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bore off I'm 'browned-off' with sourpusses complaining about Mrs Brown's Boys

It takes a special type of sourpuss to begrudge kind Brendan O'Carroll


Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes in Mrs Brown's Boys (Photo: Alan Peebles)

Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes in Mrs Brown's Boys (Photo: Alan Peebles)

Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes in Mrs Brown's Boys (Photo: Alan Peebles)

THE rolling pins were out for Mrs Browns' Boys as it returned to the small screen this week.

Brendan O'Carroll's love/loathe comedy took over both RTÉ One and BBC One for a live Halloween special on Friday night.

And the reaction to the 10th ­anniversary episode was even more boringly predictable than its trolls accuse the show of being.

"Unfunny shite", "absolute junk" and "tripe" were just some of the more printable 'reviews' on Twitter from viewers who should probably work out how to operate the remote.

Haven't they found anything else to moan about over the past decade?

Irish Mammy™ Agnes first split opinion down the middle when she burst through the fourth wall in granny curls and a cardie in ­January 2011.

Featuring a middle-aged man in drag, fart gags, fanny jokes and the f-bomb, suffice to say, the old-fashioned format isn't for everyone.

It's definitely not for the critics who have, among other things, ­described it as "jaw-droppingly past its sell-by date", "lazy, end-of-pier trash" and "the worst comedy ever made", which is, frankly, even more histrionic than Agnes' unforgettable (believe me, I've tried) bikini wax scene.

Although many have tried, few have succeeded to rationalise the sitcom's runaway success, which has seen it ­attract more than 11 million viewers in the UK at its peak, least of all O'Carroll himself.

Speaking on The Late Late Show following Friday night's special, the 66-year-old told how he's given up on making sense of the fandom for the family affair, which also stars his wife Jennifer Gibney, sister Eilish O'Carroll and son Danny O'Carroll.


Brendan O'Carroll as Mrs Brown  BoCPIX

Brendan O'Carroll as Mrs Brown BoCPIX

Brendan O'Carroll as Mrs Brown BoCPIX

"My mother had a great phrase for this," he told Tubs by video link, flanked by his extended family of co-stars.

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"She used to say that ­something like this is like disco music, don't analyse it, just dance to it.

"So really since we started on 2FM with Mrs Brown's Boys we've just been dancing."

BAFTA, IFTA and National ­Television Awards wins have only sharpened the knives against the half-hour blooperfest over the years.

But it was hardly an overnight success for the Finglas man, whose potty-mouthed mammy originally popped up on the radio station back in 1992, and again in books, straight-to-video features and stage plays, before eventually being snapped up by the BBC in partnership with RTÉ.

It takes a special type of sourpuss to begrudge the star, who grew up in poverty, ­endured the tragic loss of his first-born son, regularly digs deep for charity, and used his most ­famous creation to call for marriage equality in Ireland, every second of his good fortune.

You can detest Mrs Brown (and it's not exactly like I've got it on loop), but resenting giving the millions of viewers as far afield as Australia, New Zealand and Canada who find it funny a laugh - after all the world has been through - is arguably the most humourless feat of all.

If falling ratings, shock exits and pay rows rumours can't force her to hang up her hair net, then a few snarky tweets aren't going to - not least as the BBC has vowed to air the show every Christmas between now and 2026.

Until then, my advice is bore off - and don't watch it.

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