MRS Brown’s Boys star Dermot O’Neill has revealed how a hip problem meant he had a tent instead of a dressing room on their last arena tour.

 The 72-year-old — known to millions as Grandad in the hit show — couldn’t climb the stairs in the venues due to his dodgy joint.

The star underwent hip surgery in Spain last monthCredit: Garrett White - Commissioned by The Sun Dublin

So producers set him up with a private area.

Dermot told The Irish Sun on Sunday: “They had to put a little tent up backstage on all the last Mrs Brown live shows for me to change, because I couldn’t get up the stairs to the dressing rooms. So every night, I’d be in my little tent waiting to go on.”

But audiences would never have noticed when trooper Dermot did take the stage, playing opposite star Brendan O’Carroll.

And Dermot is now smiling again after overcoming months of pain to get a hip replacement in a Spanish hospital last month.
The pensioner decided to get the job done overseas using the Health Abroad scheme after he faced a lengthy wait in Ireland.

Dermot had to shell out €13,500 for his new hip last month at hospital in Denai, near Benidorm.

Snapped at his favourite boozer, The Cock and Bull in Coolock, Dermot is still on crutches, but hopes to make a full recovery.

The star said he was lucky to get his surgery with Mrs Brown on a break for a few months.

He’ll be back filming two Christmas specials in October before a full Irish tour in November.

And he doesn’t blame Mrs Brown for his hip problems.

He said: “I was a window cleaner for 20 years before I did Mrs Brown. That’s a lot of going up ladders. I cleaned all the windows in Temple Bar when there was nothing there but buses."

I loved being a window cleaner. I was my own boss and as happy as Larry.”

That all changed in the late ’80s when pal Brendan hired him as his tour manager, when he was an unknown stand-up comic.

Dermot added: “Then Brendan did The Late Late Show, became a household name and we would be doing 300 gigs a year. Great fun.”

Pal Brendan later hired Dermot, nicknamed ‘Bugsy’, as a set designer for his stage show.

He recalled: “The first Mrs Brown show we did was in the Everyman Palace, in Cork.
“About half an hour before the curtain was due to go up, I was on stage banging a nail into the set. Brendan came up and handed me some lines on the back of a cigarette packet.

“He just said, ‘You’re playing Grandad’. That was it, no rehearsals, no training. I was in Mrs Brown’s Boys.”

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