Christmas worries for Mrs Brown’s Boys special episodes as Covid-19 uncertainties loom ahead of Glasgow filming - Mrs Brown's Boys

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Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Christmas worries for Mrs Brown’s Boys special episodes as Covid-19 uncertainties loom ahead of Glasgow filming

THE Mrs Brown’s Boys cast could be left stranded at their ferry if Scottish authorities refuse to let them in to film two Christmas TV specials.


The Irish stars of the hit show will also face testing for Covid-19 ahead of filming at BBC Glasgow next week . . . and should any of the cast test positive, the two Xmas specials could be axed.


Dermot O’Neill, who plays Grandad, has praised boss Brendan O’Carroll for going ahead with filmingCredit: BBC Press Handout


Dublin-based actor Dermot O’Neill, who plays Grandad, told the Irish Sun: “Filming on the Christmas specials is going ahead but anything could happen between now and then.

“We’re all safe and well but the thing could be wrapped because Dublin is now in Level Three. And when we go over, we are going to get tested and if any of the cast and crew get Covid, the whole production could be shut down. Please God that won’t happen.”

HIGH RISK ACTOR

Even though the 68-year-old is high risk because of his recent cancer treatment, Dermot thinks the nation needs the two Mrs Brown Xmas specials this year more than ever.

Dermot said: “Christmas is going to be very different this year, some parents are telling their kids Santa won’t be coming because of Covid-19. I’d love if Mrs Brown gave them a laugh over Christmas and it was a bit better than what they expected.”

The Dublin actor said the cast had been told to expect major changes off and on set when ­filming the two Christmas specials in Glasgow.


AUDIENCE-LESS

Not only will the filming go ahead without a studio audience, technicians and crew will be kept to a minimum.

Dermot said: “Between BBC people and Mrs Brown people you’d normally have 100 there, but that has all been curtailed to a bare minimum.

“We’ll be staying in Glasgow in apartments for two and half weeks and we’ve been told there will be no socialising.

“We’ll be picked up from our apartments brought to the studio and then brought back to our apartments. We won’t be going out unless we’re buying groceries.”

MRS BROWN PRAISE

At present, UK government guidelines say anyone travelling to Scotland from Ireland, does not need to quarantine on arrival. The actor praised boss Brendan O’Carroll for going ahead with filming and said he felt lucky to be employed with so many actors and theatre workers out of work due to Covid-19.

Dermot said: “Myself and Brendan probably played every pub in Ireland during the Nineties. I have such good memories and I really feel for those people.”

The oldest member of the Mrs Brown cast, who know him ­affectionately as ‘Bugsy’, Dermot ended up watching the two Agnes Brown Christmas specials from his hospital bed last December after he became dehydrated during treatment for cancer.

The much-loved TV star said his world came apart in July 2019 when he discovered a lump in his throat while performing Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Musical at ­London’s O2.

CANCER RECOVERY

He has since made a full ­recovery but has been cocooning at his apartment in north Dublin.

Dermot said: “I am still in isolation because my immune system is still on the way up. I can’t afford to risk anything.

“My grandson had his confirmation last week and I couldn’t go to that but my health is good and my taste buds are about 80 per cent back to what they should be.

“But being at home is tough. I miss having a pint because I’ve never been much of a house drinker. I’d give anything for a pint up at St Finbarr’s GAA club in Cabra. It’s a great club, really friendly and they just won the hurling championships but we have nowhere to celebrate.”

The TV star credits golf with keeping him sane during lockdown, getting up to two socially distant games in per week.

Dermot is raging that the likes of the Oireachtas Golf Society Committee have given a bad name to his favourite game. He said: “It’s one law for us and one law for them. They should be setting a better example. The ­difference between us and them is we just play, we don’t hang around making speeches and doing all that bulls***.

“I play golf twice a week at a members-only club where I can stay socially distant. It’s the only thing I can do and when I come back home, I start looking forward to the next game.”


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