Brendan O'Carroll says he owes Mrs Brown's Boys success to Jack Charlton

A trip to America in 1994 under Jack Charlton's leadership of the Republic of Ireland football team changed Brendan's life, both personally and professionally

Brendan O'Carroll has told of how football icon Jack Charlton inspired him to write his hit book The Mammy - which would eventually lead him to becoming a stellar success with Mrs Brown's Boys.

The Dublin comedian recalled his friendship with Big Jack, who sadly passed away last weekend, and explained that his leadership of the Republic of Ireland team for the 1994 World Cup in America had a massive impact on his career.

The star was hired by RTE to do short presenting spots during the broadcaster's World Cup coverage, and the trip to the States ended up changing his life.

"Two things happened when I was out here," Brendan told The Sunday World from his home in Florida.

"I started writing a book, The Mammy, and that changed my life. I was doing Mrs Brown on the radio at the time, so I thought I'd write her back-story.

"I wrote the whole thing when I was in the USA during the World Cup.

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"I also drove around in Orlando and I'd get lost and I thought, 'you know, I like this place.' And now I live here. Up to then it was never on my radar, so the 1994 World Cup was good for me.

"It had a huge impact on my life. And I was there thanks to Jack Charlton's success with the Ireland team."

Recalling his friendship with Jack, Brendan went on: "We had a couple of good chats, we were very convivial. I wasn't anything to do with football, so he didn't have any threat from me. I enjoyed his company, he was a great man to tell stories.

"I knew him as much as anybody knew him. He was fairly abrupt with anybody outside the team.

"He used to call me 'Comedian'. He'd say 'Alright Comedian, come on in' or 'Get out Comedian, we're talking shop here.' He was quite unique, but the right man at the right time for us as it turned out."

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