- 6 Seasons
The British drama series Ballykissangel takes place in a fictional village in Ireland bearing the same name as the television series itself. Ballykissangel ran for six seasons before being cancelled by the British network the BBC; the first three seasons told the story of an English Catholic priest called Father Peter Clifford. Although it featured the stories of everyday people in the village the series proved controversial as it centered on the possible romantic relationship between the priest and a woman from the village called Assumpta Fitzgerald. For the first three seasons, which began in 1996 Ballykissangel starred Stephen Tompkinson as the English priest Father Clifford and Dervla Kirwin as assumptive Fitzgerald. One of the reasons used for cancelling the television show was that from the end of the third season through to the end of the sixth the cast underwent many changes that it was claimed confused some viewers. Both Tompkinson and Kirwin left the series at the climax of the thrid season after the character of Father Peter had professed his love for Assumpta. In the fouth and fifth seasons Don Wycherley played Father Aiden O'Connell and Victoria Smurfit played Orla O'Connell; the pair left the series at the end of the fifth season and were replaced by the characters of Father Vincent Sheahan and OOnagh Dooley. The series was created by Kieran Prendiville and based upon the village of Ballykissane where Prendiville vacationed as a child. The 65 episodes of Ballykissangel have been broadcast around the world, including the U.K., Australia and the U.S. The cancellation of Ballykissangel was not expected in 2001 as a seventh season had been written and the production planned; many of the actors in the show had been contracted to perform and filming scheduled to begin in 2001. Ballykissangel was filmed in the Irish region of County Wicklow.