Friday 17 August 2018

WATCH: 'Mrs Brown's Boys are not boys, they're middle aged men now on the verge of old age' - Rory Cowan

Former Mrs Brown's Boys star says he was too old to continue playing role

Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Former Mrs Brown's Boys star Rory Cowan says he was simply 'too old' to continue playing the role of Rory Brown on the TV and theatre shows.

The 58-year-old left the hugely popular show, written by and starring Brendan O'Carroll, in July after 26 years.

"I thought I'm too old to play that character now," he tells  "Times have changed.   The way I played that character, that character is from a time [back] then.  It's not a character a 58 year old should be playing."

Rory played one of Agnes Brown's sons with the other two played by Paddy Houlihan and Pat 'Pepsi' Sheilds and he feels the actors are now too old to play the roles of boys.

"Unfortunately everybody in Mrs Brown's Boys is getting older," he says.  "Mrs Brown can get older, Grandad can get older but Mrs Brown's Boys, they're not boys, they're middle aged men now on the verge of old age.

"When I look at the guy who plays Grandad he's five years older than me.  The guy who plays Mark now he's actually older than Grandad."

Rory felt it was time to go for other reasons, too.  His mother suffers from dementia and he did not want to go on tour to Australia and be away from her. 

Since he departed he says he has not spoken to Brendan O'Carroll.

"Brendan and Jenny live in Florida.  Danny is in Donegal.  Everyone is spread around," he says.  "I haven't had a chance to see him and I haven't had a chance to talk to him.  I just haven't."

However, he has kept in touch will fellow cast members Gary Hollywood and Fiona O'Carroll.

He is adamant that he will never return to the show, not even for a one-off special, "No, no, no, no, no I've burnt those bridges there.  I doubt I'd even be asked to go back.  But even if I did I've no interest in doing that again.  No, I've left and that's it."

The actor is taking time out now to look after his mother and to think about what he would like to do as he is financially comfortable.  His mortgage has been paid off since 2011 and he earned 'a hell of a lot of money' with the show.

"Brendan O'Carroll was a very generous employer and I earned a lot of money. The only thing I did [was] I did up my house.  I didn't buy a bigger house, I didn't buy flash cars."

When he did up his house he reveals he moved his gas boiler from downstairs to upstairs and had a narrow miss with a carbon monoxide leak.

A Bord Gais engineer called out to inspect his boiler and found it was leaking carbon monoxide gas into an upstairs bedroom.  He immediately removed everyone from the house.

"I was so lucky it was upstairs because if it had been downstairs the carbon monoxide would have went through the house but because it was upstairs it was contained," says Rory.

"I was lucky enough I never had the boiler on at hight when I was going to bed.  I had been getting headaches and feeling tired and generally sluggish, all the symptoms.   I was lucky I had a heavy door and new carpets. 

"Every step along hte way I was lucky but the house was like a death trap."

He shared his story as part of Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week which starts today until October 1 and urged people to instal a carbon monoxide alarm as "gas kills".

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