For fans of Mrs Brown's Boys, the news that Rory Cowan is leaving comes as quite the blow. He is undoubtedly one of the most popular characters on the show and has been working with Brendan O'Carroll for over 26 years.

Rory, who plays Agnes' son in the award winning series told the Irish Daily Mail: "I hadn't been happy working for the Mrs Brown's Boys company for the last 18 months to two years.

"I feel that 26 years is enough so I decided it was time to go.

"I told Brendan on June 16 about my decision to leave. That's when I handed in my notice."

Rory added: "I'm not going into details about why I was unhappy," he added. "I did the final show, packed my stuff into a small Waitrose plastic bag and just left the venue."

Almost sounds like things weren't left on good terms, doesn't it? Well, that is not the case thankfully.

Brendan O'Carroll has paid tribute to his long-running co-star and has compared the loss of Rory to Mrs Brown's Boy as akin to Ronaldo leaving Man United.

Also speaking to the Irish Daily Mail, he said: "I can't even quantify the contribution Rory has made to our success and the wellbeing of me and my family, not just on screen or stage but way before that, as a friend and a driving force in getting us there. He's a legend."

"To all of us it feels like Ronaldo leaving Man United," O'Carroll continued. "But Ronaldo went on to amazing success, which I know Rory will too."

Cowan also stressed in an interview with the Irish Mirror: "There was no row with Brendan, there was no dispute over money or anything. In fact, quite the opposite. I got so well paid that it enabled me to be able to leave. I didn't need to stay.

"What was killing me was we were doing the exact same arenas in the exact same order we did two years ago," he admitted.

"I would have known week-by-week where I’d be until 2022 – and it’s not like they’re different every year, it’s the same thing."

On working with Brendan, Rory said: "I started to work with Brendan 26 years ago as his publicist when he was playing pubs.

"To go from pubs and hoping you’d get 100 people in, to playing arenas with 10,000 people a night and everything in between that we’ve done, it’s been fabulous.

“It can’t get any bigger now and just knowing what you were going to be doing, it was starting to get a bit like the civil service."

Cowan took his final bow as Rory Brown at the O2 in London on Sunday night. When Brendan was asked how he planned to handle Rory's departure from the show for the upcoming Christmas specials, he simply said: "You'll have to wait and see what surprise is in store for Agnes."