Longstanding BBC sitcom Mrs Brown’s Boys has been slammed for its backstage politics, as two of its actors have reportedly quit the show amid a pay gap dispute.
The actors in question – Damien McKiernan and Gary Hollywood, who play couple Dino and Rory – are said to have discovered they earn less than the rest of the cast – which is largely made up of star Brendan O’Carroll’s family.
And an insider exclusively told MailOnline on Monday that the way the show is run behind-the-scenes makes for an unhappy work environment.
‘In crisis’: Longstanding BBC sitcom Mrs Brown’s Boys has been slammed for its backstage politics, as two of its actors have reportedly quit the show amid a pay gap dispute [Brendan O’Carroll AKA Mrs Brown, is pictured]
‘The show is very Upstairs/Downstairs, with a very clear divide between Brendan’s family and the few actual actors such as Gary and Damien,’ the insider said.
‘The family are all directors of the Mrs Brown’s production company and are always looked after.
‘The BBC let Brendan do whatever he wants!’
MailOnline has approached the BBC for comment.
As well as the dispute over money, Gary and Damien have allegedly also been told they’re not featuring in the 2020 Christmas specials.
While Gary, 41, will feature in one of the two seasonal episodes, Damien, 54, has reportedly been ‘simply told he is being written out’.
A source told the Daily Star: ‘Gary and Damien were confused and hurt when they realised they were getting paid less than the others. When they raised the issue it did not go down very well.
‘Gary was later told he would only be appearing in one of this year’s Christmas specials. That was the last straw, so he told them he was quitting.
‘It was even worse news for Damien. He was simply told he is being written out. They are both heartbroken that things have turned out this way.’
The holiday instalment – which is typically touted as one of BBC One’s main offerings on Christmas night – has started production, with neither of the actors involved, the source said.
O’Carroll’s wife, his sister Eilish, his son Danny and his daughter Fiona, have all appeared on the series.
Although he has not disclosed his salary from the show, O’Carroll’s net worth was last calculated in 2013 when it was an astounding £9.98 million / €11 million.
In 2017, however, the stars of the show revealed how they were in debt in the early runs. But in 2019 it was reported that profits at a Brendan O’Carroll entertainment company almost doubled to £584,311 / €643,876 the year before.
The Irish Times reported then that accounts filed by BOC-PIX Ltd show O’Carroll and his wife, Jennifer Gibney, had garnered almost €2 million in dividends from the company over 2017-2018.
O’Carroll also makes much of his income from touring.
Snubbed: The actors in question – Damien McKiernan and Gary Hollywood [pictured], who play couple Dino and Rory – have also been told they’re not featuring in the 2020 Christmas specials
Cast: Mrs Brown’s Boys follows loud-mouthed Irish matriarch Agnes Brown, whose favourite pastime is meddling in the lives of her six children
Axed? While Gary, 41, will feature in one of the two seasonal episodes, Damien, 54, has reportedly been ‘simply told he is being written out’
All Round To Mrs Brown’s: The spin off show on BBC One sees celebrity guests sit down with the Browns. It featured Caitlyn Jenner earlier this year [pictured]
Mrs. Brown’s Boys spawned from a short 1992 radio play by creator O’Carroll.
He followed this with four books, with one of them being adapted into a 1999 movie starring Anjelica Huston.
O’Carroll then created a theatre company, Mrs. Browne’s Boys [with the ‘e’ in ‘Browne’ being removed at a later date], recruiting many of his family and friends.
O’Carroll dressed up in drag to play the titular Agnes Brown[e], after the actress meant to be playing her didn’t show up one night.
The stage show was eventually adapted into a sitcom, debuting in 2011; this generated further stage shows and a D-movie film.
Mrs Brown’s Boys follows loud-mouthed Irish matriarch Agnes, whose favourite pastime is meddling in the lives of her six children.
The comedy is known for its slapstick humour, and breaking the fourth wall, with the characters engaging the audience. Outtakes are often left in the final edit for extra quirk.
Despite being universally panned by critics, the show is a ratings hit in Ireland, Britain, New Zealand, and Canada. It was recently revealed as a fan-favourite in Jamaica, too.
All Round To Mrs Brown’s is a spin off show on BBC One which sees celebrity guests sit down with the Browns. It featured Caitlyn Jenner earlier this year.
The sitcom’s live stage show tour had to be put on hold in 2020 amid the COVID-19 crisis.