Brendan O’Carroll’s Agnes Brown is the queen of Christmas TV, with Mrs Brown’s Boys taking the top spot in the ratings year after year with her ridiculous antics.
Those who loathe her aren’t backwards in coming forwards, but it appears as though they’re outnumbered by the millions of fans who still tune in for their appointment with mammy every Christmas and New Year.
So, what’s the secret of her success? Why do so many people LOVE Mrs Brown’s Boys?
Are you a Mrs Brown's Boys fan? If so, we want to hear from you.Tell us why you LOVE the show in a few words below and you could be featured in a very special Christmas tribute.That's nice!
“The must watch show used to be the great Morecambe and Wise,” says Peter Hawkins. “Now the must watch is definitely Mrs Brown’s Boys, without a doubt. The simplicity of the show and the improvisation when things are not in the script makes it even funnier. Such a brilliant cast.”
Becki Joanne tells us that Mrs Brown’s Boys makes her Christmas.
“Brendan O’Carroll is a brilliant comedian/actor and family orientated person,” she writes, praising the loving nature of the comedy series. “Never a dull moment. I laugh until my tummy hurts. Mrs Brown’s Boys is the best ever.”
Jordon Hutchby particularly enjoys the fact that mistakes or slip-ups aren’t cut from the series. “We lost [Father] Ted so many years ago; Mrs Brown’s Boys has replaced it beautifully,” he added.
“Mrs. Brown’s Boys helps me laugh and see joy,” writes Jennifer Gerish, describing the great comfort the show offered her following the loss of her daughter. She praises the “amazing cast, who show they are people with huge hearts and true spirits of kindness”.
Ross Alford is a big fan of the cast too – he says they’re “excellent” – and says the show will always lift you up when you’re feeling down.
“It’s hilarious and displays togetherness, Brendan’s improvisation is outstanding and the story behind it all is brilliant too.”
Janet Walker thinks the show’s creator, Brendan O’Carroll, is in the same league as Morecambe and Wise, Tommy Cooper and Bruce Forsyth. If she’s not in tears laughing at the humour she’s almost sobbing at the show’s more touching and gentle scenes. “I hope this goes on for years; I can’t see Christmas without it,” she says.
“Mrs Brown’s Boys is one of those rare shows that became successful not because some self-righteous critic said it was worth watching, but because the audience took it to their hearts,” argues Ben Woolman.
“There is something about the Irish humour, the swearing and sexual innuendos aside, that just makes it so relatable, so funny and so heartwarming,” he continues. “Its idiosyncratic mannerisms (breaking the fourth wall and keeping in the outtakes, for instance) make it so distinctive from all other sitcoms and thus one of the most prestigious and hilarious sitcoms of contemporary times and long may it continue.
“To all the haters out there all I can say to you is… ‘That’s nice’.”
“I love the thought that everyone in this dysfunctional family gets along and still cares for each other at the end of the day,” explains Claudia J Caddell. “It makes me laugh lot and makes me smile. Can Agnes ‘adopt’ me please?”
Steven McCluskey tells us that Mrs Brown’s Boys was a great comfort to him when he was in hospital undergoing treatment for cancer.
“I brought loads of DVDs to watch, and most of them were comedies – all the classics like Only Fools and Still Game – but even though I enjoyed them when they were playing, the minute the DVD was over I got more and more depressed. Then my Gran bought me series one of Mrs Brown’s Boys and from the first joke, I was enraptured,” he writes.
When the DVD stopped playing Steven still found himself “smiling, laughing and quoting all the jokes”. And when the time came for the talent show at the Teenage Cancer Trust’s F.Y.S.O.T. (Find Your Sense Of Tumour) gathering, he dressed up as Mrs Brown.
Steven was lucky enough to meet his idol some time later, and claims O’Carroll said something to him “that I intend to have engraved on my tombstone”.
“‘Son,’ he said, ‘you’re our idol. For someone like you to have gone through what you’ve gone through and to still have a smile on their face is something we can all strive to achieve. Never feckin’ give up son!’”
Lisa Flynn says Mrs Brown’s Boys reminds her of her nan and her family: “When you watch it, it makes you feel like you are visiting your nan for a cup tea. It makes me happy when I am really down.”
And Sheila Malone sums up her feelings about the series in rhyming verse.
“Mrs Brown and her Boys, Much much better than Christmas toys,
Guaranteed laughs and snickers,
Mrs Brown in her very large knickers.
Always has a happy end,
Great to watch with family and friends.”
Mrs Brown’s Boys airs on BBC1 on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day at 10pm