BBC Mrs Browns Boys cast now – race row, Covid divorce and huge debt problems

Beloved comedy show Mrs Brown's Boys starring Brendan O’Carroll as Irish mammy Agnes has taken audiences by storm with the hilarious trials and tribulations of the Brown family.

On the show, Brendan’s close friends and family members make up the rest of the cast – including his second wife Jennifer Gibney who plays his on-screen daughter, Cathy.

Star Brendan revealed that he came up with the idea for the show after kneeling at his bedside and praying to his mother, who then appeared to him in a dream.

READ MORE: Mrs Brown's Boys star confirms show return after fans begged for BBC axe

He had been down on his luck and financially ruined, divorced and suffering with depression.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Mrs Brown's Boys has since gone on to become a successful television series and host a live arena show which has toured the globe – even though some viewers beg for it to be axed every year.

Agnes Brown – Brendan O'Carroll

Leading the cast as the loveable Agnes Brown, actor Brendan O’Carroll has revealed the his role on the show was an integral part of his life, admitting that he was on 'the edge of a breakdown' before finding fame with the show.

The comedian, 67, candidly admitted he “felt numb” and “didn't eat or turn on the lights” as he went through financial troubles.

He found himself in huge debt after the funding for his film Sparrows Trap fell through during the same year he split from his first wife Doreen Dowdall in 1999.

Speaking to The Sun, Brendan explained: "I was on the edge of a breakdown, a clinician would have said I was depressed, definitely.

"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 continued adding that he saw his late mother Maureen in a dream, who told him to get back work and inspired the character of Agnes Brown.

However, Brendan was slammed by BBC viewers for making an "ignorant" joke during a joint appearance with Hollywood star Tyler Perry on The One Show, sparking accusations of racism from fans on social media.

The Irish comic was asked if he’d like Perry to make a guest appearance on Mrs. Brown’s Boys.

O'Carroll replied: "He's very expensive, and so far we haven’t had anyone of his colour in there so I don't know if we could have him in.”

Winnie McGoogan – Eilish O'Carroll

Eilish O’Carroll has delighted us with her portrayal as Winnie McGoogan on the popular show and despite recently turning 70 years old, the bubbly star is showing no signs of slowing down.

After reaching the milestone birthday in November, she explained that after getting successful later in life, retirement still isn’t in the cards for her.

Eilish told RSVP Live: “I turned 70 in November or maybe it’s this year, I might not be 70 yet. I’m really looking forward to my 70th birthday. I don’t believe I’m 70. I’m going there screaming.”

The actress admitted admitted she struggled to “belong” when she first came out as a lesbian at the age of 40.

She was married with two sons when she realised she was in love with her now-partner Marion O'Sullvian in 2003 and admitted that coming to terms with her sexuality was extremely difficult for her.

Speaking candidly in an interview for Get Gossy with Grossy, she explained: “I was married with two sons, then at the age of 40 fell I love with a woman.

“All my demons came back to haunt me telling me I was perverse and not well. My own inner homophobia came back, which I didn't think existed. It was a very dramatic and emotional journey.”

Cathy Brown – Jennifer Gibney

Fans may not know that show star Brendan O’Carroll works alongside his wife, Jennifer Gibney, who plays his daughter, Cathy Brown on the show.

Gibney started work as a civil servant in the Irish tax office for several years before becoming an actress and meeting her hubby.

Brendan and Jennifer have been married for 17 years having tied the knot in 2005, but admitted they he almost called off the wedding.

Brendan explained that the pair had been fighting “like cats and dogs” in the lead up to their nuptials.

After sharing his concerns the night before their big day, the couple made an agreement.

He shared that he told Jenny that he would stop their wedding if he had any doubts after seeing her walk down the aisle.

“The night before I had told Jenny that when I turned round at the altar to see her in her wedding dress if I had the slightest doubt I would stop the ceremony,” he said in his memoir Call Me Mrs Brown.

“We would still have a party, we would still live together, just not get married. Amazingly Jenny had been having the same thoughts. I assured her that if she wanted to stop it at any time, I would back her 100%.”

Maria Brown – Fiona O’Carroll

Show star Fiona O'Carroll has suffered a slew of drama off-screen, most recently in her divorce from her co-star husband Martin Delaney.

The actress and mother-of-four, 42, took part in the celebrity series of RTE’s Ultimate Hell Week: The Professionals where she revealed that she was struggling so much mentally during the pandemic that she actually volunteered herself to undertake the gruelling competition.

Fiona broke down in tears as she opened up about her separation from Martin saying she had reached a point in her life where she was feeling “a bit lost”.

Speaking to Tubridy on the Late Late Show, she said: “Covid has an awful lot to answer for.

“I probably wasn't in a very good place at the time. I felt like I needed a purpose.

“I asked to do it, I actually volunteered. I rang them and said ‘I want to do this’.”

Fiona said it was the breakdown of her marriage as well as taking care of her four children alone during the pandemic that inspired her to take part in the series.

“I separated from my husband three years ago and that was very difficult,” she said.

Fiona and Martin share four sons – Felix, 15, Eli, 13, Isaac, eight, and Dexter, who is almost seven.

She continued: “They are great boys, they are wonderful boys and I have to say I am so proud of them and how they coped through the whole Covid thing.

“Three of them are on the [autism] spectrum and that's been difficult over the years… But Covid was difficult.”

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