Brendan O’Carroll has revealed that he’s used his own savings to pay the cast of the Mrs Brown’s Boys tour after the event was cancelled because of Covid-19.
The actor, 65, explained how he’s given stars ‘half the money they’d make off the tour’, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of euro, in an interview with the Irish Sun.
Although taking a financial hit, Brendan said he thinks it will be worth it as he wants the talented stars to return to the show after the pandemic and believes in ‘karma’.
Generous: Brendan O’Carroll has revealed that he’s used his own savings to pay the cast of the Mrs Brown’s Boys tour after the event was cancelled because of Covid-19 (pictured in 2018)
Brendan told the publication: ‘You have to realise this would be the cast’s earnings for the year.
‘So what I did was advance them half the money they’d make off the tour, they’ll get the rest when we actually get to play the arenas.’
Explaining he believes in ‘karma’, Brendan added: ‘I want all my actors back when we come out of this. I’m a big believer in treating people well so they don’t feel the need to go anywhere else.’
The cast were set to play a massive Mrs Brown UK arena tour consisting of 16 dates in cities such as Glasgow, Birmingham and Cardiff.
‘I’m a big believer in treating people well’: The Irish actor, 65, explained how he’s given stars ‘half the money they’d make off the tour’ now and they’ll get the rest when the dates happen (pictured in the BBC show)
Seven of the dates are currently rearranged for June and July.
Elsewhere in his interview, Brendan also revealed that he’s been paying wages to the Mrs Brown’s Boys staff at his warehouse throughout the pandemic.
Brendan said he’s not had to use any government scheme to keep up with payments or put any of the crew on furlough.
It comes after it was reported that Mrs Brown’s Boys is set to remain on air until at least 2026.
Not going anywhere: It comes after it was reported that Mrs Brown’s Boys is set to remain on air until at least 2026 (pictured L-R: Jennifer Gibney, Brendan, Rory Cowan and Pat Shields)
He added that the new contract guarantees that every festive edition he creates will be given a coveted slot of 10pm every Christmas Day.
Boasting of his sitcom’s success, the Irish comic told the Irish Sun: ‘We’ve been doing it for nine years already – which is six more than The Royle Family had and more than Morecambe and Wise.
‘This new deal we signed last week goes all the way to 2026, which means I will be able to grow into the part, and we’ve a clause in which guarantees Mrs Brown is aired at 10pm on Christmas night, or else we don’t have to make it.’
Mammy’s clan: Cast members of Mrs Brown’s Boys and their relationship to Brendan O’Carroll – left to right – Fiona O’Carroll (daughter), Paddy Houlihan (no relation), Danny O’Carroll (son), Martin Delany (son-in-law), Jennifer O’Carroll (wife) Brendan O’Carroll, Rory Cowan (no relation), Gary Hollywood (circled, no relation), Dermot O’Neill (no relation), Pat Shields (no relation), Jamie O’Carroll (grandson), Amanda Woods (daughter-in-law)
MailOnline contacted BBC representatives for comment at the time.
However the series has been surrounded by controversy of late after actor Gary Hollywood revealed he’s suing the show’s creator Brendan over a bitter pay row.
Gary, who played hairdresser Dino Doyle, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘So much of the show, off screen, is about Brendan’s own family. It’s like jobs for the Browns.
‘At times, as the years went on, it felt like it was a case of the Mrs Brown’s mafia, which was difficult if you weren’t in it. There is a fear of falling out with them, and of course that creates a tense atmosphere and I found myself walking on eggshells.’
The show was reportedly thrown into chaos last month when a bitter row broke out over his pay. Gary was furious after learning he earns less than the rest of the cast.
Claims: The hit BBC series has been surrounded by controversy of late after actor Gary Hollywood revealed he’s suing the show’s creator Brendan over a bitter pay row
Now he is taking legal action against O’Carroll, the BBC and the TV production company which makes the show, citing discrimination and unfair dismissal.
In papers lodged with an employment tribunal, the Glaswegian actor says he was paid 25 per cent less than his colleagues for his role in last year’s six-part chat show spin-off, All Round At Mrs Brown’s.
And he says he was dropped from one of the two Christmas specials just days before filming started. Hollywood says when he raised both issues with Dublin-born Brendan, he was told that he should be ‘more grateful’.
The BBC, O’Carroll and his company, BOC Productions, all declined to comment at the time (January 10).
Not happy: Gary Hollywood (pictured left with Rory Cowan, who is seen above as Rory Brown) said working on the show could be: ‘At times, as the years went on, it felt like it was a case of the Mrs Brown’s mafia, which was difficult if you weren’t in it’