"Face it, Mrs Brown's Boys is funnier than smug Ricky Gervais"

Our columnist has a sneaky confession to make after the public outcry over Mrs Brown's Boys' fifth National Television Award win over Fleabag and Ricky Gervais’s Netflix comedy Afterlife

In the future you won’t be judged on the colour of your skin, your religion or lack thereof, how much you earn, or how right or left wing you are.

Instead people will ask: “Do you watch Mrs Brown’s Boys?”

And your fate will be sealed.

Has there EVER been such comedy Marmite as Mrs Brown’s Boys - universally panned by critics but adored by the public?

When the show - which centres around an Irish matriarch called Mammy and her brood - scooped a fifth National Television Award for Best Comedy earlier this week, the vitriolic memes knew no bounds. People took to social media in their thousands to protest at the result.

No-one could believe that Mrs Brown’s Boys had beaten Fleabag and Ricky Gervais’s Netflix comedy Afterlife or Derry Girls to bag the best comedy award.

Brendan O'Carroll accepting the award at the 25th National Television Awards

They didn’t see the funny side of that AT ALL.

“This is why the British public must never be allowed to vote for anything!” fumed one unhappy viewer. “It’s Brexit all over again!”

Another Twitter user went further proclaiming: “Mrs Brown’s Boys definitely is the best comedy if you’re a dribbling f **  moron with a ‘Live Laugh Love’ canvas on your living room wall and a Next coffee table.”


When the show first came out in 2011 the critics were hardly enamoured either.

The hit television comedy series (starring Brendan OCarroll as the vocal Irish matriarch) hit the big screen with Mrs Brown's Boys D Movie

Written and starring Brendan O’Carroll who plays the Mammy character, the show was considered to be hideously unhip.

"Jaw-droppingly past its sell-by date,” "old-fashioned," and even "shameless excrescence.”

I’m not sure what ‘excrescence’ is but it doesn’t sound good, right?

Don’t get me wrong. I really enjoyed After Life about Ricky’s grumpy character coming to terms with life following his beloved wife’s death (um yes, not the most obvious topic for a comedy) and of course, what self-disrespecting modern woman doesn’t love Fleabag but I have a confession to make. I really like Mrs Brown’s Boys too. (Whisper it): I’ve even watched the 2014 film, Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie.

Anila Baig is a Mirror columnist

It’s bawdy and cheeky and, dare I say it, it’s funny too.

Forgive me, but isn’t that the whole point of comedy?

There’s no way it’s on the same level of banality as the nonsensical Citizen Khan and the BBC keeps re-commissioning that.

But of course comedy is totally subjective. I have nearly dislodged a rib laughing at Peter Kay talking about losing a biscuit in a cup of tea while my friend will sit there in stony-faced silence.

Mrs Brown’s Boys is bawdy and cheeky

She, in turn, nearly needed hospitalisation when she went to a Paul Chowdhry gig because she was laughing so much she forgot to breathe for about ten minutes.

So it might not be trendy or cool but I personally find Mrs Brown’s Boys hugely entertaining. Under all the bawdiness there’s a family that loves each other. How can that be bad? The fact that the cast are all related or married to each other is also quite sweet.

People are just snobbish about Mrs Brown’s Boys and look down on the people who find it funny. It’s class warfare and frankly shouldn’t be tolerated. The same thing happened to Benidorm, another top notch comedy that was damned for featuring working class Brits and also because it was on ITV.

Well, it doesn’t matter if critics and millennials don’t like Mrs Brown’s Boys. Brendan O’Carroll and the cast/ his family are laughing all the way to the bank.

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