He rose to fame as the unworldly Dougal McGuire in Father Ted in the mid-1990s.
More than two decades later, many comedies are now considered safe bets because of the newfound cancel culture debate.
Yet actor Ardal O’Hanlon believes the Craggy Island parody may still have a place in today’s society, regardless of the guard brigade.
“I think it could probably still be done, but you could change a few things,” O’Hanlon said of the hit Channel 4 comedy, which centers on three priests and their housekeeper in a remote island community.
“I’m of a generation where I trust people to make up their own minds and I think viewers should be treated like adults.
“I recognize it’s a thing, but I wouldn’t be for it or against it.
“Personally, I think viewers are resilient — they can make up their minds very quickly, and they turn it off if they don’t like it.”
Speaking at a Sky’s Up Next event in London, O’Hanlon, 56, said: “I think there are a few episodes of father ted they have warnings – like those of the Chinese community, and that’s fair enough.
“I don’t really have a problem with that as long as they don’t completely dismantle the shows, but definitely put a warning on it [music] Albums used to have a warning sticker about swear words,” he said.
O’Hanlon – who started his career in stand-up circuitry – said: “I read an essay about it the other day [American TV series] His field — and it pointed out that you can’t do a show like that today.
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“A lot of people had real issues with the way minorities and gay people were portrayed on this show, although at the time they would have thought they were very progressive in terms of writing, so comedy dates dramatically.
“The only thing about it father ted is that priest fashion doesn’t date, so from that point of view [it could still work]’ he quipped.
Luckily, the father of three has avoided falling into just a typecast comedy role.
He played DI Jack Mooney in a British-French crime drama, death in paradisefrom 2017 to 2020 but admits he’s secretly relieved his time came to an end.
“Don’t get me wrong – I loved doing it death in paradiseand I haven’t been able to tell anyone that until now, but I’m glad I don’t have to go out there anymore.
“It’s been four summers on the island of Guadeloupe.
“So it was the time of the heat and I actually got quite used to it.
“And there was huge compensation in terms of being able to have lots of adventures on days off and there was great social life, as you can imagine.”
“Indeed,” he added. “I was an Irishman trapped on a small island. You have to be practical.”
Despite his former co-star Ben Miller returning to the BBC programme, O’Hanlon has ruled out doing the same.
“You never say never. But honestly I feel like I’ve had my time and I’ve really enjoyed it.
The next role he sinks his teeth into is Rosie Molloy gives up everything.
The Manchester-based comedy will be released on Sky later this year.
It will also star Bafta winner Sheridan Smith.
“I play her dad and we have a great, warm and fun relationship,” he said.
“We consider each other best friends and spend most of our scenes in the pub together.”
As fate would have it, his on-screen wife will be Irish actress – and a blast from the past – Pauline McLynn, who played housekeeper Mrs Doyle in it father ted.
“We play Rosie’s Northern Irish parents,” he said. “A week before we started shooting, I got a call saying, ‘Do you know who your wife is in the film?’
“I think Pauline and I make a very compelling old couple given our history together.
“It’s great to be working together again.”
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/ardal-ohanlon-by-all-means-stick-a-warning-sticker-on-it-but-dont-cancel-comedy-for-being-offensive-41672911.html Ardal O’Hanlon: “By all means put a warning sticker on it, but don’t cancel the comedy because it’s offensive”