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Mrs Brown’s Boys tackles pandemic in Christmas special

The BBC sitcom remains a hit with viewers despite being a favourite target of critics.

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The cast of Mrs Brown’s Boys tackled the pandemic in the show’s latest Christmas special (BBC Studios/Alan Peebles/PA)

The cast of Mrs Brown’s Boys tackled the pandemic in the show’s latest Christmas special (BBC Studios/Alan Peebles/PA)

The cast of Mrs Brown’s Boys tackled the pandemic in the show’s latest Christmas special (BBC Studios/Alan Peebles/PA)

The cast of Mrs Brown’s Boys tackle the pandemic in the show’s latest Christmas special.

The BBC sitcom – a ratings hit despite being pilloried by many critics – returns to its usual festive slot, with a second episode due to air on New Year’s Day.

It opens in typically irreverent fashion with Mrs Brown, played by show creator Brendan O’Carroll, giving the character of grandad a sensitive medical examination at the kitchen table.

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Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas and New Year Special 2020 – TX: 25/12/2020 – Episode: Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas and New Year Special 2020 – EP1 Christmas (No. 1) – Picture Shows: Mrs Brown (BRENDAN O’CARROLL), Maria Brown (FIONA O’CARROLL), Barbara (EMILY REGAN) – (C) BBC Studios – Photographer: Alan Peebles

Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas and New Year Special 2020 – TX: 25/12/2020 – Episode: Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas and New Year Special 2020 – EP1 Christmas (No. 1) – Picture Shows: Mrs Brown (BRENDAN O’CARROLL), Maria Brown (FIONA O’CARROLL), Barbara (EMILY REGAN) – (C) BBC Studios – Photographer: Alan Peebles

Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas and New Year Special 2020 – TX: 25/12/2020 – Episode: Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas and New Year Special 2020 – EP1 Christmas (No. 1) – Picture Shows: Mrs Brown (BRENDAN O’CARROLL), Maria Brown (FIONA O’CARROLL), Barbara (EMILY REGAN) – (C) BBC Studios – Photographer: Alan Peebles

Viewers see Buster and Dermot have landed jobs as coronavirus advisers, travelling around Ireland to encourage people to take the vaccine.

Meanwhile, Mrs Brown discovers she has won a competition to deliver an alternative Queen’s speech – only to have her hopes dashed because she does not live in the Commonwealth.

However, her family promise to let her deliver a speech anyway.

And, striking a serious tone, Mrs Brown reflects on a tumultuous 12 months, paying tribute to the key workers who risked their lives during the pandemic.

Breaking the fourth wall, Mrs Brown said she was determined to make the show this year and the pandemic had made people realise the importance of family and friendship.

Praising other comedy stars including Lee Mack, Michael McIntyre and Catherine Tate, Mrs Brown said: “Comedy will always give us a lift. When times are tough, we stand by you.”

The episode finishes with the cast singing The Pretenders’ track I’ll Stand By You, changing the words to “we’ll stand by you”.

Mrs Brown’s Boys airs on BBC One at 10pm Christmas Day.

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