Fiona Phillips: Why we’re coming round to Mrs Brown - Mrs Brown's Boys

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Sunday, February 9, 2020

Fiona Phillips: Why we’re coming round to Mrs Brown

Critics love to sniff and sneer at the mightily popular recorded “as live” sitcom Mrs Brown's Boys, but it is clever, it’s funny – hilariously so


Its uniqueness stems from the fact that Brendan O’Carroll, who plays Mrs Brown, is surrounded by his own family (Image: BBC/BBC Studios/Alan Peebles)




Well, I have to say it crept up very slowly on me.

At first I thought it was nonsense. An insult to my ­intelligence. A dug-up relic from the non-PC, non-woke brigade of the 70s. A politically incorrect millennial version of Dick Emery crossed with Benny Hill with a dose of Les Dawson’s Cissie and Ada thrown in.

Yet, a couple of views on from my initial tastings, Mrs Brown’s Boys gradually snuck its way into my TV appetite. And now, if it’s on the TV menu, I have to be at the kitchen table.

That’s where most of the action happens in Mrs Brown’s house, as the foul-mouthed matriarch spews forth her observations on life, amid the comings and goings of her boys, her daughter Cathy, and Winnie, her saucy best friend from way back when who’s permanently accessorised with a full head of curlers.

Critics love to sniff and sneer at the mightily popular recorded “as live” sitcom, but it is clever, it’s funny – hilariously so – it’s ­slapstick, it’s farce, and then there’s pathos, sadness and it is ­beautifully observed.



(Image: Daily Record)


Some may scoff, but it is also very clever in the way it taps into the human psyche, portraying how vitally important friends and family are to us all.

It is raucous, the physical comedy is often side-splittingly hilarious and the treatment of Grandad verges on cruelty, only just reined back in time to turn it into comedy gold.

Its uniqueness stems from the fact that Brendan O’Carroll, who plays Mrs Brown, is surrounded by his own family. It’s a family affair, each of the actors related to O’Carroll in some way.

Some may scoff, some have written it off as brash and bawdy. And then Mrs Brown went and won the NTA Best Comedy title – voted for by TV viewers – followed this week by Caitlyn Jenner paying a visit to the famous set to film a cameo. Ha! ALL round to Mrs Brown’s. Who’s having the last laugh now?


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