Rarely can such a universally-derided thing been so inexplicably popular.
No, no, not Donald Trump – we’re talking about Mrs Brown’s Boys.
The news last August that it had been voted the best British sitcom of the 21st Century provoked howls of anguish and incredulity – and a thousand think pieces (obviously this is the best one) on just what it was about this critically-destroyed (yes, ‘mocked’ or ‘derided’ would be too soft a word to describe the treatment that the show has been given by the media) show that the great British public – weaned on the likes of Fawlty Towers, The Office and so many more – enjoyed so much.
And now, following the show’s consistent ratings of more than 8 million viewers, and the $29m ‘da movie’ took at the box office, the BBC is seeking to utilise one of its most popular creations even more, with the announcement of a chat show: All Round to Mrs Brown’s.
Like ITV, who gave Ant and Dec their own Saturday night vehicle, the BBC is looking to cash in and hoover up some more juicy ratings.
The Guardian, through gritted teeth, have mused that the idea may be following in the footsteps of Barry Humphries’ Dame Edna Everage, Paul O’Grady’s Lily Savage and Caroline Aherne’s Mrs Merton in giving a fictional host a show on which they can ask far more daring and ‘inappropriate’ questions than a regular host could.
It’s slated to air on Saturday nights ‘later this year’, with Mrs Brown’s creator and star Brendan O’Carroll saying: "The entire cast is excited by this. I think Agnes may be worried that she'll need a bigger kettle to make tea for everyone that's coming round!"
Could it work? If it can hang on to the same sense of warmth, shambolic charm and escapist nature that our writer found, lulling celebrities into dropping their guard, before O’Carroll – who is seemingly “a very smart guy with a deep interest in current affairs” (yes, the Guardian wrote that) – unleashes a grenade of a question, the Beeb could have another unexpectedly big hit on its hands.