In the early days of the always popular, and occasionally rather filthy, sitcom Mrs Brown’s Boys, the BBC asked its star and creator Brendan O’Carroll if maybe he wouldn’t mind toning down the language a little.
“I do get told sometimes to watch the swearing,” admits O’Carroll in the new issue of Radio Times magazine. “I always say: I wish you hadn’t told me because now I’m going to do it.
“When we started, I always expected to have the f*** meeting and they called me in and said that if I stopped saying it, they could put the show on earlier and make me a big star. And I said I didn’t want to be a big star and so we’d make it as we wanted and if they had to put it out at 2am, then so be it.”
As it turned out, O’Carroll got the best of both worlds – Mrs Brown’s Boys is regularly among the most watched shows of the year and when for the first time it goes live on BBC1, there won’t even be the safety net of the usual five second delay that could give producers the chance to buzz out anything offensive.
“[When I was told that] I said, ‘Oh!'” recalls O’Carroll, “because I know what I’m going to do out there, but I don’t know what Mrs Brown is going to do. So we’ll just have to wait and see.”
BBC bosses may be holding their breath, but as always viewers will just be laughing.
Read the full interview with Brendan O’Carroll – along with the shortlist in our vote to find your favourite sitcom of the century – in the new issue of Radio Times magazine, in shops and on the Apple Newsstand from Tuesday