Brendan O’Carroll is the star and creator of divisive comedy series Mrs Brown’s Boys. The 63-year-old Irish comedian has made a pretty penny from the TV sitcom and is nowadays worth an estimated £9.4 million. But before he was a household name O’Carroll was once arrested on suspicion of murder.
How Brendan O’Carroll was once in the frame for murder
Brendan recalls the extraordinary tale in his book The Real Mrs Brown: The Authorised Biography of Brendan O’Carroll.
The unlikely events which led to Brendan’s brush with the law began in 1989.
He owned a pub at the time and returned from holiday to find his business partner Kevin Moore had cleared the place out and done a runner with the cash.
Brendan recalls: “Kevin was gone and he’d even sold the plates and light bulbs.”
With debts of £96,000, Brendan had no option but to close the pub, which once had a turnover of £500,000 a year.
“It was gone,” he says. “I was finished.”
Brendan was understandably livid with Kevin following the betrayal.
Months later when a friend told Brendan that Kevin was at his mother’s house, Brendan went over there to confront him.
Brendan waited outside the home for Kevin to emerge but he never did.
Eventually, Brendan decided to leave it and headed home to his wife and children.
Brendan said: “Later on I thanked God I couldn’t find him,” he admits.
When Kevin was later found hanged, however, the finger of suspicion pointed at Brendan and he was arrested.
Given the bad blood between the two men, police suspected Brendan, and he was arrested the following day.
“The enquiries didn’t last long,” says Brendan. “It was soon established that Kevin had killed himself.”
Three years after Kevin’s death in 1992, Brendan discovered the tragic truth behind Kevin’s suicide and betrayal.
Kevin, who was gay, had contracted Aids.
When he had realised he was dying, he had headed to Australia for a last hurrah, before returning to his mother’s house to hang himself.
According to Brendan it was this tragedy that later pushed him to succeed.
“I often reflect on it,” he says. “One thing I think about is that I have no idea what it’s like to be dying of Aids, to be totally afraid.
“And even to be gay. Being gay can be a very lonely life. And then I have to think, ‘What does it take to hang yourself? How much desperation must you feel?’
“But you can’t let it affect your faith in human nature.
“If you carry grudges, they weigh you down. And anyway, it’s one of those ironic twists. If he hadn’t fecked off to Australia with the money, I might still be running a pub.”
Brendan will return to the BBC One on Saturday for the All Round to Mrs Brown’s show.