Thursday 17 January 2019

Success of Mrs Brown is truly a phenomenon

O’Carroll’s Christmas Day outing attracted 6.8 million viewers for the BBC, making it the top rated show on a single channel. Photo: Colin Keegan
O’Carroll’s Christmas Day outing attracted 6.8 million viewers for the BBC, making it the top rated show on a single channel. Photo: Colin Keegan
Editorial

Editorial

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.

Irish Independent

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