Brendan O’Carroll still pays his ex-employee Rory Cowan tens of thousands a year

CHEQUE MATE Brendan O’Carroll still pays his ex-employee Rory Cowan tens of thousands a year in royalties for Mrs Brown’s Boys – even though he doesn’t have to

Rory opened up about Brendan’s generosity and how execs at record firm EMI told him he was mad to walk out on them years ago to work for the comic

COMIC Brendan O’Carroll still pays his ex-employee Rory Cowan tens of thousands of euro a year in royalties for Mrs Brown’s Boys — even though the show boss doesn’t have to.

Minted panto star Rory, 59, said: “I get royalties four times a year but I never have any idea when or how much until Brendan sends a text.”

Rory starred in Mrs Brown's Boys for 26 years / BBC

In a wide-ranging chat with the Irish Sun, Rory opened up about Brendan’s generosity and how execs at record firm EMI told him he was mad to walk out on them years ago to work for the comic.

He also admitted he’d never do Dancing With The Stars as he’d just be laughed at like Des Cahill when he danced with pro Karen Byrne in the RTE hit in 2017, at 64.

He revealed he’d love to work with shamed comedian Al Porter in the Olympia’s next Christmas panto.

And he insisted Brendan’s new musical will be a big hit despite an elderly cast and a lack of singers.

Rory opened up about Brendan O'Carroll's generosity / CRISPIN RODWELL - THE SUN DUBLIN

It’s almost two years since Rory sensationally announced he was quitting Mrs Brown’s Boys — after he played Agnes Brown’s gay hairdresser son in the hit BBC and RTE comedy for 26 years.

When he made the shock revelation in July 2017, Rory said he no longer wanted to tour as he wanted to looked after his beloved mother Esther, who passed away at the age of 85 last November.

Rory said: “I was earning great money when I was on Mrs Brown but when I left the show, I wasn’t really thinking about money.

“And I didn’t know what was going to happen. But Brendan never stopped my royalties after I left and every few months I get a text from him saying ‘Hi Rory, this amount is going into your bank account’.

Rory says he would turn down a chance to be on Dancing With The Stars

"And it’s usually substantial because Mrs Brown is always on TV. Every time I switch on the TV, Mrs Brown is on.”

As the comedy guru continues to pay Rory, the entertainer recalled how he was warned by folks that he was taking a massive step backwards when he quit his job as marketing manager at EMI Ireland, where he worked with former Beatle Paul McCartney, to become Brendan’s publicist.

At the time, Brendan was doing stand-up in Dublin pubs.

Rory revealed Brendan never stopped his royalties after he left Mrs Brown's Boys / CRISPIN RODWELL - THE SUN DUBLIN

He said: “People said to me ‘are you f***ing crazy?’ but I really believed Brendan would be a big star one day and I was proved right.

“In a forty-year career, I only had two bosses: EMI Records, and Brendan O’Carroll who is still sending me cheques.”

Quizzed on the future of Mrs Brown’s Boys, in which Rory was replaced by actor Damien McKiernan, Rory said: “I really don’t know but Brendan has a very creative mind. I like that he’s branching out and planning a musical.

Rory was told not to take the job on Mrs Brown's Boys - in which he starred alongside funnyman Brendan / BBC

“The cast are quite old. Brendan is 63, Eilish [O’Carroll] is 67, and Dermot who plays granddad is in his sixties.

"I was one of the youngest people on Mrs Brown so I can’t imagine there’ll be too much dancing in it and I know only two of the cast can sing. But the public will love it and I wish them well.”

The continuing success of Mrs Brown’s Boys means Rory — who’s been editing a new memoir called If You Haven’t Got The Balls, Don’t Pick Up The Racket — can choose what work he wants to do now.

He was spotted backstage at this season’s Dancing With The Stars, sparking speculation that he himself would jive for the glitterball.

But Rory said although the show’s bosses approached him to take part in both series one and two, he doesn’t reckon he’s up for the high-energy dancefloor antics.

He said: “I think it’s a marvellous show, I love it. But coming up to sixty myself this year, I think it’s more a young person’s thing.

Rory famously fell out with former pal Twink last year / GETTY - CONTRIBUTOR

“I didn’t want to be the one people were laughing at. Des Cahill, they were just laughing at him.”

Rory decided to go into panto over Christmas, playing Dame Polly in Dublin’s Olympia Theatre’s panto just weeks after his mum died. He said he was glad of the distraction.

He said: “It would have been my first Christmas without her, which would have been terrible but because of the panto I was busy. I hardly had a day off.”

Rory said he’s already thinking about next year’s Olympia panto, Cinderella, and says he’d love to star with shamed ex-Virgin Media One’s Blind Date host Al Porter.

Rory said: “I don’t even know if I’m going to be in it but if there were two ugly sisters, I’d love it to be me and Al Porter.”

Tallaght lad Al, 26, resigned from his Today FM show in 2017 as he denied allegations of inappropriate behaviour made against him.

He also didn’t perform in the Olympia Theatre’s Christmas panto that year while Virgin mothballed six yet-to-air episodes of Blind Date.

The channel has since scrapped plans to can the €500,000 shows.

The Dubliner would love to star alongside Al Porter

Rory said: “If that had been me, and I knew it wasn’t as bad as it was being made out to be, I’d have been on stage immediately afterwards. But that’s me at 60.”

Rory said he’s been in touch with Al in recent weeks. He said: “I’d love to see him coming back because he’s just so talented and a super nice sweet guy.”

Rory also said he thinks the public support Al. He said: “The first year after the story broke, Al came in to see the panto and was up in one of the boxes.

“During the show, we do a shout out to anyone who has a birthday, and one of the birthday greetings was ‘for Al’. Well the place started clapping, the claps got louder and louder until it got really loud.

Rory with his beloved new pet kittens

"Al then leaned out of his box and waved and the place went mental. It kind of showed the public are totally OK with Al and don’t hold anything against him.”

Rory has also been busy with his pet kittens Pebbles and Bam-Bam who’ve become social media stars over the past two months since he adopted them a cat rescue.

But he’s worried he’s allergic to them. He said: “For the last few weeks I’ve been coughing and sneezing. I’m terrified he’s [doctor] going to tell me I’m allergic to them.”

Meanwhile, Rory wished panto dame Twink the best of luck with her new RTE show. Rory got involved in Twink’s TV comeback after seeing her talking about losing her home.

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