WITH its old-school gags and stereotyping, Mrs Brown’s Boys is often viewed as the nemesis of woke culture.
But creator Brendan O'Carroll, who also plays the show’s matriarch Agnes Brown, insists they’ve blazed a trail for political correctness.
And as the BBC1 sitcom marks its tenth year on our screens with a Halloween special tonight, he says that’s never changed.
He said: “At the time I wrote the character of Agnes’s gay son, it was a radio series, and it was illegal in Ireland to be gay. So I actually wanted to buck the system.
“And I don’t know where and how you use the pronouns ‘them’ and ‘they’ – but Agnes Brown is gender fluid after all.
“But in all seriousness, its very hard to do a comedy show without offending somebody.”
He isn’t too worried about becoming the latest victim of cancel culture, spurred on by snowflakes on social media.
He said: “I must admit I almost want to get cancelled because with all these other things going, I feel a bit left out.
“But if the BBC write their policy on what goes on TV based on what’s said on social media then the BBC have lost a sense of their own being.
“It’s the audience that makes the call – and the best device for cancelling something is the remote control .”
But viewers aren’t switching channels, even after all these years. Millions still tune in for the shows – particularly the Christmas Specials which are ratings hits every festive season.
And Brendan has attracted some surprising fans.
He said: “We had Tyler Perry making a guest appearance and we were sitting together having a coffee and he said in an offhand way: ‘I showed some clips of this to Beyonce and she thought it was hilarious. And Oprah thinks it’s brilliant too.’
“And of course in the UK the palace asked for advanced copies of the show. The Queen gets it, and given the last two years she’s had if we can make her smile this year I’ll be very happy.”
With the seal of approval from rock royalty and real royalty, I’d like to see the woke brigade cancel it now…
Yvette is fright at home
MOST HAUNTED hostess Yvette Fielding won’t need to look far for a successor if she ever decides to put an end to spook spotting.
Her daughter Mary Beattie seems to be just as fascinated by the afterlife and putting the wind up people.
On the My Mate Bought A Toaster podcast, former Blue Peter presenter Yvette said: “We live in a very old, creepy house and the earliest foundations date back to the 1400s.
“What Mary does is she likes to dress up in scary stuff and hide – and then jump out at me when I’ve just come back from a Most Haunted investigation.
“Oh, she’s a nightmare.”
Juice's scream team
MAYA JAMA still manages to look scarily good as she gets in the spirit for Celebrity Juice’s Halloween spooktacular this weekend dressed as the Bride of Frankenstein.
I’m A Celebrity runner-up and Radio 1 DJ Jordan North is almost unrecognisable as a mummy – as is the former Breakfast Show host Nick Grimshaw as the Grim Reaper. And you can bet host Keith Lemon goes all out for the ITV2 special on Sunday.
El’s documentary on drug debate
PARALYMPIC gold medallist Ellie Simmonds is to present a new BBC documentary on the subject of dwarfism.
The swimmer will examine a pioneering drug that promises to increase the rate of growth in children born with Achondroplasia – the genetic condition behind most cases.
And she is looking into the debate about whether cutting-edge medicine that can stop disability should even be used.
Ellie will also meet families who are involved in the drug trials to explore both sides of the argument.
She said: “Growing up, these drugs weren’t available to me.
“Had they been, I don’t know what my parents would have done. But I wouldn’t change myself.
“I love who I am and I am glad that I have dwarfism because I think my body is strong and beautiful.”
Bake Off big shots in the mix
A SPOONFUL of good old stardust is a welcome ingredient for almost every telly show.
And that’s especially true of the Great British Bake Off.
Its celebrity specials are always a must-watch – and the latest line-up preparing to hit our screens won’t disappoint.
Laura Whitmore, Emma Willis, Ed Gamble and The Inbetweeners’ Blake Harrison will join from the world of television.
Meanwhile, representing the musical side of showbiz, Ellie Goulding, Annie Mac and Example will be dropping in to the famous tent for its culinary challenges.
But after all the success they have racked up between them, will they be bothered about a Hollywood handshake?
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