Reaction Weekend

Mrs Brown’s Boys: Why has the unfunniest programme on television been renewed for five more years?

BY Iain Dale | tweet IainDale   /  19 December 2020

Mrs Brown’s Boys, BBC1

This week we learned that Mrs Brown’s Boys had been renewed by BBC1 for – wait for it – another five years. Perhaps it’s the circles I move in, but I have yet to find a single person who watches it, let alone finds it funny. BBC1 has quite a few shows to rival it as the unfunniest programme on television, and that’s before we even get to hear the most dreaded introductory phrase on TV –  “And now we welcome BBC3 onto BBC1…”. These are words we should never have to hear again. I admit I may not be BBC3’s target audience but then again the channel seems to have a very loose sense of who it’s for.

Anyway, back to Mrs Brown. British comedy has a proud tradition of men playing women. The late lamented Dick Emery was perhaps the master of the genre. The thing is, though, he was naturally funny. He created a series of sketch-based characters which were naturally hilarious. Even though there was a certain predictability (“Ooh you are awful, but I like you”), his characters were likeable and relatable. Mrs Brown only has one act and it’s to use the word “feckin” repeatedly, while projecting a sense of semi-permanent irritation. Her hapless relatives are even less funny. I’ve tried to understand what some people see in it, but I have miserably failed. Perhaps one day someone will be able to explain it to me. I’m not holding my breath.


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