Father Ted co-creator Arthur Matthews has paid tribute to comedian Brendan Grace who played Fr Fintan Stack on the hit comedy series.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One, Arthur Matthews, who wrote the much-loved sitcom with Graham Linehan, told Ryan Tubridy that he like to cast "people I was a fan of as a kid". 

He said: "He turned up for his audition with his own driver and was very professional. He was living in America then. His audition was very different from what we expected. He was very subtle, very sinister. 

"I think he like the idea of appealing to a new audience. It was the second series so he probably thought he could reach a new audience doing a new show."

And reach a new audience he certainly did. Grace's foul-mouthed and hairy Fr Fintan Stack became, arguably, the most popular priest from the series aside from Ted, Dougal and Jack. 

In fact his episode, New Jack City was voted the best Ted episode of the entire three series run at the inaugural Ted Fest back in 2007.

 "I got the keys to your car and drove it into a big wall- and if you don't like it, tough".

Matthews explained why Grace's character was so-loved by fans of the show. "He had that thing that you always want, the ability to be naturally funny. Not everyone has it but he did.

"It was great to have him in the show. He was a legend and he is a big loss."

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