Brendan O’Carroll say ex Mrs Brown's Boys star Rory Cowan gave him confidence to launch show abroad

 Dubliner Brendan admitted he thought BBC were mad to take it on at first

(Image: BBC/BBC Studios/Alan Peebles)

Brendan O’Carroll has told how former co-star Rory Cowan gave him the confidence to launch Mrs Brown’s Boys to a UK audience.

The BBC production – which films in Scotland – will roll out on TVs across the globe this Christmas Day in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, UK, Ireland and the US.

Asked if he was nervous the Irish humour wouldn’t translate to viewers across the pond, Dubliner Brendan admitted he thought BBC were mad to take it on at first.

The 65-year-old, who plays main character Agnes Brown, said: “To be quite honest, I have to say I thought the BBC lost their mind.”

Crediting former star Rory – who left the production after 26 years in the summer of 2017 – for giving him confidence, he added: “But you know what, funny is funny.

“And Rory Cowan – who used to play Rory and was our press agent for many, many years – often said if
it works in one English-speaking country it should work in every English-speaking country and that seems to be the case.

“This year will be the first time the Christmas Special will be on Christmas Day in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, UK, Ireland and the USA.”

Brendan and his wife and co-star Jennifer live in Florida but are back home in Dublin isolating before reuniting with their loved ones for the festive season.

Lifting the lid on how they will spend Christmas after a year spent apart from their families, the comedian joked it will be a “lottery” of who gets to join them at the dinner table due to restrictions.

He told viewers on This Morning with Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford: “It’s going to be fairly quiet.

Rory Cowan and Brendan O'Carroll in Mrs Browns Boys (Image: Andy Peebles/BBC)

“We have to isolate for five days first of all, then we have to get a test.

“Once the test is clear we can see other people.

“Then the restrictions over here, we can see two other households visiting on Christmas Day. So it
will be a lottery.

“We’ll probably do it in schedules you know.

“So anybody who is not invited, it’s because you’re not my favourite son or daughter.”

Mrs Brown’s Boys will be on our screens twice over the holidays with the annual Christmas and
New Year’s specials.

And looking back at the challenges they faced to get the show completed, Jennifer – who plays Cathy Brown
on the comedy – told of the pride the cast and crew felt when they wrapped filming in Scotland earlier this year.

She said: “It was more important that we got the Christmas special done this year than any
other year.

“It was going to be tough to do it, it took a lot to do it, but everyone in BBC Scotland was amazing and so
we managed to get it together.

“There was a tremendous sense of achievement and it was emotional, yeah.”

While the coronavirus pandemic won’t take centre stage, Brendan said they had to reflect on the crisis in some way.

The TV star added: “We didn’t want to write a Covid episode because we felt that everyone has had to deal with Covid all year, they want a laugh on Christmas Day. But there is the odd nod to Covid.”

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