Fiona O’Carroll may seem comfortable riding her dad Brendan’s jet stream, but it turns out she was the star of the family first.

At the age of 10, she recorded the following song for her grade school class. christmas wrapperThe plan was to sell the singles to parents to raise money for the school. Ultimately, the song entered the Irish Top 10 Singles chart.

Alongside her classes, O’Carroll began performing at the Opera House, Mansion House, and the National Concert Hall. “We were ordered to perform all over the country,” recalls O’Carroll fondly. “My father at the time was just starting out in the business and not a lot of people knew — he was still working as a waiter — and we were going from venue to venue on weekends trying to find gigs. . . sat in the corner with a packet of potato chips, waiting for my father to make a deal.”

It all turned out to be part of an amazing omen.Like his daughter, Brendan O’Carroll is his Mrs. Brown’s Boys Demonstrate sufficiently modest aspirations. Before he knew it, the comedy starring several members of his own family was a huge success. Mrs. Brown premiered at Dublin’s Gaiety Theater in 1999 for her 16 weeks and was a huge hit. The rest is history.

In fact, “runaway success” is probably an understatement. As one of the BBC’s most successful TV shows ever, he Mrs. Brown’s Boys It averaged 9 million viewers per episode in the UK and Ireland. Loved in Australia, South Africa and North America.

Of its enduring popularity, O’Carroll, 41, said: I think what’s generally interesting is the whole family dynamic. We are all a little mad. There is no such thing as a functional family. And I think that resonates with so many people. ”

O’Carroll, too, is aware of the criticism made for the show’s comically broad strokes. “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion,” she shrugs. “Just because I like something doesn’t mean someone else has to like it. i love them.”


Fiona O’Carroll.Photo: Frank McGrath

As celebrities go, O’Carroll is a unique creature.Despite his illustrious origins, having made the Top 10 list in 1990, he has little interest in the idea of ​​fame or celebrity. Still, she’s part of Ireland’s most famous family.

“Sometimes when someone looks at me, I think, ‘Why are you looking at me?’ But I’m just a normal person who greets the postman in his pajamas and drags the trash can onto the sidewalk.”

Much of this pragmatic approach may be based on the idea that his father, Brendan, didn’t get a taste of fame and success for himself until he was in his 40s.That fateful Gaiety run Mrs. Brown’s Boys It happened when the actor was 44 – BBC pilot Mrs. Brown’s Boys It didn’t happen for another ten years.

As a child, O’Carroll was always involved in acting and attended Oscar School of Acting. O’Carroll’s plan was to move into television production (“mainly so that I could get a decent job, make money, and fund my love of being on shows”). . While studying at her IADT in Dun Laoghaire, her father told her that the actress who played her [Maria] Since I was sick, I asked her to join me in one of the live shows.

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“I was worried about graduating college early, but my father said, ‘I might ask you once and never again. College is always there.’

“Above all, it was a great opportunity to spend time with my dad because he was always on tour and stuff.”

Working with her family has one big advantage. My father loves being with his grandchildren, so they grew up mostly in the wing.

Since separating from her husband of 15 years (MBB cast member Martin Delaney) in 2018, O’Carroll is a single mother to Felix, Isaac, Eli and Dexter (ages 7-14). O’Carroll wanted to make sure her sons were adjusting to the realities of her new life before making news of her and Martin’s separation public.

“We are still really good friends,” O’Carroll says of her husband, who is now based in Portugal.

Two days before Ireland went into lockdown, O’Carroll moved his au pair, Franco, into the family home. “I have to say he’s a godsend,” she says. “I’ve never had a male au pair before, so I think the four boys could use the ‘big brother’ figure. One thing she’s noticed during Covid is , I have never missed my mission 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 family reunited for a six-week UK tour. Mrs. Brown’s Boys — Stage for the first time in three years.

“It was nice after a long time. Before going straight to Coppers, it was a real case of planes, trains and cars.

Coppers means her latest onstage role in Paul Howard’s smash comedy. Copperface Jacks: The MusicalJoining cast members Johnny Ward, Stephen O’Leary and Rachel O’Connell, she plays Gretchen, a college lecturer who becomes pregnant after a one-night stand that begins at the legendary Harcourt Street nightclub.

“What I love about this musical is that it’s all singing, all dancing, bright energy, and I’ve never played an American before. I absolutely love it.” It’s so much fun, the crowds are unreal.”

back on the road Mrs. Brown’s Boys A tour later this year means she’ll be able to spend more time with family she hasn’t been able to see much during the pandemic.

“My brother is in Donegal, my dad and my other brother are in Florida,” she explains. “Dad is always behind and making sure we’re always okay. He’s worked hard over the years, so he’s ready to relax in Florida and enjoy his later years.” I am happy to be in a position to do so.

“He was offered crazy money to work on something huge [in the US], and he always says, “How long will that job last?” no thanks’. He is not driven by money. He is driven by trying to find the perfect work/life balance. That’s one thing he has always instilled in us. To make sure you do that one thing right. ”

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

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