Mrs Brown saved my life

Brendan O'Carroll on his depression

Brendan O’Carroll has spoken about how he found redemption in Mrs Brown’s Boys, after falling into a suicidal depression over money.

The comic had sunk more than £2 million in debt after he funded his own 1998 movie Sparrow’s Trap, about a boxer in Dublin. But although it was made, the movie was never released

In an interview with The Sun, O’Carroll revealed: ‘It was the first time I’d felt depression like that. I sat in my house with the curtains drawn for days, thinking, “God, just take me now. I’m fucked.” I just could not see a way out of it.’

He said he was abandoned by people who were close to him and he felt ‘so totally alone’ – until he released he had to start making the money back on his own.

So he dusted down the character of Mrs Brown, who he had created for an Irish radio series before appearing in a string of plays.

‘She’ became a huge hit after BBC One commissioned the sitcom in 2011 (last night's episode was seen by 7 million people) and O’Carroll said that last year he finally paid off all this debts.

The comic also said that it was money woes that drove him to comedy in the first place, when a friend with whom he owned a pub absconded with all the cash, leaving him £96,000 in debit.

‘I literally had nothing,’ he said. ‘Back then I was so angry. If I’d seen him I’d have fucking killed him. But now I believe that everything happens for a reason.

‘That situation was the reason I ended up in comedy. I was desperate for money and I begged a friend to let me go on stage at a club he owned. It was a success and it made good money, so I decided to keep going.’

Published: 22 Jan 2013

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