Mrs Brown's Boys star Brendan O'Carroll claims Gary Hollywood was 'family' after the Scot quit the show

 Yesterday, Gary replied to Brendan’s claims saying: “I will never forget the good times and let’s not dwell on the bad.”

Brendan O'Carroll (Image: PA)

Mrs Brown's Boys star Brendan O’Carroll has ­revealed that Scots actor Gary Hollywood was “family” and we “miss him”.

The 66-year-old from Dublin, who writes the show and plays potty-mouthed matriarch Agnes Brown in the award-winning BBC1 sitcom, still seems shellshocked by the ­Glaswegian’s exit from the cast after working with him for 20 years.

Brendan, who is bringing Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Live Show to Glasgow and Edinburgh next month, said: “He was a great actor and we miss him.

“He used to call me ‘Father’. He was part of the family and we haven’t spoken since and haven’t heard a word from him since.”

Ex-High Road star Gary was doing panto in 2000 when he met Brendan and joined the Mrs Brown cast. The Scot was in the Irish DVD versions of the sitcom in 2004 and when it was taken up by the BBC in 2011.

Filmed in Glasgow, it became a huge hit, has won five BAFTAs and is still a Christmas mainstay. The cast also starred in chat show All Round to Mrs Brown’s.

But in 2020, Gary quit alongside fellow actor Damien McKiernan, who played Rory Brown, claiming he was paid less than other cast members.

The Scot launched a legal action in 2021 against Brendan, the BBC and TV production firm Hungry Bear Media, citing discrimination and unfair dismissal.

He also bad-mouthed his former “father” in the press, claiming the show was like Mrs Brown’s mafia because many of the cast members were O’Carroll’s family members.

In papers lodged with an ­employment tribunal, the actor claimed he was paid 25 per cent less than his colleagues for his role in All Round to Mrs Brown’s last year.

And he says he was dropped from one of the two Christmas specials days before filming started, however he withdrew all claims in June last year during a preliminary hearing.

Chatting via Zoom and looking every inch the Irish Rab C Nesbitt in a black string vest, Brendan admitted the episode has left him puzzled and doesn’t see a way back for the Scots actor, despite his sadness at losing him.

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 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. But nobody is in both episodes. It’s Covid, I’m trying to spread it around everybody. He knows that.

“If I’d said to Gary, ‘I want you to come down the stair naked and I’m going to whack you on the willy,’ he’d have said ‘Sure, no problem.’

“Never said ‘no’. Never. So this came out of the blue. And then he was gone.”

Gary then made claims about pay.

Brendan said: “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 had a new manager so I don’t know if that had anything to do with it. He was saying stuff to us about why he was leaving that didn’t exist.”

Gary wants to move on from the row with Brendan (Image: Daily Record)

Yesterday Gary replied to Brendan’s claims. He said: “I will never forget the good times and let’s not dwell on the bad.”

Hairdresser Dino’s absence since the 2020 Christmas special was explained by Agnes saying he and Rory were stuck in Wuhan after ­travelling to get a brand of ­hairdryer made, then decided to stay.

However while the door seems to be shut on Dino’s return, Brendan is hopeful old friend Rory Cowan, who left the series in 2017, may make a return.

Brendan said: “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 we’ll see what happens. Never say never.”

Brendan, who based Mrs Brown on his own mother, who raised 11 kids, has made his hit show a family affair.

This includes his wife Jennifer Gibney, who plays Mrs Brown’s daughter Cathy, his sister Eilish plays neighbour Winnie and Agnes’s grandson Bono is his grandson Jamie, whose father is Brendan’s son Danny, who plays Buster.

From a radio show in 1992, it became a hit stage show but found success not in Ireland but at the Pavilion in Glasgow.

It was in the city that the BBC offered him a series and from 2011 Brendan has stayed loyal to Glasgow, where the sitcom and his chat show have always been made.

While there were three series of Mrs Brown’s Boys made since 2013, it has become a Christmas staple – shown at 10pm on Christmas Day, even during Covid. Brendan has signed Mrs Brown up for the next seven years for the two Christmas shows.

There have also been four series of the chat show but Brendan is putting that on hold until showbiz folks get back in the swing.

Since Covid, it’s been harder to attract top names to Glasgow, where Brendan insists his shows are made.

When Covid stopped Mrs Brown touring, Brendan spent lockdown in Florida writing four Christmas specials for 2020 and 2021, his autobiography, two pilots and golfing with Jenny.

Brendan is looking beyond Mrs Brown and is hoping his next hit will be The ­Lebanese Outpost, set in the 80s and focusing on Irish troops on the peacekeeping line between Lebanon and Israel.

Given his year is divided into 26 weeks on, 26 weeks off, he has a lot to pack in. But he’s chuffed the postponed D’Live show is finally going round the UK and Ireland throughout June and July.

After the tour it’ll be back to Glasgow to film the two Christmas episodes. Brendan said: “We’ve been doing it for 11 years. We didn’t expect to be on the BBC for this long.

“The agreement we have with BBC is when they get to the stage that they feel they’re not going to put it on Christmas Day or I feel we’ve run our course on Christmas Day then we stop doing it.

“We are already booked into the studio at Glasgow for two Christmas specials. But every Christmas could be the last Christmas. I’ve always thought that.”

● Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Live Show...Encore Tour plays Glasgow OVO Hydro for three shows on July 1 and 2 and finishes the run with four shows at the Edinburgh Playhouse from July 15 to 17.
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