COMIC Brendan O'Carroll has attributed the phenomenal success of 'Mrs Brown's Boys' to his tough upbringing.
The Dubliner, the youngest of 11 children, left school at just 12 and worked as a waiter and a milkman before breaking into comedy.
And the Finglas-born funnyman insists it's the strong work ethic he developed in his youth that has been behind the award-winning show's success in both Ireland and Britain.
He said the determination to succeed was shared by the rest of the cast, most of whom are members of his own family.
The 57-year-old said: "We all had real jobs, so there are no egos."
In the BAFTA-winning sitcom, O'Carroll's wife, Jennifer Gibney, plays Mrs Brown's daughter, Cathy; while his daughter Fiona plays daughter-in-law Maria, and his son Danny plays dim-witted Buster.
Danny's wife Amanda Woods plays another of Mrs Brown's daughter-in-laws, Betty, and O'Carroll's grandson Jamie plays his on-screen grandson, Bono.
Daughter Fiona's husband Martin Delaney plays Mrs Brown's son, Trevor; while O'Carroll's sister Eilish plays the foul-mouthed Irish mammy's best pal, Winnie.
O'Carroll, who first introduced his character Agnes Brown to Irish radio in 1990, admitted he was gobsmacked at the success the show has enjoyed.
The old-fashioned sitcom was the top-rated programme on Irish Television over the festive holiday.
He said: "What really shocks me, though, is how much people actually love the show. I have never felt like that about any TV show in my life."