Recommended second chance
Mrs Brown's Boys
Back by popular demand, the surprise comedy hit of 2011 gets a Christmas special followed by a new series. So why has Mrs Brown’s Boys been such a success? TV Choice asks creator Brendan O’Carroll for his thoughts…
Series one of Mrs Brown's Boys had a great reception, didn't it?
I think the BBC pitched it just right. I was scared because you don’t know until you put the script in front of an audience, how it will be received. But also when you record in the studio, you have complete control because they’re locked in! When it airs, the viewers can pick up the remote control and change channel.
Were you surprised that the critics gave Mrs Brown's Boys some bad press?
Not surprised. Most of them have never written a sitcom so they have no idea of the effort that goes into writing comedy. It’s really, really tough and if they knew that, they’d be a little less harsh.
It’s one bit of good news for Ireland in a difficult year. Is it true you helped a man who was in financial difficulty?
I was in America writing and listening to a radio show on RTE when this guy came on to tell listeners to avoid loan sharks. He had borrowed 1,000 Euros and now owed 7,000 Euros because he had borrowed at 600 per cent interest. He needed the cash by Friday so I rang the DJ and said, ‘Don’t tell the guy who I am but tell him I’ll fix him up.’ I arranged for my solicitor to sort it and it turns out he borrowed the original 1,000 Euros to bury his 20-month-old son. I had 600 emails to my website who had heard the show saying thanks for giving us all hope and we didn’t get one begging letter. In a small country like Ireland that has 65,000 people six months behind on their mortgage, it’s just really dire. I get really embarrassed when things are going well for me.
But you’ve had tough times too.
Yes and I’m from an area where if people see you getting on, they’re very supportive. This is my time. I sat down with my wife Jenny and the kids and I said we’ve worked our ***** off.
What are you up to next?
I was supposed to be doing a sitcom called Security Men in January with Caroline Aherne but that’s been put back now, which suits me fine because it gives me time off at the start of next year, which I’m delighted about. Myself and Jenny will be spending that time by the pool in Florida!