“It’s just not the same” – viewers aren’t sure about the ‘new Rory’ in Mrs Brown’s Boys

New actor Damien McKiernan replaced Rory Cowan during the Christmas Day special, and Mrs Brown's Boys creator Brendan O'Carroll admitted he had "big shoes to fill"

Damien McKiernan is the new Rory in Mrs Brown's Boys

Doctor Who wasn’t the only show to feature a regeneration scene on Christmas Day: in the Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas special, fans finally discovered who would be replacing actor Rory Cowan in the BBC comedy.

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Original Rory actor Cowan announced he was leaving the show in July 2016, but the Christmas Day episode saw new actor Damien McKiernan unveiled in a plastic surgery storyline that explained away the character’s new face – and voice.

A new face has joined the cast of Mrs Brown's Boys!What do you think of the new Rory?

Posted by Radio Times on Monday, December 25, 2017

However, it may be a while before viewers embrace the new Rory, with some fans going online after the episode to say how they were unimpressed by the change.

Some viewers wondered why Rory had to be replaced at all, when the actor’s departure could have been explained another way.

Meanwhile, in a poll on the RadioTimes.com website, over 70 per cent of people said they were “not keen” on the new Rory. With 2,630 votes cast at the time of writing, just 765 respondents said they “love him already”.

However, ‘new Rory’ only really made an appearance right at the end of the episode, and many pointed out that it would take time for the new star to “settle into his role”.

Creator Brendan O’Carroll admitted that actor Damien McKiernan had “big shoes to fill”, but that he was delighted by his debut after Mrs Brown’s Boys became the second most watched show on Christmas Day behind the Queen’s Christmas broadcast.

Mrs Brown's Boys, BBC Pictures, SL

“These ratings are pure joy for us. A 32.4 per cent share means that one-third of everyone watching TV last night in the UK were watching Mrs Brown’s Boys. Wow!” he told the Irish Sun.

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Former Rory actor Rory Cowan however admitted that he hadn’t watched the Christmas Day special, saying, “I’ve left the show and what happens after is nothing to do with me and doesn’t interest me.”