Ardal O'Hanlon.

Ardal O'Hanlon

Ardal O'Hanlon is an Irish actor and stand-up comedian best known for playing Father Douglas McGuire in the much-loved vicar sitcom Father Ted, and George Sunday in BBC One's My Hero, a sitcom about a superhero who, despite finding human beings' way of living a complete mystery, endeavours to lead a regular suburban existence.


O'Hanlon was born and raised in Carrickmacross, County Monaghan, the son of politician and doctor Rory O'Hanlon and Teresa Ward. He was educated at Blackrock College in Dublin and graduated in 1987 from the National Institute for Higher Education, Dublin (now Dublin City University) with a degree in Communications Studies.

After leaving university, O'Hanlon decided to set up the International Comedy Cellar in Dublin, because at the time the city had no comedy scene to speak of. This was located in the upstairs portion of the International Bar on Dublin's South Wicklow Street, and O'Hanlon soon achieved considerable success, winning the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year competition in 1994 and hosting The Stand Up Show for a time.

As his stock continued to rise, he was spotted by comedy writer Graham Linehan, who later cast him as Father Dougal McGuire in Father Ted (1995-1998), the role for which, to this day, he is best known. In 1995 he was awarded the Top TV Comedy Newcomer at the British Comedy Awards for this role, and also appeared in the award-winning short comedy film Flying Saucer Rock'n'Roll.

After moving into dramatic acting in the ITV comedy-drama Big Bad World, O'Hanlon starred in an episode of the original Whose Line Is It Anyway? and, in the year 2000, starred as the main character in comedy series My Hero, in which he played a superhero from the planet Ultron. He would remain in this role until 2006, where he was replaced mid-episode by James Dreyfus.

In 2005 he played main protagonist Gary Chandler in the BBC One sitcom Blessed, written by Ben Elton, about a young couple struggling to raise two small children.

Moving into the 2010s, O'Hanlon has appeared on several television panel shows such as That Sunday Night Show, Dave's One Night Stand, and Alexander Armstrong's Big Ask, and also played Eammon in one episode of the sitcom Derry Girls. In 2015 he also began playing the role of Peter the Milkman in the Sky One sitcom After Hours, and in that same year he officially launched the 2015 Sky Cat Laughs Comedy Festival, which takes place in Kilkenny from 28 May - 1 June.

Alongside these positions in the comedy world, O'Hanlon has also featured in the Doctor Who episode "Gridlock", in 2007, and in series 3 of the TV show Skins, playing a politics teacher named Kieran

O'Hanlon was the subject of an episode of the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are?, which aired on 6 October 2008. The investigation revealed interesting facts about his paternal grandfather, Michael O'Hanlon, who had joined the IRA during the Irish War of Independence, and also discovered that he is a close relative on his mother's side of Peter Fenelon Collier.



  • BAFTA Television Awards 1999 - Best Comedy Performance: Nominee
  • British Comedy Awards 1998 - Best TV Comedy Actor: Nominee
  • British Comedy Awards 1996 - Best Comedy Entertainment Personality: Nominee
  • British Comedy Awards 1996 - Best TV Comedy Actor: Nominee
  • British Comedy Awards 1995 - Best Comedy Breakthrough Artist: Winner
Friday 8th October 1965 (55 years-old)

Known for


Year Production Role
2020 Live At The Apollo - The One About...
  1. Special - Transport
2019 Live At The Apollo - Series 15
  1. E5 - Ardal O'Hanlon, Mawaan Rizwan, Sara Barron
Host / Presenter
2019 Derry Girls - Series 2
  1. E4 - The Curse
2019 Ardal O'Hanlon: The Showing Off Must Go On Self
2017 Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled - Series 5
  1. E4 - Episode Four
2016 The Berries Cancelled Bruce
2015 The Football's On - Series 3
  1. E5 - Episode Five
2015 After Hours Peter Hannigan
2015 Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled - Series 2
  1. Special - Unseen
  2. E9 - Episode Nine
2015 The Best Laid Plans Smallbone
2014 Greatest Ever Sitcoms Self
2013 London Irish Da
2013 Ardal O'Hanlon Self
2013 Alexander Armstrong's Big Ask - Series 2
  1. E3 - Episode Three
2013 The Matt Lucas Awards - Series 2
  1. Special - Highlights Special
  2. E1 - Episode One
2012 Channel 4's 30 Greatest Comedy Shows Self
2012 What's So Funny? - Series 3
  1. E6 - Episode Six
2012 That Sunday Night Show - Series 3
  1. E3 - Episode Three
2011 Argumental - Series 4
  1. E6 - Episode Six
2011 Dave's One Night Stand - Series 3 Host / Presenter
2011 Jennifer Saunders: Laughing At The 90s Self
2011 A League Of Their Own - Series 3
  1. Special - Unseen Extra
2011 Comedy Kings - Best Of Just For Laughs
  1. E1 - Episode One
2011 Small, Far Away - The World Of Father Ted Self
2010 Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow - Series 2
  1. E6 - Leeds
2010 Ardal O'Hanlon Self
2010 A League Of Their Own - Series 1
  1. Special - Unseen
  2. Special - The Best Of
  3. E9 - Episode Nine
2010 I've Never Seen Star Wars - Series 3
  1. E4 - Ardal O'Hanlon
2009 Argumental - Series 2
  1. Special - Highlights Special
  2. E2 - Episode Two
2008 Alan Carr's Comedy Outings
  1. E2 - Carr-ly Valentine
Self (Archive Material)
2007 The Graham Norton Show - Series 1
  1. E18 - Episode Eighteen
2007 The 100 Greatest Stand-Ups
  1. E2 - 100 Greatest Stand-Ups 2010
  2. E1 - The 100 Greatest Stand-Ups 2007
2005 Blessed Gary Chandler
2005 My Hero - Series 5 George Sunday
2004 Live At The Apollo - Jack Dee Live At The Apollo Series 1
  1. E2 - Ardal O'Hanlon
2004 Comedy Connections - Series 2
  1. E3 - Father Ted
2004 Britain's Best Sitcom
  1. E1 - The Launch
2003 My Hero - Series 4 George Sunday
2002 My Hero - Series 3 George Sunday
2001 My Hero - Series 2 George Sunday
2000 My Hero - Series 1 George Sunday
1998 The Stand Up Show - Series 5 Host / Presenter
1998 Father Ted - Series 3 Father Dougal McGuire
1998 The Stand Up Show - Series 4 Host / Presenter
1996 The Stand Up Show - Series 3 Host / Presenter
1996 Shooting Stars - Series 2
  1. E9 - Episode Nine
1996 Father Ted - Series 2 Father Dougal McGuire
1995 Father Ted - Series 1 Father Dougal McGuire

Non-comedy TV and film credits might be found here:
Ardal O'Hanlon on IMDb

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