Paddy Houlihan - 2020 is the end of Mrs Brown's Boys - Mrs Brown's Boys

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

Paddy Houlihan - 2020 is the end of Mrs Brown's Boys



Actor Paddy Houlihan, who plays Dermot in Brendan O’Carroll’s hit comedy show, is taking Mrs Brown’s Boys on the road for another live show. The only downside? Leaving his twin girls at home, he tells Liz O’ Brien.
THE first time Mrs Brown’s Boys star, Paddy Houlihan, met his father-in-law-to-be, Houlihan was dressed as a chicken.

The encounter mustn’t have gone too badly, because a few years later Houlihan married his then girlfriend, Emily — also a Mrs Brown’s Boys actor — and just five months ago the couple welcomed identical twin girls.
Paddy, who plays Agnes Brown’s son, Dermot, in the TV phenomenon, is delighted to be a daddy.

“When we went in and did the scan, they said ‘There’s the little heart’, and, of course, the two of us were bawling. He moved the little sonar thing and he said: ‘Oh’ and I said: “What does ‘Oh’ mean”?

“He said, ‘Well, there’s another one in there’ and it was just like ‘Oh My God!’ We know how lucky we are. One child would have been a blessing, but two of them...” 
Twins Bonnie and Darcy couldn’t wait to meet their parents; they arrived eight weeks early.
When Paddy went to the ICU to visit them, a nurse showed him to the twins’ incubators.
“She opened the little doors at either side and said, ‘Put a hand in there and put a hand in there and you hold their hands.’ The twins were supposed to be fitted with breathing tubes, but they quickly started breathing on their own.

“I thought: ‘Oh my God, they’re in the world an hour and I’m already overly-proud of them.’” 
Paddy has been working for 14 years for Brendan O’Carroll, the creator of the Mrs Brown’s Boys sitcom, stage show and movie.

 The show has won a string of awards — National Television Awards, TV Choice Awards, Scottish BAFTA, an IFTA, a TV Times Award, TV BAFTA — and has been a ratings hit worldwide. The live-show has broken box-office records across the UK and Australia.
Now, How Now Mrs Brown Cow the stage show is touring the UK, and on December 15 — in the run-up to Christmas — it comes to Dublin’s 3 Arena. Also, the BBC will broadcast a Christmas and New Year’s special, after last year’s were watched by 10m viewers.


“We’ve recorded a Christmas special and a New Year’s special; they’re done, ready to go and they really are brilliant.
“I don’t know how Brendan keeps bringing them out; I know how much he works, so when you sit down to read the script you’re going, ‘Where did he find the time to write this?’”
In January, the live show will tour Australia; and Paddy and Emily — who’s an understudy for Fiona in the show — will bring the twins.
To Paddy’s friends, his job is known as ‘the Carlsberg job’; they reckon it’s probably the best job in the world.

“It’s the camaraderie, the fun. It’s not a typical workplace. I can’t ever remember having a cross word with the boss. Everyone’s chilled out, they’re here to do a job and they enjoy doing it — that’s part of it, if the audience see you enjoying it, it helps them to enjoy it. It’s surreal, to make a living doing that. We’re very lucky.” 

But it’s work he never expected. Paddy was set to be an electrician, or to follow in his dad’s footsteps and work at Tipperary Water — that was until Brendan offered him a job.
“I grew up with Brendan’s son, Danny, who plays Buster; we were best pals growing up and Danny left school to go and join Brendan with the show and serve his apprenticeship. I’d be around Brendan a lot and he said, ‘I want you to come and work for me’.
“I said ‘Doing what’?”

“He said, ‘Well, I want you to be an actor’.
“I was like, ‘Jesus, Brendan, are you mad’?” That was in December, 2001. A month later, Paddy started his apprenticeship with Brendan. After a couple of days, he was asked to play ‘The Plumber’ — a walk-on part in Mrs Brown, the Last Wedding.
“That was the kind of part you broke yourself in with — there were two scenes, you might have been on stage for five minutes. You’d to wear a boiler-suit and bring a toolbox on; the scene opened with Agnes, and I was a plumber.

“I didn’t realise it, but the lads had filled the toolbox full of stage weights, so when Agnes told me to leave, I went to pick up the toolbox and I couldn’t actually lift it.
“They were winding me up, and everyone was in on it. I actually thought there was something physically wrong — the panic and the stress. I thought ‘Jesus, what’s going on?’”
That was his welcome to the group.
In 2005, he was asked to play Dermot, alongside Buster, played by Danny O’Carroll — his best friend on- and off-stage.


“I just love Danny playing Buster. I think he’s brilliant at it. There’s a scene with Buster, when Dermot’s getting married to Maria — Dermot’s hiding in the toilet — and Buster gives this speech to Agnes about being best-man, and when I see Danny doing that I just see Danny, I don’t see Buster. 

But I was sitting under the stairs, nearly bawling that Danny’s saying these nice things and it’s not even about me, it’s my character! I love that scene; I think because it’s Danny.”
Mrs Brown’s Boys is a family affair, with many of the cast either married to each other or related. Brendan’s wife plays Cathy, his sister is Winne, his daughter, Fiona, plays Maria, his son, Danny, is Buster; Danny’s wife, Amanda, plays Betty, and even Brendan’s grandchildren make special appearances.

Paddy says: “I met my wife on the show; it was crazy, because the first time I met Emily’s dad — he’s a big man, he looks quite intimidating — was in Glasgow.
“Emily was (playing) a pregnant nurse and I was dressed as a giant chicken and I just remember him looking me up and down, thinking ‘What is my daughter doing?’ Emily works behind-the-scenes in wardrobe, as well as being an understudy. If the opportunity arose for the twins to appear on stage, Paddy would be for it.

“I would love to see them do something; it’s gas, it seems like the logical thing that they just would be in it. I wouldn’t be expecting it, at the same time, but it would be lovely.”
For now, though, acting careers aside, the twins are busy wrapping their daddy around their little fingers, and daddy is looking forward to their first Christmas.
“We’ll have the two girls sitting in their little chairs, watching us put the Christmas decorations up — I’m excited about that.

“They don’t know what’s going on — it’s all fairy-lights, and stuff, to them, everything they look at now is in wonder — but, it’s just to see them and to have them there.
“They’ve developed these smiles that would melt your heart, and because they’re identical twins, when they stare at you and they both smile — they could have flushed my wallet down the toilet — they could just get away with anything.
“It’s phenomenal how much they’ve changed our lives... in a good way.”
"However all good things must come to an end. 2020 will mark my retirement I'm afraid."


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