“If my husband was like Mrs Brown, we’d be divorced”: Jennifer Gibney talks All Round to Mrs Brown’s

All Round to Mrs Brown’s star Jennifer Gibney plays Mrs Brown's daughter Cathy, opposite her husband Brendan O'Carroll

ennifer Gibney and Brendan O'Carroll (Getty)

The Mrs Brown’s Boys star Jennifer Gibney is returning to our screens for a second season of spin-off All Round to Mrs Brown’s. Here, she discusses working with her husband and her love for BBC News – just don’t mention Strictly Come Dancing…


What can you see from your sofa?

There’s lots of cherry wood surrounding a large TV screen and below that unit on the skirting board is our fairy door, where the fairies come and go as they wish. The fairy door has become an Irish tradition. Each one comes with a gold key. If there are any children or grandchildren in the house and they have any wishes or worries, they write them down and put them behind the door – the fairies take them away and sort them out.

What a comforting thought. What’s your sofa like?

It’s a cappuccino-coloured reclining sofa – you could sleep on it, and we often do.

Who is your favourite person to watch TV with?

My husband Brendan [O’Carroll]. We actually call it cheating if one of us gets ahead of the other in a series like The Crown. I also enjoy catching up on the soaps with my mam when we are in Dublin.

Brendan seems like someone who’d hog the remote…

Yes! He does! What remote control? I’ve never even seen it!

Do you enjoy the same TV?

We both love our politics, so BBC News is always on. There has rarely been a more interesting time in world politics, what with Brexit, and – dare I say it – Trump. It’s like a horror movie, you can’t bear to watch and yet you can’t take your eyes off it. We also love courtroom dramas like Law & Order. Please bring back Rumpole of the Bailey or Crown Court!

You play your husband’s daughter Cathy on Mrs Brown’s Boys. Is that ever odd for you?

The weird thing is that when I step on stage or on set, I don’t see my husband. I just see Mrs Brown. If my husband was anything like Mrs Brown, we’d probably be divorced by now.

What’s the secret to working together?

We did it before we were married, so it just feels like a continuation of that. And with all the family on the road touring with Mrs Brown’s Boys, we travel from city to city and country to country together – so it’s like The Waltons on a road trip.

What makes you cry?

I’m a big sap, so it’s not difficult for TV to make me cry, especially the Christmas ads.

Do you multitask while watching TV?

I have inherited my mother’s gift of being able to watch one thing, listen to another conversation and speak at the same time, though once any of our grandchildren arrive, they get my full attention. It’s off with the telly and on with the music, as they love to dance.

You were on Strictly in 2014, so are you a big fan of the show?

Even though it’s been four years, if I hear the title music I still feel like I’m going to throw up.


All Round to Mrs Brown’s is on Saturdays at 9:15pm on BBC1

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