Ardal O'Hanlon describes moment he was attacked by cleric over Father Ted
O'Hanlon was grabbed and pinned against a wall by the Church of England cleric.
Ardal O'Hanlon has revealed he was accosted by a cleric over his portrayal of Father Dougal McGuire in the hit Channel 4 sitcom Father Ted.
The comedian shared his story on Claire Byrne Live on Monday (28 March).
O'Hanlon gave his thoughts on Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards following a joke at the expense of Jada Pinkett Smith.
"I remember one time, it wasn't actually on stage, but I was filming in a car park outside a church in London," O'Hanlon said.
"The Church of England vicar who was in charge of the church, he approached me in the car park as I was waiting between scenes, and he was very angry.
"I thought he was coming over to say hi, and 'love your work', but he actually grabbed me by the lapels and pinned me up against the wall, and had a real go at me for ridiculing clerics.
"So he was saying that because of Father Ted and Vicar of Dibley and shows like that were making fools of people like him, and people weren't taking him seriously.
"He went on to explain the work he does, and of course I understand the work he does.
"It's incredible the type of work these people do, in terms of caring for the old and the sick and the vulnerable and the bereaved and they work all hours of the day and night, I appreciate that.
"I don't think gentle ribbing is necessarily the problem."
O'Hanlon said he defused the situation "once he realised how lovely I was."
The comedian said he didn't believe that the slap was staged or as part of a gag.
"Wouldn't it be the worst idea of all time, particularly when we talk about violence all the time, why would you pick that as a gag?" O'Hanlon asked.
"It's an incredibly crass gag.
"Institutions like the Oscars are really sensitive to what's going on out there on social media, so if they were wanting to create a viral moment, this wouldn't be it."