Brendan O’Carroll reveals how the Mrs Brown’s Boys team brought this year’s seasonal specials to our screens…
In this unfamiliar festive season there’s one thing we can count on – a Christmas TV knees up at mammy Brown’s! Thanks to hard-work behind the scenes Brendan O’Carroll and his close-knit cast of real life family members have given us a Christmas miracle – two new, must-see seasonal specials of Mrs Brown’s Boys on BBC1 over the holidays!
Under current restrictions some things have changed – there are no guest stars and a minimal live audience during filming in BBC’s Glasgow studio. Happily, however, many Mrs Brown traditions remain the same!
From rivalry between Agnes (Brendan O’Carroll) and next-door neighbour Winnie (Brendan’s sister, Eilish O’Carroll), mother-daughter tangles with Cathy (Brendan’s wife Jennifer Gibney) to naughty jokes and good old fashioned festive cheer, Mrs Brown makes a triumphant return.
Here Brendan O’Carroll, 65, reveals secrets from filming this year’s Mrs Brown’s Boys seasonal celebrations…
Brendan’s 5 behind-the-scenes secrets
1 Following the script
Brendan O’Carroll: “We started off by saying, if there’s a lockdown we’ll do this, if there’s no lockdown we’ll do that. But it made no sense. So I decided to write the two episodes as if everything was normal and then, two weeks before filming, dig into them and change the episodes as required by the restrictions, so that’s what we did!”
2 Testing times
BOC: “We were all tested so much! I got tested six times, and it’s horrible! By the fifth test I was thinking to myself, these shows better be fecking funny because it’s not worth it if they’re not! But we were absolutely blessed, thank god, between the crew and cast we had not one test positive.”
3 Spaced out
BOC: “The camera and sound crew had to be perfectly choreographed. If at any stage anyone went within two metres of each other we had to stop and start shooting the scene again. It made for a very long day. But we managed to do it!”
4 No special visitors
BOC: “There are no guest stars this year because asking a guest to quarantine for two weeks to do the show would have been ridiculous!
5. Playing to the crowd
BOC: “We had an audience of about 20 – 25, who were well spread out across the studio and recycled every two hours with a new audience. They were all really fantastic and laughed like there were 200 there!”
The first of the festive specials, ‘Mammy of the People’, will air at 10pm on Christmas Day, and the story will conclude on New Year’s Day at 10pm in an episode called ‘Mammy’s Memories’.