Eriskay parish priest;

Born: June 6, 1926; Died: July 14, 2012.

Father Malcolm Joseph MacLellan, known as Father Calum, who has died aged 86, was the island of Eriskay's popular parish priest and one of the stars of the BBC's An Island Parish series. As a teenager he was also witness to the "recovery" of a cargo of whisky from the Jamaica-bound SS Politician, which shipwrecked in 1941 off Eriskay with 28,000 cases of whisky on board. The events were later immortalised in the film Whisky Galore!

The Roman Catholic clergyman studied at St Mary's College in Blairs, Aberdeenshire, and then the Scots College in Rome, and was a devoted priest whose life was dedicated to the church. He was also respected for his tireless work in the local community. The Gaelic speaker was the first vice-convener of Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) when the Hebridean archipelago was unified under a single local government authority in 1975. He was later awarded the Freedom of the Western Isles.

Father Calum gained wider recognition when he took part in the 2011 BBC fly-on-the-wall series An Island Parish, which followed the lives of three Hebridean island priests. Described as a real-life version of the Channel 4 comedy Father Ted, the series, which also featured Father John Paul MacKinnon and Father Roddy McAuley, was such a big hit with viewers that a further series was commissioned.

Father MacKinnon remembers his colleague as a man who embraced different ways of spreading the word of God: "When I heard Father Calum was taking part in the programme I was more relaxed about doing it too. He was a man who was never scared of TV or radio, he just saw it as another way to get his message across."

The popular clergyman, known for his sense of humour, was born to island parents in Glasgow in June 1926. The family returned to Eriskay, where he went to school.

Aged 15 he watched as his fellow islanders relieved the SS Politician of its alcohol cargo, and then later when they tried to hide it from Customs & Excise officials. The islanders famously rowed a nightly flotilla of small boats to get to the wreck and its whisky. Father Calum said of the experience: "It depended on your own ability or agility to get as much ashore as you could. I suppose the bigger thing was hiding it, especially from the Customs officers, and that produced a lot of hilarity."

He was ordained in Rome on July 5, 1953 and spent the whole of his priesthood in parish ministry in the Argyll and the Isles Diocese. From 1954 he served as curate in Oban Cathedral and later in Dunoon. He went to Daliburgh on South Uist in the same capacity in 1963, and was soon appointed priest of the neighbouring parish of St Mary's in Bornish.

He was to spend the rest of his priesthood between Barra, South Uist and Eriskay. In 1966 he served at St Barr's in Northbay, Barra. He also undertook seven years at St Mary's in Benbecula and more than a decade in Castlebay. In 1991 he returned home to Eriskay and the parish of St Michael's.

In 1995 he was called upon to participate in a special mass in Australia when Mary MacKillop, born of a family from Roy Bridge, was beatified. Her canonisation as a saint took place in 2010 when she became Saint Mary of the Cross.

In 2001, at the age of 75, Father Calum retired as parish priest but chose to stay on Eriskay. Father MacKinnon remembers him being active even in retirement: "He loved to travel. He went to Ecuador for a couple of months, embraced the culture and got on with celebrating Mass in Spanish. He also travelled regularly to the south of Spain, to another parish. He said he liked the warm weather and to be able to swim."

Bishop Joseph Toal of Argyll and the Isles said: "He loved being involved in everything that was happening, and was a most effective voice in the public bodies on which he served."

He died in Raigmore Hospital in Inverness early on Saturday morning. He is survived by his brother Donald and his sisters Morag and Margaret.