Mrs Brown’s Boys star Brendan O’Carroll on how father’s death inspired him to become a comedian

 Brendan O’Carroll has shared how the death of his father and his mother’s grief inspired him to become a comedian.

Brendan O’Carroll wanted to make his mother laugh ‘every day’ (Picture: BBC)

The Mrs Brown’s Boys star lost his dad when he was a young child, recalling the impact it had on his life in a poignant film on The One Show.

Returning to his childhood home in Dublin after 40 years, the 67-year-old was hit with a wave of nostalgia as soon as he entered the living room, noting instantly how his father’s ashes used to sit on the fireplace.

He described his mum as an ‘incredible role model’, as she was the first woman elected to the Irish Labour Party.

She [Maureen O’Carroll] was quite an extraordinary woman,’ he praised.

‘My mother’s bedroom was on the right hand side and I remember sitting on the third step down. I was 10, it was about two weeks after my dad died, I could hear her in the bedroom crying, that’s when I decided: my job is to make my mother laugh every day.’

‘So I think that’s when I decided to become a comedian,’ Brendan stated.

On his mother’s love, he continued: ‘Every morning before I went to school, she’d pinch my cheeks and say, “You can be anything you want to be. Nobody can stop you”.’

He added that walking into his former home made him feel ‘closer’ to his late mum, who died in 1984.
‘Walking in here, I do feel closer to my mam. She was a loving, loving woman, and the woman who gave me the best advice.

‘Every time I came up against a situation, she’d have a phrase, “Always remember, when you’re feeling at the bottom of the world, that it turns every 24 hours, but don’t forget that when you’re on the top as well”.’

Brendan went on to talk about how he broke into comedy and the obstacles he faced.

‘In my thirties, I got a bit of work on radio, and I started to dream up a character, Mrs Agnes Brown,’ he said.

‘Breaking into comedy wasn’t easy, though. Like everybody’s life, mine has been a rollercoaster, ups and downs and ins and outs, when I was particularly down I didn’t know what could save my bacon, I really didn’t. I was at a loss.’

But then, Brendan met Dennis Desmond, the owner of the Gaiety Theatre.

‘He said to me, “Scribble something for my theatre, we’ll run it for three weeks”, he said it would work and it’d sell out, god bless him, and that’s the first place we played Mrs Brown.’

The One Show is on BBC One, weekdays at 7pm

Mrs Brown Boy’s is on BBC One on Christmas Day, 10.25pm and New Year’s Day at 10pm.

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