Brendan O’Carroll believes Mrs Brown will never disappear from screens because of political correctness

BRENDAN O’Carroll believes his comedy ­matriarch Mrs Brown will never disappear from screens because of political correctness.

The 65-year-old often questions himself if dressing up as a woman to play Mrs Brown “is the same as blackface” — but believes playing Agnes Brown “as a woman” never as a man is what lets him get away with it.

Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes BrownCredit: BBC

ITV star Benny Hill was at the top of his game when TV bosses axed his show but the Irish comedian who created Mrs Brown’s Boys doesn’t think his hit show will ever be overtaken by political correctness which has banished so many other TV comedians like Dick Emery from screens.

Brendan told the Irish Sun: “I would never go out of my way to be racist or homophobic so I’m not that worried myself because I only write what I think is funny, and you hope that enough of an audience agrees with you.

"Agnes refers to the alternative community as LGBTLMNOP because she doesn’t understand it. She knows what gay is but she doesn’t know what gay is so from that perspective she is able to get away with a lot.”


The Dubliner said he is acutely aware of changing tastes in comedy after signing a deal to make new Christmas specials with the BBC until 2026 with his recent festive special full of the F word.

Brendan said: “When I started, people found the word f* offensive, but now it’s no longer offensive because people now understand it in the context in which it’s used.

“So I don’t know if people need to calm down but I do understand that life in every situation, whether it’s political or sport, no matter what, there is always a pendulum swinging, and when things swing so far . . . there is going to be big swing back to over-correctness, until we find somewhere in the middle where things will be OK and that’s the same in politics, it swings left then it swings right.

“So I don’t think Mrs Brown will be affected, and I often question myself is Mrs Brown, me a man dressing up as a woman to play Mrs Brown the same as blackface?


“And decided no it’s not, because I’ve never played Mrs Brown as a man playing a woman like they do in films like Mrs Doubtfire.

“Agnes is a woman like Dame Edna. I have to admit that it was years before I realised that Dame Edna wasn’t a f*ing woman.

"Overall, it’s very hard to draw the line in comedy. I suppose we all have a remote control, and the ability to buy or not buy a ticket.”

Key to Mrs Brown’s survival Brendan believes is the goodwill the public have for his hit comedy.

Brendan said: “I hope the legacy overall is that the Mrs Brown crew gave back as much as they got. That we were generous, we understood exactly where we came from, we kept our feet on the ground, 99 per cent of us kept our feet on the ground, and we understand our audience.”

Brendan O'Carroll, BBC Head of Comedy Josh Cole, Jennifer Gibney and cast members, accepting the Comedy award for 'Mrs Brown's Boys' at the National Television Awards 2020 Credit: Getty Images - Getty

He said that extended to the arenas where they constantly tour around the UK, and as far away as Australia.

"Brendan said: “I can tell you there isn’t a theatre or venue anywhere where Mrs Brown wouldn’t be welcomed back with open arms. At every venue we visit, we let the staff know they are working with us, not for us.”

The second Mrs Brown’s Boys Xmas specials will air on RTE One at 9.10pm New Year’s Eve and BBC One at 10pm on New Year’s Day.

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