Success of Mrs Brown is truly a phenomenon
Listening to the blue-blooded queen's speech has long been an institution in the UK; so too, it appears, is listening to the true-blue language of Mrs Brown. Brendan O'Carroll's character has built an empire across the world, waiving the rules of conventional comedy.
Mrs Brown likes to eat four doughnuts at a sitting. When warned of the health hazards, she replies, "I don't care, I won't be carrying the coffin." O'Carroll's Christmas Day outing attracted 6.8 million viewers for the BBC, making it the top rated show on a single channel.
Queen Elizabeth notched up 7.8 million viewers, but that was when you included BBC1, ITV and ITV's catch-up plus-one channel, and Sky. O'Carroll's success is quite phenomenal. He has turned his family into a global enterprise with companies in Ireland, the UK and Australia. It is even produced in Romania.
The comedian could never have imagined that the show that began as a five-minute radio slot in 1992 would make him into a multi-millionaire.
O'Carroll is far too canny an operator to speculate as to the secret of his own ascent, but he once remarked that: "I think secretly we all just want to be Joan Rivers."
His appeal has confounded many and confused even more; for instance, there was considerable surprise in Britain a few years ago when it emerged that many did not realise that Agnes Brown was played by a man.
They say that no prophet can ever expect to be sacred in his own country, but in Brendan O'Carroll's case an exception has clearly been made.