Sunday 11 December 2016

‘Throw yourself on a funeral pyre’ – 'Hurt' Brendan O’Carroll hits back at Irish critics of Mrs Brown’s Boys

Geraldine Gittens

Published 25/08/2016 | 14:38

Mrs Brown's Boys creator Brendan O’Carroll
Mrs Brown's Boys creator Brendan O’Carroll

Irish comedian Brendan O’Carroll has hit back at his critics here who he says have subjected his show Mrs Brown’s Boys to ‘hurtful’ criticism.

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This week, viewers in Britain voted the series as the best show of this millennium in an online poll for the 'Radio Times', with Ricky Gervais's 'The Office' coming in second.

A live episode last month attracted 8.82 million viewers, but even so Mrs Brown's Boys has struggled to win over critics.

Today, O’Carroll told RTE's Liveline that he believes his harshest critics are in Ireland.

He said one critic wrote recently: "I’d rather throw myself on top of a funeral pyre than watch Mrs Brown’s Boys." Other critics have called fans of his show "idiots".

“Some of it is hurtful but some of it is very annoying,” O'Carroll said.

“To take 11.8 million people (the viewers) and call them idiots is insulting.”

“Maybe it’s sour grapes... it’s a comedy show... it shouldn’t provoke that kind of anger. It’s just a comedy show.”

“Well why don't you throw yourself on a funeral pyre then,” he said.

He said he has no idea why his comedy generates such venom from critics.

During the interview, Jean Fenton (38), a woman with special needs, rang Liveline to say she loved the show. She watches it for a half an hour every night.

“One of those phone calls will do me. The newspapers can go and get stuffed,” O'Carroll told Jean's mother Anne.

“The most hurtful part of it is that it does come from Irish newspapers... you’re thinking, ah lads, give us a break, we’re doing our best here.”

“I read reviews of the show and some of them are hurtful. Sometimes you read it and you say, he’s right, we can change it.”

But he said: “We’re not doing brain surgery... it’s a comedy show.”

“Comedy is very subjective... I’ve no idea what provokes [the criticism]. I think whoever writes that kind of stuff takes it far too [seriously].”

Meanwhile, O'Carroll described the writing process as "prison".

“I put more in the bin than I put on the page,” he said.

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