Mrs Brown to have festive fling in Christmas special

TVBy Eugene Masterson
Mrs Brown to have festive fling in Christmas special

TAKE a first look at what’s set to be the most watched show again on TV this Christmas – Mrs Brown’s Boys.

And here’s Agnes feeling all loved up with a new fancy man, played by English actor Robert Bathurst.

Fair City actress Ciara O’Callaghan – who plays bisexual Yvonne in the hit Dublin soap – also has a major starring role in the two festive shows, as she plays a former flame of Mark Brown, who arrives back to cause havoc.

And as usual there will be a troublesome Christmas tree – this time one that punches people!

Bathurst will already be familiar to Mrs Brown’s Boys fans as he played the part of barrister Mayo Archer, who suffered from Tourette syndrome, in the movie version of the comedy last year. He also had a major role in Downton Abbey as Sir Anthony Strallan.

“All the family think he’s after Cathy, but then we find out he’s after Agnes,” explains Rory Cowan, who plays Rory Brown in the series.

“Things go wrong as usual with Mrs Brown, but it’s absolutely hilarious.”

O’Callaghan plays sexpot Bubbles McGrath in the upcoming shows, which will be screened by RTE and BBC on Christmas Eve and on New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day.

 “Bubbles is an ex of Mark and Mark is mad about her and she’s back in town, so things heat up again between the two of them,” explains Rory.

“Ciara played a reporter in the movie, Irma Bike, now she’s on the road with us playing Betty. So she has actually played three parts in Mrs Brown’s Boys, more than anyone else!”

Betty has been played by Amanda Woods, who is married to Danny O’Carroll (Buster). She has taken time out from the show as she wants to look after their son, who is starting school.

Paddy Houlihan, who normally plays Dermot, also took time out after he became a parent for the first time with twins. Simon Delaney has been playing Dermot in the stage version of the show.

Rory and his husband Deano also have high-profile storylines.

“We’re fighting in the stage show at the moment,” giggles Rory.

“Our storyline for the Christmas specials is that we’re all delighted Bubbles is back in town. The Christmas one ends up very nice with Rory and Deano together on the sofa, so it’s all good.”

The annual novelty Christmas tree will again be the centre of attention on the show.

“We always have something with a Christmas tree,” he adds.

“This time around the Christmas tree punches people. Brendan always wants something with the Christmas tree, like one that talks.

“You can guess what goes wrong. Mrs Brown keeps on saying ‘that could cause a nasty accident’ and there’s loads of things happen. She would say ‘don’t leave that there’, but she’s the one who causes the accident. But it all turns out great in the end.”

The cast is also gearing up for 12 Irish shows later this month.

“We’re doing six shows in Dublin and six shows in Belfast,” explains Rory.

“We finish up How Now Mrs Brown Cow in Dublin.

 “Then on the 19th we do two shows on that date. With the matinee show Brendan is donating all the money to St Vincent De Paul, Autism Ireland and Childline, a few hundred thousand euro.

“We fly out to Australia on January 12 and then we open on January 16. We are then home on April 1. We are also taking in New Zealand, when we go to Australia, we are doing two weeks there.

“We also do a live show in July for the BBC and we’re actually a bit nervous about that, but I’m sure everything will work out grand.”

We are also taking in New Zealand, when we go to Australia, we are doing two weeks there

Brendan O’Carroll is also in negotiations with Universal for a second film, following the success of Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie.

The flick, which cost €5.5 million to make, topped the box office both in Ireland and the U.K. when it was released in June of last year, pulling in a huge €6.5 million on its opening weekend.

Although panned by critics, it also topped the DVD charts when it went on release in October last year.