A second series of a detective drama based on a Heckmondwike priest starts on BBC1 today.
Father Brown, the character created by author GK Chesterton, was based on the writer’s friend Father John O’Connor, priest at Holy Spirit School in Heckmondwike.
The first series aired last January. The second series airs on Mondays at 2.15pm and runs for 10 weeks from today.
Father O’Connor, who died in 1952, played a large part in Chesterton’s conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1922.
He was appointed to Holy Spirit Church in 1905 and soon began work on building a new church, even selling his art collection to help pay for it.
Chesterton met Father O’Connor on a lecture tour in 1904 and they developed a keen friendship.
While chatting about an article Chesterton wanted to write on crime, the priest shocked him with some facts he had heard about “unsavoury practices”. After further discussion with two university students who laughed at Father O’Connor supposed innocence of such things, Chesterton was inspired to write a series of books about a detective priest who criminals thought was innocent and naive.
Chesterton’s first collection of Father Brown stories, The Innocence of Father Brown, appeared in 1911.