Mrs Brown’s Boys star Brendan O’Carroll has hit back at the BBC for ‘ambushing’ his daughter with questions about the Paradise Papers story.
He raged: “They scared the life out of her. It seems to be an effort to tarnish the show. We’ve done nothing wrong.”
O’Carroll’s daughter Fiona Delany and her husband Martin, who both appear in Mrs Brown’s Boys, have reportedly put €2.3million into a tax avoidance scheme, along with fellow star Paddy Houlihan.
The Paradise Papers news revealed that various high profile celebrities have avoided paying tax by moving their money into offshore accounts.
Although the scheme is not illegal, it has caused much controversy and anger amongst the public.
Delany featured in a recent BBC Panorama documentary which investigated the matter.
She was quizzed by a journalist outside studios in Scotland as she arrived for filming.
The unexpected interview upset Delany and left her father O’Carroll fuming.
He told the Irish Sun: “They scared the life out of her. Obviously I was angry. Fiona was in tears. I spent the whole day comforting her.
“I wonder what sort of journalistic craving doing that fulfils for you. The reporter didn’t learn anything from the conversation or the brutal way he approached her. Yet they went ahead and showed it.
“Fiona was genuinely confused by this guy, running up, asking her about her wages.
“She didn’t know who he was, or what he was talking about.”
O’Carroll has written an open letter to the producers of Panorama, questioning their motives and practises.
He wants to know why his daughter featured so prominently in the show.
O’Carroll wrote: “She is not an oligarch laundering money through Greek banks, nor does she deal in the arm trade, deal drugs or traffic people.
“She has never committed a crime in her life, she doesn’t have a private yacht or own a collection of luxury cars. She drives a Kia people carrier which is necessary if you have four toddlers.”
O’Carroll also questioned why the members of his team have been singled out in the reports.
He said: “None of the Mrs Brown people have a Rolls Royce or a yacht. Yet there seems to be an effort going on to tarnish the name of the show. But I’m sure the viewers know us better, that we are upfront, and always have been.
“I can’t understand why the Panorama programme, instead of concentrating on individuals, why didn’t they push politicians to close the f***ing loopholes?
“No-one involved with Mrs Brown’s Boys has done anything illegal. Everybody that featured in that show did what they did for completely different reasons.
“Panorama said that they are paid offshore. That’s b*****ks. Their fees are paid to a UK agency called ProFid who represent them.
“They invoice us and we pay their fees to Profid who organise whatever they organise with them to give them their monthly salary. In my daughter Fiona’s case I know she paid £200,000 in tax last year. At the time, Fiona was ambushed by the BBC guy in Glasgow she had just done a year-long audit and had a clearance certificate. All her loans were declared.”
O’Carroll was also angry at the way Mrs Brown’s Boys was presented as a show made by his company, when it is in fact made in collaboration with the BBC.
He said: “Mrs Brown’s Boys is made by the BBC in conjunction with Brendan O’Carroll. They never mentioned the BBC.”
Finally, O’Carroll accused Panorama of implying that he and his family were guilty of wrongdoing, while taking a more neutral approach with technology giants Apple, who have also been involved in the story.
He said: “When they started talking about Apple, they immediately opened it up by saying nothing that they are doing is illegal.
“But in the segment about Mrs Brown, they quote me saying that I have never been involved in a tax avoidance scheme, which is open to interpretation.
“They should have said I was not f****** involved end of story. They seem to be more afraid of Apple than us. I guess Apple have much more expensive lawyers.”
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