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Mrs Brown’s Boys:Local Hero’s come home, But at what cost?


There’s been many so called Irish success stories over the last couple of decades, but what is success? Revenue? If so, I have to bite my lip and bow to the likes of Jedward, West Life and the entertainment values of every five year old in the country (that’s entertainment?), which led to a flurry of Joe Jackson type fathers trying to push their semi-talented children into the spotlight.  But what if it’s not about how much cash can be extracted from struggling families but how much joy is given to them?

Many years ago I heard a short radio program on Garrett O Callahan’s 2Fm radio show, I laughed so much I almost crashed my car, the show was “Mrs Browne Boys”.  I was overjoyed when I found it was not a one off and ever since that day I’ve been a fan! So when I heard it was being made into a Television show I could barley wait, even at the back of my mind I kept saving that’s so not like RTE and hoped they would not mess it up. But as soon as I heard it was a BBC project, the penny dropped and it all started to make sense, see what O Carroll was doing was way too creative for the civil servants in RTE to grasp.

I heard a story of how it happened but I wasn’t there so I’m not sure whether it’s true or not but here it is anyway….

The story goes, one night at a performance at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin a man who commissioned television programs for the BBC was in the audience, he enjoyed the show that much that he waited outside at the stage door to meet Brendan. When Brendan finally appeared he thought the man wanted an autograph but instead the man handed him a business card, explained who he was and said “do you want to put this on Television?”, and so the story goes.

The show became a hit in Britain with record breaking viewing stats, so popular in fact that in Christmas 2013 the Television show got more viewers in England than the Queen’s speech! Naturally enough “Mrs Browne’s Boys” did particularly well on home turf, when RTE did show it for the first time, it got more viewers than The Late Late show! I’d love to know how much it cost them to buy the show from BBC Scotland.  Probably more than they could afford but when money is no object and perfection is not a priority, who cares? After all these are the people that didn’t want Father Ted, Graham Norton or Colin Farrell (I could go on but I won’t), but I guess there just doing their best in the HSE woop’s! I mean RTE.

Anyway it didn’t stop there, here comes D’ Movie! And if it’s half as good as the series he’s on to a winner, based on pre-ticket sales it’s already out sold Avatar, this guy knows what he’s doing.

Well done Brendan, Well done.

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