Brendan O'Carroll was on 'edge of a breakdown' after suffering major financial loss

 The popular comedian had a lucky break when Mrs Brown's Boys catapulted him into global fame, but there was one point in his career where Brendan was in serious debt





Brendan O'Carroll was on the 'edge of a breakdown' after suffering major financial losses before finding fame with Mrs Brown's Boys.

The Dubliner is now one of Ireland's best loved comedians and plays the role of matriarch Agnes Brown in the hugely popular BBC and RTE comedy.

And while Brendan and his family have enjoyed enormous success as a result of Agnes' antics, there was a point he felt 'numb' because things weren't working for him.

The TV star had been working in the entertainment industry back in the '90s and thought he had secured financial backing for a film he wrote and directed called Sparrows.

But unfortunately for Brendan, the funding fell through and he found himself in serious debt, the same year his marriage to first wife Doreen Dowdall came to an end.

The series of devastating losses had a huge impact on his mental health, as he explained: "I was on the edge of a breakdown, a clinician would have said I was depressed, definitely.

"I have never been as low before or since. I was numb, it was like I walked down a dark alley and I couldn’t remember the way out.

"I didn’t turn on the lights, I didn’t open the curtains for three days, just picked at food, didn’t eat."

Brendan believes he was saved from having a breakdown following a dream he had about his late mother Maureen, who would go on to inspire the character of Agnes.

He told The Sun: "My mother said to me in a dream, 'Get up off your knees and do something'.

"I cannot explain why but I awoke after 12 hours of sleep and I felt great."

Shortly after that dream, Brendan was surprised to hear from businessman Dermot Desmond, who offered him the chance to transform Mrs Brown's Boys, which had previously been a radio slot, into a stage play at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin.

"Dermot said, 'Why don’t you write a stage play based on that radio thing you used to do?' and Mrs Brown’s Boys was reborn."

The show was a massive hit with audiences, and after getting numerous offers from different production companies, Brendan finally created the show fans know and love today.

While Mrs Brown's Boys continues to be a ratings winner for both BBC and RTE, in recent years it has faced backlash from critics who have accused the show of cultural appropriation.

But Brendan told the publication he doesn't pay attention to such opinions.

He said: "I don’t think about them, I write the show I write. I don’t ever think of myself as being a man playing a woman, when Mrs Brown goes out on that stage she is a woman."



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