There were glittering tuxedos, plunging necklines, and even a bridal gown on the IFTA Gala Television Awards red carpet last night, but nothing could steal the limelight from a beaming Brendan O’Carroll.
The Mrs Brown’s Boys creator, who turned 60 last month, collected the Lifetime Achievement Award and received not one but two standing ovations.
“I don’t think it is meant to have been a birthday gift, but a few weeks after the birthday to be given this tops everything off really,” he said. Accepting his award, Mr O’Carroll had to urge the packed room at Dublin’s Double Tree Hilton Hotel to sit down as he wiped tears from his eyes.
“It’s a small country with a lot of good people and you tend to get knocked a lot. I’ve got back up many, many times,” Mr O’Carroll said.
On presenting the award to the Finglas-born comedian, Gay Byrne described him as a “global comedy television phenomenon”.
Mr O’Carroll explained how he and his wife Jenny Gibney has designed their life so that they work for 26 weeks of the year.
“It’s been a great life. I’m blessed,” he said, who added the has now completed his bucket list, but he also left room for his usual wit.
“I think it is more recognition that it’s taken us a lifetime to get here. It’s 25 years since this was on the radio, it’s 25 years of ups and downs and ins and outs.
“It’s like a pat on the back saying ‘well done’ for not collapsing.”
He was also nominated for the Best Male in a Soap or Comedy, alongside Moone Boy’s Chris O’Dowd, but the award went to Fair City’s Enda Oates. The Moone Boy actor was tipped to attend the ceremony last night, as was mixed-martial arts fighter Conor McGregor, but both were notable absentees.
Making up for losing out in the Best Male stakes, Mr O’Carroll’s comic creation took home Best Comedy, beating off Moone Boy, Irish Pictorial Weekly, and The Savage Eye.
Also on the winners list at the new-look awards last night was Baz Ashmawy. His 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy show for Sky won the award for Best Entertainment, however his mother Nancy was unable to attend.
“She went on holidays to the Canaries and she is very excited. It feels a bit empty without her to be honest,” he said.
Winning the Best Documentary Series was RTÉ’s High Hopes Choir, which showcased the musical talent of a group people who had experienced homelessness.
TV3’s Red Rock took home two awards, the People’s Choice and Best Soap.
Amanda Byram hosted the awards in a total of three dresses, one of which was a two-piece bridal gown. “This is the first of three dresses. It’s Elizabeth Stuart. I think it might actually be a wedding dress. I’m not going to jinx it or anything,” she joked on the red carpet.
The awards will be aired on TV3 tonight at 3pm.
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