Mrs Brown’s Boys to pay tribute to two drag legends in new series

Brendan O’Carroll’s comedy series returns this September

Isobel Lewis
Wednesday 30 August 2023 09:08 BST
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Mrs Brown’s Boys will feature a tribute to two drag legends when the show returns for a new series this autumn.

Starring Irish actor Brendan O’Carroll as the titular matriarch, Mrs Brown’s Boys began life on the radio and has aired on BBC TV since 2011.

In September, the show will return for four episodes. Despite specials airing every festive period, this is the first time the show has aired a miniseries since 2013.

Speaking ahead of the return of Mrs Brown’s Boys, O’Carroll revealed that the show would pay tribute to two legendary performers.

These are the late Paul O’Grady and Barry Humphries – AKA drag performers Lily Savage and Dame Edna Everage. The two comedians died in March and April respectively.

“I always try and put a little message, if I can, into every one of [the episodes],” he told The Daily Mirror.

“In this whole series, I wanted to say goodbye to Dame Edna and to Paul. So it was hard to find that spot but I did find it, within the series, I did find it.”

O’Carroll added: “I don’t tell the BBC these things, I just do them.”

Paul O’Grady as Lily Savage

Starring Jennifer Gibney, Paddy Houlihan, Eilish O’Carroll, Dermot O’Neill and Pat Shields as Mark Brown, Mrs Brown’s Boys was one of the most popular comedies on TV in its early years.

The show reached a peak audience of 11 million in 2012 and 2013, but has sharply declined in the decade following.

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Ever since it began, however, Mrs Brown’s Boys has been lambasted by critics.

In his review of the 2022 Christmas special, which was watched by a comparatively small audience of 3.81 million, The Independent’s Sean O’Grady described the show as being “still worse than cranberry sauce and Whamageddon”.

O’Carroll in the new series of ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys'

“Incredulous and stony-faced, I’ve watched people weep with laughter at Mrs Brown’s Boys, and I can’t dispute its extreme and incredibly durable popularity (it started on the radio 30 years ago and has been a Christmas TV staple since 2012),” he wrote.

“It has successfully defied the critics, and it won over the acerbic and fastidious [satirist Victor] Lewis-Smith, which is quite the achievement and one to take seriously.

“I’ve made an effort to like it, I really have, and this year’s is better than most. I’ve given it another star this time round – but that’s the lot. Sorry, Victor.”

Mrs Brown’s Boys returns Friday 8 September at 9.30pm on BBC One.

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