Mrs Brown's Boys' year from hell - cancellation, break-up and sudden death mid-filming

 The cast and crew of Mrs Brown's Boys, who are back with two Christmas specials over the festive period, have really suffered this year with devastating loss and tragic heartache

Mrs Brown's Boys spin-off show was cancelled due to Covid ( Image: Graeme Hunter Pictures)

Mrs Brown’s Boys will be bringing smiles to our faces this Christmas after a particularly challenging year for everyone.

Two hilarious episodes are hitting our screens over the festive period - with Mammy's Mechanical Merriment airing on Christmas Day followed by Mammy's Mickey on New Year’s Day.

Many of us have struggled during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns - and it’s been an incredibly tough 12 months for many involved with Mrs Brown’s Boys.

A devastating tragedy occurred while the cast and crew were filming for this year’s two Christmas specials - leaving everyone feeling “devastated”.

There has also been a divorce which has ripped apart two members of the cast after 15 years of marriage.

Here is a look at the tragedies and setbacks that have rocked the cast this year.

Worst year of Gary Hollywood's life

Mrs Brown's Boys star Gary Hollywood suffered 'worst year of his life' since quitting show

Gary Hollywood quit playing Dino Doyle on the divisive BBC comedy in 2020 ( Image: BBC)

Having played the part of loveable hairdresser Dino Doyle for six years, Gary Hollywood quit the show last year.

Since then the Scottish actor, who was part of the cast from 2004 until 2010, has endured many personal struggles and hardships.

Fans were gutted when the star sensationally quit the controversial series last year amid reports of a dispute over pay alongside fellow actor Damien McKiernan.

Speaking to OK! Magazine, Gary gave insight into the struggles he has weathered over the past 11 months.

He said: “Dealing with the fall-out has been extremely exhausting and has really taken its toll on me emotionally

The past year has been especially tough for Gary, who was left devastated by the sudden death of his brother and faced the premature arrival of his baby son.

Spin-off show axed

All Round to Mrs Brown’s proved to be a hit with viewers - but had to be shelved this year due to Coronavirus.

The spin-off chat show, which has featured a range of guests from Pamela Anderson to Caitlyn Jenner, sees celebrities being interviewed from Agnes’ home.

After attempts to make it work, the team at the BBC has scrapped plans as it would be “impossible” to do.

"It’s the first year since the show started that it won’t be airing,” a source told Daily Star.

After attempts to make it work, the team at the BBC has scrapped plans as it would be “impossible” to do.

"It’s the first year since the show started that it won’t be airing,” a source told Daily Star.

However, the show is expected to make a return to our screens in 2022.

A BBC spokesperson confirmed the news to Mirror Online and said: “Whilst All Round to Mrs Brown’s won’t be returning this year, fans need not worry as some very exciting Mrs Brown news is coming very soon.”

Tragic death during filming

In October this year came the tragic news that a beloved member of the Mrs Brown’s Boys crew had passed away.

Dennis Knotts, who worked on the show for a decade as props master, sadly died following a battle with Covid.

Dennis was employed with BBC Scotland, where the show is filmed, and had also lent his talents to series such as Taggart and Jonathan Creek.

Heartbroken show creator Brendan O’Carroll said all the cast and crew were “devastated” by the loss of Dennis and that he was “one of the family”.

“He was the most adorable man and actually, we dedicated the Christmas episode to him, we loved him very much,” Brendan told the Irish Independent.

“He's been on every show that we have done with the BBC and that’s ten years now. He was the props master on every one of them; he was lovely.

“We lost one of the family. There were people who had worked with Dennis for 40 years and they are just devastated; they can’t believe it.”

Jennifer Gibney, who plays Cathy in the series, explained that the cast and crew were in the middle of filming one of their two upcoming Christmas specials when they discovered that Dennis had died.

“We were in the middle of recording that episode when we got word that he had passed,” she said.

“We did the show for Dennis; that’s how we all got through it. We said, ‘let’s do this one for Dennis.’ And we did”.

Off-screen split

Fiona was married to her childhood sweetheart and co-star Martin Delaney, who plays Trevor Brown on the hit show

Earlier this month came the news that two cast members had split up after 15 years of marriage.

Fiona O’Carroll, who plays Maria Brown, and Martin Delaney, otherwise known as Trevor Brown, met as teenagers but have now decided to part ways.

The couple share four children together Felix, 14, Eli, 12, Isaac, seven, and Dexter, six, and decided to hold off telling them for a year.

Discussing their break up, the mum-of-four revealed that there were "no major fights" and the divorce was simply a case of the two actors no longer "being on the same page".

Fiona said she still has "a lot of love" for her ex-husband and no-one else was involved in the split.

Fiona is the daughter of Mrs Brown's Boys creator Brendan O'Carroll and Doreen O'Carroll, who split in 1999 after 22 years of marriage.

Fiona O'Carroll split from co-star hubby as they 'grew apart'
"For me, as a child, coming from a broken marriage, I didn’t want that for my kids," she explained to the RTE Guide .

"But having said that, my parents are extremely happy now so sometimes you have to go through hard times to get to happier times and as much as I tried my best to make it work, we tried for years and it just got to that point where we both decided, or I decided, it was time."

She continued: "I felt that I needed to be a role model for my kids and as much as they weren’t happy about us splitting up, they are OK actually, because with myself and Martin, our main focus is the kids and we didn’t actually tell the kids until we were almost a year separated."

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