‘People can make up their own minds’ Ardal O’Hanlon slams the censoring of iconic comedies

‘People can make up their own minds’ Ardal O’Hanlon slams the censoring of iconic comedies

GMB: Ardal O’Hanlon on leaving Death in Paradise

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Over the past few years, the likes of BBC and Britbox, among others, have hit headlines for their censoring and pre-warnings of iconic British series such as Little Britain and ‘Allo ‘Allo. One man who starred in arguably one of Ireland’s most iconic comedies of the 90s is Ardal O’Hanlon who became a household name thanks to Father Ted. Another series not without its rather non-PC moments, the Death in Paradise star spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about the need to keep historic comedies as they are and leave it to the audience to make up their minds.

Speaking at Sky Up Next 2022, Ardal said when asked if Father Ted could be made for today’s audiences: “I don’t know, I think it probably would. 

“They would maybe change a few things. I mean a lot of comedy – I actually just read an essay the other day, it’s about Seinfeld. 

“And it was saying – and that was a very progressive show at the time if you remember – but the essay was, kind of, making the point that you couldn’t make a show like that today. 

“A lot of people have real problems with how minorities are represented in that show, the way gay people are represented in that show, even though they would’ve been considered as really progressive, the writing, at that time,” the Death in Paradise star explained.

He continued: “So yeah, comedy dates dramatically. The only thing about Father Ted is the priest fashion doesn’t date so from that point of view…”

When asked whether he agreed with the pre-warning and censoring of iconic shows, Ardal went on: “I don’t agree with it.

“I’m of the generation that I trust people to make up their own minds, you know. 

“I think viewers should be treated as adults but I recognise that it is a thing.”

Despite not being on board with the idea, Ardal admitted he could see both sides to the argument.

“I don’t have a problem with it,” the actor added. “I wouldn’t be campaigning for or against it. 

“I personally think viewers are robust and can make up their own minds about stuff very quickly and they’ll turn it off if they don’t like it you know.”

Referring to Father Ted specifically, he added: “I think there’s a few episodes of Father Ted that do have warnings, there’s one with the Chinese community on Craggy Island, it’s fair enough.

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“I don’t really have a problem with that as long as you don’t take down shows completely. 

“By all means put a little warning on it in the same way like albums used to have a little warning sticker for bad language.”

Ardal left arguably his most recent iconic role in Death in Paradise back in 2020 but he’ll be back in an all-new series soon.

Coming to Sky, Ardal will star alongside Sheridan Smith in comedy-drama Rosie Molloy and detailed what fans can expect.

“Well, it’s called Rosie Molloy Gives Up Everything, it features Sheridan Smith in the title role. 

“I play her dad whose name is Connell and Pauline McGlynn, who’s over there, plays her mum called Wynn. 

“So Rosie has a lot of drinks and drugs issues which she’s – she’s reached a point in her life where she’s hoping to deal with them. And we see how she gets on with that, it’s easier said than done possibly.

“Her and her dad I’d say have a very fun-filled and warm relationship. We consider each other to be best friends and most of our scenes are in the pub together so we can sort of enable each other,” Ardal teased.

Ardal O’Hanlon will appear on Sunday Brunch on Channel 4 this Sunday from 9:30am.

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