'Grady

Pauline McLynn has admitted she no longer sees herself whenever she watches old episodes of Father Ted.

The actress (55) shot to fame when she played tea addict Mrs Doyle in the iconic sitcom, but so much time has passed since she filmed the series in the 1990s that the EastEnders star admitted she has forgotten much of it.

"If I flick around and it's on I'll always have a look at it. I always enjoy it all over again," she said.

"It's like I don't see me in it any more, I just enjoy it. I still think, God how did I do that?"

Go on, go on: Mrs Doyle knew what she was talking about
Go on, go on: Mrs Doyle knew what she was talking about

While the show was set in Ireland, it was produced by a British company and aired on Channel 4 where it was watched by millions of loyal viewers.

Such is the popularity of the show that Pauline reckons it will continue to be a favourite for years to come on the box.

"It's just one of those perennially funny shows because it's not set in any particular time. It didn't rely on current affairs or anything like that," she told the Herald.

"With each year, a new generation of kids discover it as well.

Father Ted
Father Ted

"I think it will go on and on, long after I'm gone."

The series was nominated for several Bafta awards during its original run and, in 2012, Channel 4 viewers voted the series as number one in C4's 30 Greatest Comedy Shows.

In more recent years, Pauline has become known to fans for her role as Yvonne Cotton on EastEnders, appearing on the show in 2014 and 2015. Still stopped by fans on the street asking her about her time on Albert Square, the actress hopes she will return one day.

"I would love to, I had a great time doing it. It's the only soap I've done. I was with a fabulous bunch," she said.

"We had a proper laugh on the set every day."

Many Irish actors end up moving to the UK for work and Pauline says they are "beloved" across the pond.

"There are a lot of Irish actors over there and they're all making a living, which is great. The Irish are very beloved over there," she said.

"I don't know what's going to happen with Brexit now for the likes of me who is over and back.

"Even if you were to only play an Irish character for the rest of your life there, there's so much brilliant drama there anyway. There will always be a job going. If you can act, you're in the mix.

"It's a bigger pond and there's more work as well. I think that's what draws people to the UK, there is that bit more work."

The TV star will be working abroad again soon as she returns to Australia to film another series of children's TV show Drop Dead Weird, which she began working on last year.

Pauline was speaking at the return of Tesco's Communi-Tea parties which will take place in 151 stores nationwide on Saturday from noon to 4pm.

The event raises donations for over 11,000 local causes around Ireland.

Read more: 'This is not a drill' - Graham Linehan announces 'Pope Ted - The Father Ted musical' 

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