TV Times magazine goes behind the scenes of BBC1’s Mrs Brown’s Boys (Monday) to meet star Brendan O’Carroll – the man who’s found success reviving the golden age of British TV…

Where did your influences come from for Mrs Brown?
“Fawlty Towers, George and Mildred, and all those great sitcoms back in the 1970s and 1980s. Of newer comedies, Miranda is great, and I love stand-up. Michael McIntyre is just brilliant, Lee Mack, David Mitchell, Rob Brydon, they are all top class – you could get a Magnificent Seven movie out of these guys! And Kevin Bridges, he is the future. He is going to be a huge star.”

You work with most of your family on the show. Isn’t that stressful?
“Funnily enough, the stress, pressure, and the speed that we work at helps us as a family. First of all, we know what we are doing – we know we are a family working together, we are not the Waltons, that’s for sure! So we know that when we work, we work intensively. Then, when we finish filming and after some dates in Belfast and Liverpool, we know we don’t have to do any work until March. Everybody has that time off, so by the time we are back together, we will be dying to see each other.”

What’s your secret to making a good comedy?
“I think some modern comedies have forgotten about the jokes. The object of the exercise is to make people laugh – so I just write whatever I find funny. And I’m so lucky, because it seems as though the audience agrees with me. We’ve got the audience that comedy left behind.”

There are rumours that the pilot for Mrs Brown’s Celebrities – your new comedy quiz show – will be made into a full series. Can you tell us any more?
“Basically it is just Mrs Brown taking the mickey out of celebrities, because she doesn’t know who they are – she doesn’t have a concept of celebrity. We shot a pilot episode, with Kate Garraway, Russell Grant and Robbie Savage – and they were crying with laughter. I mean, you wouldn’t want to take on Mrs Brown. I certainly wouldn’t.

“But I don’t care how funny you think you are, people might still be saying ‘Oh no, not him again!’ It might make Mrs Brown a little bit more famous, but we can’t get any more people into the gigs than we already do. I was weighing it up, and commercially it makes absolutely no sense – but watch this space, because the BBC haven’t given up the ghost!”