Where's Rory? That's the first question many Mrs Brown's Boys fans will be asking when they tune into the show's Christmas Day special to discover that Rory Cowan is nowhere to be seen.
Where has he gone? Why has he gone? And how are they going to replace him?
These are just some of the questions we'll answer for you right this minute.
Why did Rory leave Mrs Brown's Boys?
You'll notice Rory Brown is nowhere to be found in the opening minutes of the Mrs Brown's Boys 2017 Christmas special. That's because actor Rory Cowan has left the series.
At the time of his departure Cowan said that he'd been "unhappy" touring and filming the TV show for about 18 months, but didn't go into much more detail than that. “I feel that 26 years is enough so I decided it was time to go,” he said. “I told Brendan on June 16 about my decision to leave. That’s when I handed in my notice."
He later told the Irish Mirror that he'd grown to dread touring with the show as he found the process boring.
“There was no row with Brendan, there was no dispute over money or anything – in fact quite the opposite. I got so well paid it enabled me to be able to leave, I didn’t need to stay,” he added.
O’Carroll praised the actor who had played Agnes’ son Rory on stage and screen for 26 years. “To all of us it feels like Ronaldo leaving Man Utd. But Ronaldo went on to amazing success which I know Rory will too,” he told The Irish Sun.
“I can’t even quantify the contribution Rory has made to our success and the wellbeing of me and my family, not just on screen or stage but way before that as a friend and a driving force in getting us here. He’s a legend.”
How are they going to replace Rory?
How do you take a popular character and cast a new actor in the role without causing a LOT of hassle for yourself? You write a plastic surgery storyline, that's how.
The first trailer for the Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special shows Rory with his face wrapped in bandages. The bandages are unwrapped... and the trailer cuts away.
Brendan O'Carroll, when faced with the dilemma of finding a new actor to take over Cowan's role, came up with the very clever idea of writing a facelift plot for the character.
Rory is the episode's titular Mammy's Mummy, and will spend the majority of the special in bandages. As the evening ticks on he'll eventually be unwrapped, and we'll finally meet the actor who has been charged with taking over the role from here on in...
And the new Rory is... Damien McKiernan!
Mrs Brown's Boys airs on BBC1 on Christmas Day and New Year's Day at 10pm