Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas special 2018: Brendan O'Carroll drops show secret

MRS BROWN’S BOYS has proved to be a ratings success for the BBC, but now star of the show Brendan O'Carroll has revealed how the show nearly never happened at all.

Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas special 2018: Brendan O'Carroll drops show secret (Image: BBC)

Fans of Mrs Brown’s Boys will know the show is a family affair, with the cast made up of Brendan’s relations and friends.

However, the TV star revealed how he rejected many producers and TV bosses who wanted to oust his family cast and replace them with Hollywood stars.

Speaking to and other press, Brendan made a note about his cast, saying: “They’ve built the set, they’ve painted the sets. They’ve done everything because it’s important for us that everybody who gets to stand out front on TV or on stage understand what it takes behind them to make that happen.

“Every member of the cast that you see has at one stage swept the stage or ran errands.”

Brendan went on to reveal how he came to finally agree to allow TV bosses to put his show on air, following theatre tours for 14 years.

The 63-year-old explained: “We’d been doing this for 14 years before even going near TV. Stephen McCrum saw this show on a rainy night in Glasgow. He came in and saw the show, we didn’t know he was coming to see the show.

“He came to the dressing room afterwards, I didn’t know who the f**k he was. I had no idea. He didn’t introduce himself but he was extremely posh.

“He then said, ‘Hi, I’m Steve McCrum from BBC Comedy, I’m not going to beat around the bush, I’d like to make a sitcom with you.'

“I was so blasé. I’d been offered that before. BBC Scotland had offered it. Channel 4 had offered it. ITV had offered it.”

Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas 2018: Brendan with sister Eilish as Winnie, and wife Jennifer as Cathy (Image: BBC)

Brendan continued: “But what they all then did next after the offer was go, ‘You know who would be wonderful as Cathy?

“Do you know who would be great as Buster? Of course we’d have to clean it up a bit, tidy it up a bit’. So they wouldn’t get it.

“McCrum was different. On my second meeting with McCrum, I said to him, ‘What do you think of the cast? Who would you cast?’ and he said, ‘I don’t think it would work without the cast that you have. They all gel together.' I thought, ‘F**king great answer.'"

Fans of the sitcom will know that Brendan is father to Danny O’Carroll who plays Buster, and Fiona O’Carroll who plays Maria.

His sister Eilish plays next door neighbour and friend Winnie, while his wife Jennifer plays daughter Cathy.

Brendan’s grandson Jamie O’Carroll plays Mrs Brown’s grandson Bono, with another of his grandchildren featuring in the show this Christmas.

Mrs Brown’s on-screen daughter-in-law Betty, played by Amanda Woods, is his real life daughter-in-law.

Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas special 2018: Brendan O'Carroll drops show secret (Image: BBC)

His TV son Trevor, played by Martin Delany, is also his son-in-law who is married to Maria star Fiona.

His sister-in-law plays Winnie’s daughter, Sharon, with the list of the cast being seen to share connections throughout the end credits.

Speaking about watching the Christmas special, Brendan said: “I’m a little bit excited and a little bit terrified.

“It starts to get exciting and terrifying around September. Already, I’m thinking, ‘What the f**k am I going to do next year?’”

Teasing his co-stars about mistakes during the episodes, writer Brendan laughed: “When you make a mistake, it’s called a f**k up. When I make a mistake, it’s called a re-write.”

Cathy star Jennifer added: “We haven’t watched it yet because we watch it with all the kids on Christmas day.”

Exotic Mammy airs on Christmas Day on BBC One at 10.15pm.

Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas special 2018: Brendan O'Carroll's family and friends make up the cast (Image: BBC)

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