Brendan O’Carroll's alter ego Agnes Brown hasn’t had much luck with Christmas trees over the years.
Who can forget Christmas trees past such as the remote controlled one she got stuck in overnight? The tree with the security feature that punched her? The coin operated tree that turned out to be a car-wash brusher? Or last year when her festive centrepiece caught Covid?
In this year’s Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Day 2021 special on BBC1 the Dublin matriarch is facing an entirely new prospect — a completely tree-less Christmas!
Here, Brendan O’Carroll, 66, reveals that Agnes is in for some shocks during the Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve specials. Plus what's next for the show...
Brendan O’Carroll interview: Can you reveal what Mrs Brown is facing this Christmas?
Brendan O’Carroll: "Lockdown has meant there was nobody to plant or pick Christmas trees, so there’s a shortage this year. You can’t even get them from China, so she goes on the hunt for one!"
What’s happening elsewhere?
BOC: "The latest scam by Buster Brady [played by Brendan’s son, Danny O’Carroll] is that he’s running a murder mystery night down in Foley that brings unexpected results!"
Will New Year’s Day be just as eventful?
BOC: "Yes! Grandad's brother Micky, played by John Masterson, is after getting out of prison in Liverpool. They thought he was in for life, but he’s coming back to Ireland to see his big brother. Agnes hates him!
"We know he's a conman and he's coming over to run a con job, so the episode is about keeping Grandad [Dermot O’Neill] safe from his own brother."
Did you film these specials with a live audience?
BOC: "The Christmas Day episode was our first time in front of an audience for two years. I can’t tell you what it's like to walk onto the floor and see people. It was amazing. The buzz — they roared, cheered and cackled like they’d been let off the leash. It was so good to be back!"
Will your Christmas be very different to last year?
BOC: "Last year was a very lonely Christmas. Although we came home to Dublin [Brendan and his wife Jennifer Gibney, who plays Agnes’ daughter Kathy, live in Florida] we couldn’t see the grandchildren. It was heartbreaking.
"We’ll be in Dublin again for Christmas, but this year it’s going to be different — and I can’t wait. You can’t beat Christmas in Ireland!"
What does 2022 hold for you?
BOC: "It’s going to be a busy time for us. We cancelled our [live] tour in 2019 and it moved to 2020, then to 2021 — now it’s moved to 2022! We’re also doing more [BBC] Christmas specials!"
What does it mean to you to make these specials?
BOC: "I tell you what's pretty cool about it, before we did the BBC specials we did our own mini Mrs Brown films. We’d release them every November and they'd be bought for Christmas presents and people would watch them on Christmas Day together. So it continues that tradition without us having to, you know, make DVDs!"
When and where can I watch Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Day Special 2021?
Mrs Brown’s Christmas Day Special Mammy’s Mechanical Merriment airs on BBC1 on Christmas Day at 10.20pm (see our Christmas TV guide for more shows to watch). The second special is on New Year's Day at 10pm.
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