Mrs Brown’s Boys creator was on ‘edge of a breakdown’ before hit show

Brendan O’Carroll makes controversial comment on The One Show

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Brendan O’Carroll, the show’s star and creator, opened up about his life before putting on Mrs Brown’s stockings. Although he was hanging onto threads before the show, the BBC star is now reportedly worth £9million. 

Brendan, 67, found international fame with the sitcom, playing the foulmouthed matriarch Agnes Brown. 

The hit show started as a radio series in Ireland in 1992 when Brendan covered for a friend at the RTE station. 

While the show will reportedly be returning to screens soon after its last official season aired in 2013, fans have had to satisfy themselves with annual specials ever since. 

Before Mrs Brown’s Boys went to the BBC, Brendan was working as a successful stand-up comedian and decided to try his hand at filmmaking. 

In 1998, the little-known comedian wrote and directed Sparrow’s Trap. 

Unable to find financial backing for the film, Brendan went into severe debt trying to keep it afloat.

Ultimately, the project was abandoned halfway as he could not afford to fund it any longer. 

It was reported that Brendan had incurred over €1 million (£880,000) in debt before he became bankrupt. 

Adding to his stressors was his ongoing divorce from his first wife Doreen Dowdall. 

Brendan told The Mirror he “was on the edge of a breakdown” and if he had seen a physician at that time, he believes he would have been diagnosed with depression. 

The actor said: “I have never been as low before or since. 

“I was numb, it was like I walked down a dark alley and I couldn’t remember the way out.”

Brendan refused to turn on the lights or open the curtains, and stayed in his home for three days straight, barely eating. 

As the writer continued, his late mum Maureen came to the rescue in the form of a dream. 

His mum had inspired the character of Agnes Brown and in the dream, told him to “Get up off your knees and do something”. 

With a renewed sense of purpose, Brendan began getting his life together on his mum’s orders.

He then happened to run into businessman Dermot Desmond who wanted to transform the radio show into a stage production. 

The production was a sensation at the Glasgow Pavilion and drew the attention of BBC producer Stephen McCrum.

Stephen fell in love with the show and famously said of his first time seeing it: “I don’t believe in God, but I nearly did that night.”

Brendan confirmed in August that the sitcom is expected to start filming its newest season in October after production was delayed due to the pandemic and some scheduling issues.

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