Cigarettes and Alcohol and Rollerblading
Series 2, Episode 8
Cigarettes and Alcohol and Rollerblading
Air date April 26, 1996
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Cigarettes and Alcohol and Rollerblading is the eighth episode of Series 2 of Father Ted.


Father Ted, Dougal and Jack try to give up their vices for Lent.


It's Lent on Craggy Island, and the priests attempt to give up their worst vices: Ted his smoking, Jack his drinking (which Ted decided for him) and Dougal his rollerblading, because Father Dick Byrne tells Ted they plan to do the same thing (but was in truth lying). Ted has hidden Jack's alcohol supply in a cave beneath the Cliffs of Moher.

That night, Ted sneaks into the garden shed to secretly smoke, only to find Jack with alcohol and Dougal wearing his rollerblades in there. Realizing they need extra help keeping their Lenten vows, Ted rings a Church-run addiction service (Matty Hislop's), and is promised they will send someone to Craggy Island. When Ted comes off the phone, he and Dougal discover that Jack is sober for the first time in 12 years - the last of the alcohol has left his body, and after assessing his situation, cries in anguish "Don't tell me I'm still on that feckin' island!".

Mrs Doyle is taking a Lenten pilgrimage to St. Patrick's Hill, to keep her on "the straight and narrow"; pilgrims take off their socks and climb to the summit before being chased back down with a plank. Before leaving, Mrs Doyle recalls a couple from a previous pilgrimage, who had been obsessed with "the old S-E-X". As Ted is tucking into his sausage, she graphically explains how glad she is that she never thinks about that kind of thing.

Ted is rescued by the sound of the doorbell. It is Sister Assumpta, who they have met many times before (although Dougal only remembers her after much prompting). Ted says to Dougal: "Do you not remember Sister Assumpta?" He then proceeds to remind him of the events of her last visit, which included Dougal winning £100, being arrested for shoplifting, the Garda station setting on fire, Dougal being rescued from the flames by a helicopter and falling out of the helicopter into the tiger cage in a zoo. Dougal fails to remember Assumpta as Ted recounts these events, but his memory returns when Ted reminds him that he was wearing his blue jumper. Jack, meanwhile, runs for the hills upon learning there's a nun staying with them.

The following morning, Sister Assumpta sounds an airhorn at 5am (Dougal remarks: "God! I've never seen a clock at 5am before!"). Ted writes Assumpta a note explaining that they don't normally wake up so early, before the two priests get back into bed and switch off the lights. The foghorn sounds again and the light is switched on to reveal Sister Assumpta towering over Ted in his bed.

Downstairs, their breakfast consists of water in a bowl, then Assumpta tells Ted and Dougal to "come outside for your daily punishment!". The punishment starts with them each lying in an ice bath (Dougal manages to smuggle his rubber ducky into his tub), and Ted is horrified to hear that this is merely the preparation for the punishments, meaning they still haven't started. Ted's hopes that the punishments just mean having 'a bit of an old pray' are dashed when both he and Dougal are chained to the back of a tractor and driven across the lawn by Sister Assumpta; next, they stand at the front door of the Parochial House whilst Sister Assumpta hurls objects at them. The nun then eats fruit at a table outside the house, and, when Ted and Dougal approach her, pulls out a revolver and fires at them. Finally, she tries to bite Dougal in the arm, and gives him Chinese burns, but he seems indifferent to the pain, so she finishes the punishments for the day.

Ted and Dougal are glad to get some sleep; Ted jumps onto his bed, but groans with pain. Dougal pulls back his bedclothes to reveal that his mattress has been replaced by bricks. Dougal suggests they seek refuge from this twisted nun with Father Dick Byrne on Rugged Island, but Ted refuses point-blank; Ted decides to phone his friend Father Larry Duff instead. Larry's mobile phone rings just as he is about to win £10,000 on a TV quiz show, distracting him and causing him to lose, Ted hangs up, remembering that Larry had told him not to call that evening.

With no other option, Ted and Dougal escape to Rugged Island. Their car pulls up outside the parochial house, which is identical to theirs (which Ted declares a "dump") late at night. With no reply at the door, the two priests sneak around to a window, and, looking inside, spy the three Rugged Island priests smoking, drinking and skateboarding to their hearts' content. Sister Assumpta comes into the priests' bedroom in the morning with her foghorn to give them their early morning wake up call. She is astonished to discover a note left on Ted's bed explaining that they have left. Downstairs she sees some Easter eggs.

Ted and Dougal return to Craggy Island, disgusted that the Rugged Island priests broke their promise. They are further shocked to see Sister Assumpta sprawled on the living-room floor stuffing her face with the chocolate eggs. Startled, she begs Ted not to tell her fellow nuns about her failure to 'keep Lent', and Ted comes to an arrangement with her: he'll forget the whole thing, if she goes to Rugged Island Parochial House to give them the same treatment she had given Ted and Dougal. As the credits roll, Sister Assumpta is seen giving them, if anything, worse physical abuse, beating the three bare-chested priests (who are in their underwear) with a branch on the lawn. Meanwhile, Mrs Doyle returns to find Ted, Dougal and Jack indulging more than ever in their vices (Ted's smoke billowing under the door makes her believe the house is on fire).


Main Cast

Guest Cast


  • The episode title is a parody of the 1994 single 'Cigarettes and Alcohol' by English rock band Oasis.
  • Ted mentions Matty Hislop, who was allergic to cats so he used to carry one in his pocket and sniff it.  This is a reference to Matt Talbot, an Irish ascetic revered by many Catholics for his piety, charity and mortification of the flesh.  He is considered a patron of men and women struggling with alcoholism.
  • St. Patrick's Hill is a reference to Croagh Patrick, an important site of pilgrimage in Co. Mayo, Ireland.

Series 2
#101 "Hell" #106 "The Plague"
#102 "Think Fast, Father Ted" #107 "Rock-a-Hula Ted"
#103 "Tentacles of Doom" #108 "Cigarettes and Alcohol and Rollerblading"
#104 "Old Grey Whistle Theft" #109 "New Jack City"
#105 "A Song for Europe" #110 "Flight into Terror"
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