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Mrs Brown star upset by his critics back home in Ireland

Irish comedian Brendan O’Carroll has spoken about feeling hurt at how some people in Ireland have slammed his hit sitcom, Mrs Brown’s Boys.

The show, which features O’Carroll in the lead role of Agnes Brown, was voted the best comedy of the 21st century by TV viewers in the United Kingdom where it regularly attracts audiences of more than 8 million. Those are huge figures by modern standards but the critics in Ireland remained unimpressed.

Brendan O'Carroll upset by criticism in Ireland

One of the harshest comments came from a TV pundit who said: “I would rather throw myself on top of a funeral pyre than watch Mrs Brown’s Boys.” There have been similar remarks from critics who aren’t in the mood to pull punches. One described the show’s audience as idiots.

Speaking to Joe Duffy on RTE’s Liveline, O’Carroll said: “Some of it is hurtful but some of it is very annoying. Comedy is very subjective. Maybe it’s sour grapes… it’s a comedy show… it shouldn’t provoke that kind of anger. It’s just a comedy show.”

“The most hurtful part of it is that it does come from Irish newspapers… you’re thinking, ah lads, give us a break, we’re doing our best here.

“I’d be telling you a lie Joe, if I said it doesn’t hurt.

“I read reviews of the show and some of them are critical. Sometimes you read it and you say, he’s right, we can change that.

“We’re not doing brain surgery… it’s a comedy show.

“I’ve no idea what provokes the criticism. I think whoever writes that kind of stuff takes it far too importantly.”

Despite the criticism, the last laugh is with O’Carroll as Mrs Brown’s Boys goes from strength to strength. He is now working on two specials to be shown at Christmas, but it can be tough going. “I put more in the bin than I put on the page,” he said.

He’s also developing a separate project, which could involve the cast of Mrs Brown’s Boys appearing live in a more general light entertainment show for Saturday night viewing.


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  1. Steve Punter

    Why do we value the views of critics any more than we would the average Joe/Mary in the street? Our job in entertainment it to give the audience a good time. As long as we do that, and our audience shows its appreciation by coming back and staying loyal – who gives a flying f*ck what some twat writing in a newspaper thinks. We must remember that the critic’s view is only that of another single human – a market survey of one. Nothing special. I say ‘F*uck ’em, ignore and carry on!’

  2. Tammy Anderson

    I love this show and my dad of 60 years loves it too. He is one of the smartest people i know. So as far as idiots watching it-i dont think so. Just people who can let their hair down and laugh at life!!

  3. Diane Gorra

    Love your show, watch over and over, hilarious. Keep on doing what you are doing. We love u in Canada!

  4. mr barry barnes

    If something does well to get a bit of publicity try to pull it down. I’ve enjoyed the live show the TV original show and the BBC shows and they are a constant joy. As many times I’ve seen the repeats they are still consistently funny . I LOVE MRS BROWN. It can’t be that bad if it’s the funniest thing so far in the 21st century. Personally I cant stand Ricky gervaice or comedy that you have to think about. Safest thing no more progs oh well gonna get the Jessica Lang film and watch that. Thank you Brendan for all the laughs and thoughts from the Barnes family.

  5. Donna Curtis

    It is amazing show and me and my family watch it all the time love the show and iam from pei everyone loves it here the show

  6. Barbara Marshall

    I absolutely love the show I can’t stop laughing keep the shows coming

  7. Dwightmcmahon

    I am one of your Biggest IDOTS Mrs Brown , As you would say [ those Bastards ]. GREAT SHOW . Your fans from Canada . Keep them coming .

  8. betty mcginley

    You enjoy the laughs and theway its done itslike they fit into what they avre talking like its just naturall not rehears if there wasmore shows like this tv would be worth the money but i enjoyit

  9. Tell them to get a life, it’s the best show on tv!!!

  10. Sondra Maryon

    I love this show and I am far from being an idiot. I wish it was shown in the USA.

  11. Robert Charette

    Been watching the show on the Internet, love the show. I wish we had it televised here in the USA. If it is what network?

  12. Marian Carroll

    I first saw Mrs. Browns Boys while visiting Ireland and it is one my nieces very favorite shows. I truly do not believe I have ever laughed so hard in my life. We were literally grabbing each other and rolling of the couch in all out ” my stomach hurts from laughing ” .
    Such brilliant writing and acting I do not know how they hold it together like they do. I wish we could get it here in the States. Whenever I am homesick for Ireland watching the show on U Tube brings my spirits up and truly brightens my day! Keep up the great work and thank you for all the generosity you display to those in need.
    Marian Carroll U.S.A

  13. Kim O'Toole

    THATS NICE!!!!!! Love watching the show. Love watching my son over the years watching and each year he gets more and more what the jokes are actually about

  14. Love this show…can’t get it in the U.S…..but watch when I get to Canada…great fun and lots of laughs

  15. Elizabeth Burke

    A what a fantastic show I personally watch it over & over again it never ceases to make me laugh
    #### them who critisise this wonderful piece of comedy ……THIS YOUR OWN ONLY WHO WOULD STAB YOU IN THE BACK

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