Brendan O'Carroll and wife Jenny Gibney of Mrs. Brown's Boys


Brendan O’Carroll has spoken of his fears about being able to find backstage staff his new 2021 tour after the live entertainment industry was “absolutely devastated” by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dublin comedian is hoping to resume the Mrs Brown's Boys tour in the UK in June and tickets have already been selling fast.

However, the Bafta-winning comic said they could encounter problems when it comes to finding a crew for the tour.

“We’re going to have a lot of trouble as technicians have gone elsewhere. We’re worried we’re going to come in and have no sound people, no electricians, no lights people, no stage crew,” he said.

“We know life on the road is really hard, but it’s really hard for crews so most of those people were doing it because they loved the job; is it a calling. I think they would just shrivel up and die if they were in nine-to-five jobs.”

He thinks more needs to be done to highlightthe events that have been pencilled in for 2021, to give those industry workers something to cling onto.

“I think we have to flag it and start selling the gigs now to let people know that they’re all coming back. There will be comedy, there will be drama, there will be dancing again so people can prepare themselves and know that the industry is not fecked; we are going to be OK,” he said.

He said he was “stunned” in the middle of the pandemic when they sold 3,000 tickets to the tour in one weekend. It is now 64pc sold out.

“I think when people are buying a ticket, it’s giving them hope. It’s like when they buy a ticket, they go, ‘I know that will happen, I know things will go back to normal.’ It actually looks set to be one of our most successful tours ever.

“We need comedy and we need to fecking dance. We need people and to be doing something that we’re enjoying, even if it’s a Punch and Judy show with other people. People are fed up sitting at home laughing on their own. I think we just need other people and it’s going to come a lot quicker than we think.”

He said playing golf with his wife Jenny on the golf course beside their home in Florida helped keep him sane during the pandemic, but he found filming his hit show during the restrictions very tough.

Between flying in from the US and working on the Mrs Brown's Boys show at the BBC in Glasgow, he had to have a total of eight tests for Covid-19 and said the broadcaster had the most stringent guidelines in place throughout.

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