Former Mrs Brown's Boys star Rory Cowan teases reunion with Brendan O'Carroll

 Exclusive: O'Carroll has opened the door for the Dublin actor to return if he wants to

Brendan O'Carroll and actor Rory Cowan at the opening of "Mrs Brown D'Exhibition" at The Little Museum of Dublin (Image: Brian McEvoy)

Former Mrs Brown's Boys star Rory Cowan has said “never say never” to reuniting with Brendan O’Carroll.

The pair parted ways five years ago – and Rory said he doesn’t hear from Brendan apart from a text every so often about repeat fees.

But in a new interview earlier this week, Brendan opened the door about reuniting with Cowan, saying “never say never”.

Now, Rory has echoed the Dubliners comments – saying he never fell out with Brendan despite abruptly quitting the hit series.

Speaking exclusively to The Star, Rory said: “The main reason I quit was because my mother was dying, and she died.

“But I’m well over her death now. She’s just over three and a half years dead.

“I’m in Fair City, I’m contracted to Fair City and I love Fair City.

“I would say never say never myself either, but it never crossed my mind about going back.”

Brendan said of Rory: “His mother’s passing really took it out of him. She had Alzheimer’s as well as cancer. He was trying to deal and cope with that. She’s passed away and he’s now recovering so see what happens. Never say never.”

Rory responded: “I never had a row with Brendan so I didn’t leave because of a row. I certainly didn’t leave over claims of not being paid enough. I was more than well paid.

“I always said Brendan was a generous employer and I was earning so much money, I was able to leave.

“I was earning nearly a lottery every year,” he said.

“But there’s no plans. I haven’t spoken to him but I get nice texts from him every now and again saying there’s repeat fees going in from Mrs Brown’s Boys and they’re always lovely to get,” he said laughing.

But Rory said he hasn’t seen him in years.

“I haven’t spoken to him since the day I left and the last words he spoke to me when I was leaving was before we went on stage and he said ‘I just want to let you know you’re very professional’ and I said ‘so are you’.

“The I walked out of the O2 in London and I didn’t say goodbye. I just walked. I was gone.”

But Rory said he has no regrets with leaving, saying he couldn't imagine not leaving to look after his mother who was dying at the time.

“I knew I had to have no regrets because I knew she was dying. I wanted to make sure I did everything. I put my mother front and centre at everything so when she died I had no regrets. There was nothing I could say I wish I had done differently.

“It was the easiest decision I ever made in my life to walk out. Nothing else mattered.”

But Gary Hollywood, who played Dino, quit two years ago, claiming he was paid less than other cast members, along with fellow actor Damien McKiernan, who replaced Cowan as Rory Brown.

The Scot launched a legal action in 2021 against O’Carroll, the BBC and TV production company Hungry Bear Media Limited, citing discrimination and unfair dismissal.

The actor claimed he was paid 25% less than his colleagues for his role in last year’s six-part chat show spin-off, All Round To Mrs Brown’s.

And he said he was dropped from one of the two Christmas specials just days before filming started.

However, he dramatically withdrew all claims in June last year during a preliminary hearing.

And while Brendan would welcome Rory Cowan back with open arms, he doesn't see a way back for Hollywood.

He said: “I think that is it. It was the most bizarre time. I don’t know where it came from. It came out of the blue.

“I got a call from the office to say Gary has been on to the office and wants his flight home to Spain changed to tomorrow.

“I was like ‘But we haven’t been to Glasgow [where the chat show was being filmed] yet? We are meant to be isolating. We haven’t started yet’.

“He said if he’s not going to be in both episodes he’s not going to do it. And then he was gone.”

Hollywood then went public with claims about pay, which Brendan refuted, saying: “He came back in the press saying he didn’t get paid as much as everyone else. He did.

“In fact he got more than some because he’d been with us longer.

“He was saying stuff to us about why he was leaving that didn’t exist.”

But yesterday, Gary declined to comment on Brendan’s remarks when approached by The Irish Daily Star.

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