Very sad news. Very sad indeed. The nation's favourite sitcom, Mrs Brown's Boys, has been implicated in the fallout from this weekend's Paradise Papers leak. As reported by the Guardian, three stars of the smash-hit legendary BBC sitcom diverted upwards of £2 million into an off-shore tax avoidance scheme. That's nice!*
The documents show that actors Patrick Houlihan, Martin Delaney and Fiona Delaney – who play Dermot, Trevor and Maria (?) – had their fees from the series transferred to companies in Mauritius and then sent back to them as loans, which isn't illegal, but also isn't great. The three were reportedly put on to the scheme by accountant Roy Lyness, who hooked Jimmy Carr up with a similar arrangement back in 2012 – behaviour David Cameron described at the time as "morally wrong".
In words that sound alarmingly like dialogue from the sitcom, Patrick Houlihan told the Irish Times he had joined the scheme on advice he didn't really understand. "You never knew what the fuck was going on," he said, presumably to a rapturous swell of applause and canned laughter. Brendan O'Carroll, who plays the great swearing Irish-one herself (Mrs Agnes Brown), was not implicated and has stressed that neither he nor his production company have been involved in any such scheme, adding that actor's wages were always paid into a UK bank account.
Until now, Mrs Brown's Boys has been – although roundly critically slated – universally adored by the great people of the United Kingdom. Only last year the public voted it the best sitcom of the 21st century. Following these revelations, however, you have to assume the cast will suffer a similar fate to other high-profile tax avoiders, fading into ignominy, much like David Beckham, Gary Barlow and Michael Caine before them.
*This is apparently Mrs Brown's catchphrase. I had to google it, so don't blame me if I'm wrong. I mean, I guess I could watch a bit to find out, but really: I'm going to be dead in 60 years (tops). Every second counts at this stage. I'm not watching that.