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I was so broke I thought about robbing a bank, says Brendan


SUCCESS: Brendan O'Carroll

SUCCESS: Brendan O'Carroll

SUCCESS: Brendan O'Carroll

HE left school aged 12 – but comedian Brendan O'Carroll has become one of the wealthiest Irish entertainers of all time.

The Mrs Brown's Boys creator reveals in a new authorised biography how he was once so broke he considered robbing banks. It also reveals how he owes everything to Gay Byrne for taking a chance and booking him for the Late Late Show and details the split from his first wife Doreen.

Brendan chose a Scottish biographer to pen the book. And with good reason. Glasgow journalist Brian Beacom is the man who recommended that BBC Scotland check out his Mrs Brown stage show.

"The rest is history. Not only did Brendan come up with one of the most popular TV shows of all time, watched by millions. He also created a whole new genre of comedy," Mr Beacom told the Herald.

But the book reveals how Brendan was getting laughs as far back as his high chair, telling visitors to 'go f*** themselves' after being taught by siblings. Although much loved, the biography also recounts how he grew up enduring "Angela's Ashes style poverty".



"What's incredible is someone as clever as Brendan left school aged 12. All his gifts might have been lost had fate not intervened," Beacom observed.

Working night and day, Brendan opened a pub which was smack bang in the middle of two warring neighbourhoods.

According to Brendan, 'it was like having a pub between Beirut and Baghdad', but it later bankrupt him.

According to Beacom: "Brendan said that it left him so skint, he considered robbing a bank. Instead, with his amazing work ethic, he got back on his feet."

It was his friend Gerry Browne who encouraged him to go into comedy, and cabaret veteran Brendan Grace who hired him as an assistant and writer.

But it was Gay Byrne – described by Brendan in the book as 'God' – who put the Finglas man on the map when he took a chance on booking him.

Now wed to second wife Jenny and earning millions from a top rated TV series, a string of best-selling books and an upcoming movie, the 57-year-old revealed to his biographer what he plans to do with all his money.

"Brendan wants to pay off the mortgage of everyone in his family and when he pops his clogs, have all his kids and dependents set up. Mrs Brown will look after everybody."

The Real Mrs Brown: The Authorised Biography of Brendan O'Carroll is out next month