Rory Cowan: "... when we were voted as the best sitcom of the century it really didn’t come as much of a surprise.”

Mrs Brown’s Boys’ extrovert star Rory Cowan has revealed that he only inherited the role of Agnes’s gay son after the man who was due to play him left acting — to become a train driver.
Speaking to The Gazette at the launch of TV3’s new-look autumn schedule, Rory said he never aspired to be an actor and fell into the job of playing flamboyant character Rory.
He explained: “I honestly never had any ambition to become an actor even though I was closely associated with the industry.
“I used to work as a sales and marketing manager for EMI and rubbed elbows with the likes of David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Tina Turner and Diana Ross.
“I was also involved in the marketing for Mrs Brown’s Boys and about ten years ago it was revealed that the former actor who played Rory had trouble getting a mortgage for a home because he was an actor.
“He decided to leave acting to become a train driver – the only problem was they opened in Liverpool the next morning for a three-week theatre show.
“Brendan asked me to fill in for him because I was so closely associated with the show and he thought I’d suit the character perfectly.
“I had only one day to learn all of the lines and decided to bleach my hair blonde and wear really bright clothes to stand out as much as I could.
“That was the only time I ever got nervous on stage. After that I fell in love with the role.”
Rory added that he isn’t surprised the hit TV show was voted the best British sitcom of the century. Viewers in the UK recently voted the series as the best show of the millennium in an online poll for the Radio Times, where it beat off critically acclaimed shows such as The Office (2001), The Thick of It (2005) and Peep Show (2003).
Rory says he’s over the moon with the result, but he wasn’t exactly knocked for six.
He added: “The success of both the sitcom and live show is really staggering, especially in the UK.
“We have between eight to ten thousand people attending our theatre shows each night and in the big cities like Liverpool and in London we would perform for about 60,000 people in a week.
“So when we were voted as the best sitcom of the century it really didn’t come as much of a surprise.”