| 1.1°C Belfast

Mrs Brown Brendan O'Carroll: Filming in lockdown is not funny

Close

Difficult: Brendan O’Carroll found the Covid restrictions hard to deal with

Difficult: Brendan O’Carroll found the Covid restrictions hard to deal with

PA

Difficult: Brendan O’Carroll found the Covid restrictions hard to deal with

Comedian Brendan O'Carroll has described how "laborious" it was filming the two Christmas specials of Mrs Brown's Boys, because of the BBC's strict Covid restrictions.

The BAFTA-winning star and his wife Jenny flew from their home in Florida to film the festive episodes at the BBC studios in Glasgow.

But the funnyman said making the 30-minute episodes was extra tough due to Covid-19.

"One of the things that stands out blaringly was one of the BBC guidelines, and we had 42 between crew and cast, was that if one person tests positive, the show stops, the whole thing would be closed down. That meant there would be no show," he said.

"We could be in the middle of a scene and someone would yell 'cut' and point out that two of the cameramen had come within a certain distance of each other. They would have to be separated and we would have to do the scene all over again.

"Then they'd have to re-choreograph the cameras so they didn't come close to each other. Then there had to be checks on the set because we'd have been halfway through the scene, we'd have to leave completely and the guys would come in and spray it down."

The creator of the hit series had eight coronavirus tests during his time making the two shows and at one point filming had to be suspended after a Covid-19 scare on-set.

"We were lucky that we got through it," he said.

"What would usually be a two-hour recording to get your 30-minute show was a 12-hour day, and it was quite laborious.

"We were in the middle of one rehearsal and we had got tested the day before and we were waiting for the tests to come back. Eight of them, including my own were 'inconclusive'.

"Everybody was immediately sent to their dressing room and locked in. We had to wait and be re-tested, and it all came back negative."

Brendan said there was an emotional moment when the two episodes were finally completed.

"I nearly cried when we finished the final scene and they said, 'That's it; we're done'. I got such a sense of achievement. I went 'there's going to be a Mrs Brown's on Christmas Day' and it was a weird feeling," he said. "But people really need a laugh."

Belfast Telegraph


Privacy