Mrs Browns Boys New Years Day special: Brendan O’Carroll hits back at backlash | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV

Mrs Browns Boys New Years Day special: Brendan O’Carroll hits back at backlash | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV


Mrs Brown’s Boys are used to Agnes and her family swearing throughout the show, and Brendan has revealed bosses at the BBC tried to remove the swear words when the show first aired.

However, after a change in BBC controllers as the show was commissioned, Brendan revealed the show slipped through the net… but that he wasn’t prepared to remove the swearing anyway.

Speaking to press including Express.co.uk, 63-year-old Brendan explained: “When we did the pilot, it was November 13 that we found out we were getting a series with the BBC and that they’d commissioned the series.

“I knew at some stage there was going to be a ‘f**k me’. So I was prepared for it. But funnily enough it didn’t happen before the first series.

“That’s probably because at that stage, Jay Hunt was controller or head of the BBC. The day I went down for that first ‘f**k meeting’, I flew down from Glasgow, was the day she left.

“So I arrived down for a meeting with herald she had left that day. Jennifer was up in Glasgow looking at the TV and had seen it on the news and thought, ‘What the f**k did Brendan say?’

“So we didn’t have that meeting and went on and made the first series.”

Brendan went on to explain how he as eventually called back for another meeting about the use of swear words.

He continued: “At the end of that first series, Danny Cohen had taken over as controller and I was called in for a ‘f**k meeting’.

“He spent the first 10 minutes telling me how lucky he felt the BBC were for finding me and the family.

“How wonderful and hilarious Mrs Brown’s Boys was and that he liked the comedy mixed with pathos and hopefully a message at the end where at the end of the day, family will fall out and fall in, but there’s always something in the family that will keep them together.

“Eventually it was getting f**king boring so I asked Danny to cut to the chase and asked him, ‘You want me to stop saying ‘f**k’ so you can put the show on at eight o’clock.’

“And he said, ‘Exactly’. He said to me, ‘Look Benny, we want to make you a big star. We really do. The BBC want to make you a big headline star’.

“I said, ‘Two things. First of all, I don’t want to be a big headline star. I never did. And number two, the show is the show. Put it on at eight, or half 10 or half 12… people who want to see it will find it. But the show’s the show. I don’t care when you put it on. We’re not changing the show.”

Brendan went on to add: “I have to say maybe six months later after winning a BAFTA and the show was successful. Danny came to see the show at the Apollo and said to me after the show, ‘Can I just say something to you Brendan? I brought you in for a meeting intending to get you to try and change what you do.

“I got it very wrong. You are a rare talent and we are blessed at the BBC just to have a loan. Don’t change’.

“Most British people have Irish connections and they know how we speak. We never ever said the word f**k for what it means. I don’t understand how in the context it can be offensive. But I understand that some people do get offended. Trust me, there are words that I think don’t suit some people.”

Cathy Brown star and Brendan’s wife Jennifer added: “Brendan never sits to write any of the scripts for the specials and goes, ‘Where will I put a swear word?’

“You know from us in Dublin-people. It’s the way we speak. If someone says ‘f**k’ or whatever, it’s like a comma or an exclamation mark.

“It’s part of the way we speak, it’s not actually meant as an offensive word. It’s the way we speak.

“Brendan made the point that there are scenes that happen pre-watershed that have worse four-letter words in them like kill or hate – they’re much more offensive.”

Mrs Brown’s Boys is available to watch on the iPlayer now.



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