Fiona O’Carroll: ‘We’re all a bit crazy – there’s no such thing as a functional family’

It looks like Fiona O’Carroll is comfortably riding on Brendan’s dad’s jet line – but it turns out she’s the star of the family first.

When she was 10 years old, she and her elementary school students recorded a song called Christmas Package. The plan was to sell the single to parents to raise funds for the school. The song eventually entered the Irish Top 10 singles chart.

Along with his class, O’Carroll began performing at the Opera House, the Manor House, and the National Concert Hall. “We were sent to perform all over the country,” recalled O’Carroll emotionally. “My dad at the time was just starting out in business and wasn’t going to be very popular – he was still working as a waiter – and we used to go from place to place on the weekends, trying to land a deal. copper. . I was sitting in the corner with my pack of crisps, waiting for my dad to trade. “

All of this is a remarkable omen. Like his daughter, Brendan O’Carroll created Mrs Brown’s Boys expressed with modest enough aspirations. Before he knew it, the comedy, starring several members of his family, became a smashing success. The first Mrs Brown play ran for 16 weeks at the Gaiety Theater in Dublin in 1999 and was a huge success. The rest is history.

In fact, ‘success on the run’ is perhaps an understatement. As one of the BBC’s most successful TV results ever, Mrs Brown’s Boys has an average audience of nine million per episode in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is loved in Australia, South Africa, North America – the Romans even had their own homegrown adaptation.

Speaking of its evergreen popularity, O’Carroll, 41, notes: “I think everyone knows Mrs. Brown and her family, really. I think it’s just the whole family dynamic that’s generally funny. We’re all a little crazy. There is no such thing as a functional family. And I think that resonates with a lot of people. “

O’Carroll, too, is aware of criticism on the show’s level of humor. “Everyone is entitled to their opinion,” she shrugged. “You know, just because I like something doesn’t mean other people have to like it. I think where it crosses the line is where it gets nasty and when people go out of their way just to be mean. If they want to be, God loves them.”


Fiona O’Carroll. Photo: Frank McGrath

As celebrities go, O’Carroll is a unique creature. Although she made a full-star appearance in the Top 10 in 1990, the idea of ​​fame or celebrity didn’t go unnoticed. And yet, she is also a member of one of Ireland’s most famous families.

“Sometimes when someone looks at me, I’m thinking, ‘Why are you staring at me?’ Oh that’s right, I’m actually watching TV. I forgot that. But I’m still a regular person who greets the postman in her PJs and drags her trash up the boardwalk. “

Much of this simple approach may lie in the idea that her father Brendan didn’t taste his own fame and success until he was in his forties. That fateful Gaiety run Mrs Brown’s Boys happened when the 44-year-old actor – BBC pilot for Mrs Brown’s Boys didn’t happen for another decade.

As a child, O’Carroll was always involved in performing, attending the Oscar Acting School as a child. O’Carroll’s plan was to move into television production (“mostly so that I could get a decent job, make some money, and then be able to finance my passion while participate in programs”). While studying at IADT in Dun Laoghaire, her father told her that the actress who played her [Maria] got sick, and asked her to be on one of the live shows.

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“I was worried about leaving college early and my dad said, ‘I’ll only ask you once, and I may never ask you again. The university will always be there’.

“More than anything, it was a great opportunity to hang out with my dad, because growing up the way things were, he was always touring and stuff like that.”

Working with her family has a great perk: “I can take my kids to work, which is a huge benefit to me. My dad loves being with his grandkids, so they’ve grown a lot in wings. “

Since she split from her husband of 15 years (Martin Delany, member of MBB) in 2018, O’Carroll is a single mother to Felix, Isaac, Eli and Dexter, all aged between 7 and 14. century, and O’Carroll wanted to make sure her sons had adjusted to the realities of their new life before she and Martin made the news of their separation public.

“We are still good friends,” O’Carroll said of her husband, who now lives in Portugal.

Two days before Ireland was shut down, O’Carroll moved her couple, Franco, to their home. “I have to say he was a godsend,” she said. “I’ve never had a male au pair before, and I think the four boys can use the ‘older brother’ image. One thing I realized during Covid is that I definitely don’t miss my job as a teacher. I am a much better mother than I am a teacher.”


Brendan O’Carroll in Mrs Brown’s Boys

In June, the O’Carroll clan reunites for the next six-week UK tour Mrs Brown’s Boys – they stood on stage for the first time in three years.

“It’s lovely after a long time. It was a busy ride, and a real case of planes, trains and cars before I reached Coppers straight. “

According to Coppers, she means her latest stage role in Paul Howard’s gripping comedy, Bronze Face Jack: The Musical. Joining the cast of Johnny Ward, Stephen O’Leary and Rachel O’Connell, she plays Gretchen, a pregnant college lecturer after a one-night stand that began in the legendary Harcourt Street nightclub.

“What I love about the musical is its full of singing, dancing, bright energy – plus, I’ve never played an American before. I absolutely love it. It’s fun, the crowd is illusory. “

Back to the path for Mrs Brown’s Boys The year-end tour also means she’ll be spending more time with family members she doesn’t see often during the pandemic.

“My brother is in Donegal, and my father and other brothers are in Florida,” she explains. “Dad was always there, making sure we were okay. He’s worked so hard over the years and I’m glad he’s in a position where he can relax, unwind in Florida and enjoy those last years of his life.

“He was given insane amounts of money to do great things [in the US], and he always said, ‘How long is that going to take? No thanks’. He is not dominated by money. He is motivated by trying to perfect his work-life balance. It’s something he’s always instilled in us. To make sure we do one thing right. “

Copper Face Jacks: The Musical will take place at 3Olympia Dublin until tomorrow, 20 August and the Cork Opera House from 23-28 August. Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Live Show – Encore Tour will take place at SSE Arena, Belfast November 4-5 and 3Arena, Dublin November 11-12

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/fiona-ocarroll-were-all-a-bit-mad-theres-no-such-thing-as-a-functional-family-41921308.html Fiona O’Carroll: ‘We’re all a bit crazy – there’s no such thing as a functional family’

Fry Electronics Team

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