BBC and O'Carroll 'shocked' at BAFTA nod for Mrs Brown's Boys
COMEDIAN Brendan O'Carroll first heard of his British Academy of Film and Television Art award (BAFTA) nomination via text from BBC chiefs -- and even they couldn't believe he was up for the prestigious award.
The Finglas-born funnyman -- who stars as controlling Dublin matriarch Agnes Brown -- said the series only made the deadline by 60 minutes after airing to a UK audience.
"I didn't even know we were on any list until Tuesday when I got a text from the BBC saying 'we are amazed' to tell you that you are nominated for a BAFTA," he said. "We're surprised. I think they're shocked."
Broadcasters first enter their programmes for consideration for a BAFTA, then 5,000 members of the organisation in the UK and 1,500 in the US vote for their favourites and a shortlist is drawn up.
'Mrs Brown's Boys' is up against comedies including the previous winner 'Peep Show', starring David Mitchell, at next month's awards. More than three million viewers tuned into the final episode of the six-week series on BBC1 at the end of February. The series was initially created for a five-minute radio slot.
O'Carroll -- who was yesterday speaking at the launch of a fundraising initiative for Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland -- said it had achieved an 88pc audience rating on the BBC, which chiefs informed him was the highest they've ever had for a comedy.
"One of the things that has grabbed the attention of the BBC and RTE is the broad spectrum of the audience. They tend to concentrate on the 18-35 age group, but this has got everything from 18 to 80."
O'Carroll yesterday committed himself to carrying out a fundraising bungee jump at the Point Village, near the O2, in Dublin's Docklands on May 7 to raise money for Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus.
The comedian said it was a charity "close to my heart for many years" after his first son, Brendan, died from the condition within days of his birth. He urged people to sign up to raise money for the charity at www.sbhi.ie