Brendan O'Carroll preparing to make BBC army sitcom Lebanese Outpost

Thursday 28th October 2021, 1:07pm by Jay Richardson

  • Brendan O'Carroll has reportedly been commissioned to make a BBC One sitcom about Irish peacekeepers
  • The series is written by and stars the Mrs Brown's Boys creator, alongside Danny O'Carroll and Paddy Houlihan
  • O'Carroll said: "This is our new pet project, it will be hilarious and I can't wait for it to be screened"
Brendan O'Carroll

Mrs Brown's Boys creator Brendan O'Carroll claims to have landed a new BBC One sitcom, about Irish UN peacekeepers patrolling the Israel-Lebanon border.

The Irish Mirror reports that six episodes of Lebanese Outpost have been commissioned, with the comedy based on Camp Shamrock, in Tiri, where the Irish military have been stationed for more than 40 years.

A BBC spokesperson confirmed to British Comedy Guide that they were "in talks" about Lebanese Outpost and that the corporation was "looking forward to continuing our relationship with Brendan".

O'Carroll, who has been working on the sitcom since at least 2018, is set to play the base's commanding officer. But the storylines will chiefly focus on two squaddies, played by Danny O'Carroll and Paddy Houlihan, who currently star as Buster and Dermot in Mrs Brown's Boys.

"This is our new pet project, it will be hilarious and I can't wait for it to be screened" O'Carroll told the Irish Mirror. "I have been inundated with stories and jokes from our soldiers who served in Lebanon and we have wonderful material to work with. Our troops are among the bravest in the world and the job they've done keeping the peace in Lebanon for all these years is incredible.

"It is about time they were publicly honoured and need to get the credit they deserve for putting their lives on the line. We believe this show will honour their bravery and make them proud."

The newspaper also reports that the sitcom will air on Irish channel RTÉ.

O'Carroll has spoken to a number of veterans for the project and has previously stated that the Irish Defence Forces have offered assistance.

"I have this idea for an episode where there is a football tournament between all the peacekeeping troops from different countries in the Lebanon. Only the Irish smuggle in Robbie Keane and a few of the boys to play for the Irish army team" he told the Irish Sun in 2019.

Irish troops have been deployed in Lebanon since the Israeli invasion of 1978, initially to oversee the withdrawal of Israeli forces, with a largely peacekeeping and humanitarian role. More than 400 Irish soldiers are currently serving as part of an Irish-Finnish battalion in the United Nations Interim Force.

Forty-seven troops have lost their lives in the course of the Irish UN mission. But O'Carroll believes their deployment has plenty of comic potential.

"If the Irish Defence Forces guys got fired on, they had to ring up HQ to find out if they could fire back. Sometimes HQ had to ring up Geneva in Switzerland to return fire," he told the Irish Sun.

"I've spoken to so many guys who were in the Lebanon and everyone of them had a funny story and I loved hearing them."

If commissioned, Lebanese Outpost would be the BBC's third army sitcom in the last decade, following BBC Three's Bluestone 42, about a British bomb disposal detachment in Afghanistan, and Gary: Tank Commander.

Mrs. Brown's Boys. Agnes Brown (Brendan O'Carroll)

Meanwhile, O'Carroll has paid tribute to Dennis Knotts, props master on Mrs Brown's Boys, who died earlier this month following a battle with Covid, with cast and crew learning the news while they were filming their two upcoming Christmas specials.

"He was the most adorable man and actually, we dedicated the Christmas episode to him, we loved him very much," O'Carroll told the Irish Independent. "He's been on every show that we have done with the BBC and that's ten years now. He was the props master on every one of them; he was lovely.

"We lost one of the family. There were people who had worked with Dennis for 40 years and they are just devastated; they can't believe it."

Mrs Brown's Boys' ten-year anniversary special airs Friday on BBC One, a Halloween episode in which Agnes receives a ghostly visitor from her past.

Share this page