Entertainment & Arts

Mrs Brown's hopes for Rory spin-off

Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie Image copyright film company
Image caption The film, which is scripted by O'Carroll, was shot on location in Dublin

Brendan O'Carroll has revealed he is already working on two spin-off films, despite the movie of Mrs Brown's Boys not yet being in cinemas.

The creator and star of BBC One's Mrs Brown's Boys said one of the films would focus on Rory and his screen husband Dino and their hair salon.

Entitled Wash and Blow, it would see O'Carroll play salon owner Mario.

The comedian is also writing a spin-off based on Mr Wang, a new character from the film, which opens on 27 June.

Mr Wang was originally meant to be played by Burt Kwouk, best known for his role as Cato in the Pink Panther movies. But the 83-year-old turned out to be too ill to travel.

O'Carroll told BBC News that he had been reading the part in rehearsals and both his son, Danny - who plays Buster in the film - and producer Stephen McCrum were keen for him to step into the role.

"But I said, 'You can't take the piss out of a Chinese person. If you are going to take the piss out of a Chinese person, you have to have someone Chinese playing the part.'

"So I thought, I'll play the part of a guy, who wants to be Chinese; who thinks he's Chinese; who dresses like he's Chinese; but all he does is deliver Chinese. But he's convinced he's Chinese!

"And out of that came Mr Wang," explains O'Carroll.

He told the BBC he was currently penning a spin-off set in Mr Wang's Detective Agency, with Mrs Brown's sons Buster and Dermot working for him.

"I never laughed so much as the days I played Mr Wang," he says. "There's things Mr Wang can say that nobody else can say."

Image copyright film company
Image caption O'Carroll says the film "stands up on its own" and is not just for fans of the TV show

"That's one of the tricks of Mrs Brown," O'Carroll added. "Mrs Brown gets away with saying things that I would never get away with - not as a man."

He cited Dublin as the inspiration behind the forthcoming film, Mrs Brown's D'Movie, which sees Mrs Brown trying to save her fruit and veg stall as Dublin's real-life Moore Street market is threatened by the plans of a ruthless property developer.

He said his material came from "just listening" to the locals.

"Just spend a week in Dublin. Conversations between women are absolutely hilarious.

"All those conversations I would have done as gags in the past, they're actually real conversations."

"I think it's how we survive," says O'Carroll.

"We talk about this depression and how bad things are. But the way we get past that is we make jokes about it.

"Anybody will tell you if you want to have a really good laugh, go to an Irish funeral - you won't have a better time!"

'Learning curve'

Mrs Brown's Boys took TV by storm when the BBC sitcom first aired in 2011.

Though Mrs Brown - and her witless family - had first appeared on Irish radio station RTE2fm, in 1992 and had been the focal point of a series of books and a long-running stage show, it was not until O'Carroll's irrepressible matriarch hit the small screen that he became an international star.

Christmas specials of the show topped festive viewing polls two years in a row, with 11.7m tuning in last December; the stage show plays to arenas of 7,000 and recently toured in Australia.

Fans come from as far afield as Australia, Tokyo and Mumbai - it is even the number one comedy in Romania, where it has been remade as Tanti Florica.

O'Carroll - who has lived with the character for more than 20 years - says the comedy's global success has been a "learning curve" even for him.

"There seems to be a universal Mrs Brown - a mother or a grandmother - and I think it's one of the secrets of the success of the show."

However, despite its indisputable fanbase, critics remain guarded about Mrs Brown's Boys. No previews have been released of the film, with O'Carroll joking that journalists might "bootleg" pirate copies.

Sitcoms developed for the big screen have a poor track record, but O'Carroll remains positive.

"Every time there is a depression or a recession, people get nostalgic: the summers were longer, they think Christmases were brighter and they weren't as commercial.

"They get very nostalgic and Mrs Brown is nostalgic."

Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie (cert 15) opens across the UK and Ireland on Friday 27 June.

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