Bottler had Mrs Brown for a waiter at his wedding reception

EntertainmentBy Eddie Rowley
Bottler aka Brendan Grace
Bottler aka Brendan Grace
Brendan O'Carroll as Mrs Brown
Brendan O'Carroll as Mrs Brown

IRELAND’s best-loved comic Brendan Grace reveals that he once hired Brendan O’Carroll for the laughs.

And, in a funny twist, the Mrs Brown’s Boys star had also served as a waiter at Grace’s wedding reception in 1973 at Pat Quinn’s club in Dublin’s Kilternan.

“That’s when I first met Brendan and during the meal he had Eileen and myself in stitches,” Grace tells the Sunday World.

“I then gave him a job as a roadie, but he was brutal because he couldn’t lift the speakers.

“I didn’t mind, though, as I just took him on because he was a funny guy and I wanted to have somebody funny on the road with me.

 “Brendan would have me in tears laughing at him. He was like my court jester.”

Grace, whose fans included the late Frank Sinatra, is still packing in the crowds. He says that, like Mrs Brown’s Boys, the secret of his success is “the simplicity of the comedy”.

Brendan and his alter ego Bottler have become iconic characters, but he reveals that these days he’s mostly recognised for his brief role as Fr Fintan Stack in Father Ted.

“I was on telly that often that at one stage I thought I was going to get a job ringing the Angelus, but it was seven minutes as Fr Fintan Stack that caught everyone’s imagination,” says Brendan.

“I meet people who don’t know who the hell Brendan Grace is, but they want me to repeat in Fr Fintan Stack’s accent, ‘if you ever do that again I’ll put your head through the wall’.”

Grace, who lives in Florida, will play four shows at Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre from March 25-28.

“I still enjoy every moment on stage,” he adds.