Mrs Brown star Brendan O’Carroll has been explaining why he and his wife have often opened their home to teenagers living rough on the streets.
O’Carroll says he puts great store by family values, which is one of the main themes of his hit TV show. However, few would have expected him to take his views so far as to open his house to the homeless, but he’s done that several times over the years.
He told goss.ie that he and his wife Jennifer Gibney have tried to help young people having a difficult time at an important and vulnerable stage of their lives. “Anyone in difficulty. They call themselves our ‘lost boys’.
“People who had nowhere to go at that time, youngsters we met, and we reared them, we looked after them – and we got more out of them than they got out of us, believe me.
“One girl Jenny brought home, she was coming out of a theatre and she was in a doorway with a six-month-old child.
“She was on the streets, she’d had a dispute with her family over the baby, she was 17 at the time. She is happy with her family now, married with three children.”
O’Carroll says most of the teenagers they’ve helped are now thriving adults with families of their own, but he likes to think that they still look to his family as their family too.
“[Our kids] let us know about someone they knew who needed a bit of a hand and we would step in.
“They’re all grown up and married now. Hopefully we continue to be a parent to them.
“A lot of children out there need a leg up, to say…you know what, you’re great and you’re going to be even greater.”
“A bit of guidance, that’s all, and we’re delighted to do that.”
O’Carroll has been playing Mrs Brown for more than 20 years and the show still remains as popular as ever on the BBC in Britain.