Meet Mark Massett – a man who manages to sum up Mancunian mums to a tee!
Mark’s online videos as Manc mum Brenda (complete with dodgy blonde wig) have been a huge online hit, regularly going viral with his hilarious observations of northern family life.
Things Manc mums say, when mum’s on a diet, and when you don’t use your ‘h’s, are just some of the videos getting fans in stitches – and Mark confirms there are more on the way.
Thousands of people have watched, and loved, his videos on his Facebook, YouTube and Instagram accounts, with fans saying he should get his own TV show – and many hailing him “the Manc Mrs Brown”.
Mark, 38, was inspired by his childhood growing up in Old Trafford. The character is based (loosely) on his own mum Linda who brought him and his four brothers and sisters up in a full house where there was never a dull moment!
Mark says: “The Mancunian mum character has been hugely popular. It took me by surprise really.
“It’s based on my mum loosely, it is a lot like her, but it’s based on the women from the area I grew up and it’s a lot of fun to play.
“It is everything I’ve seen growing up. Some of the women I’m friends with now are still like that, some of the things they say now, even when I’m saying it, I think of them. I grew up in Old Trafford as one of five so it was a very loud house.”
Actor Mark started doing the online videos with friends in between auditions. But they’ve become such a hit he’s trying to do more of them to cope with demand.
He says: “As an actor there is constant rejection, waitering tables is a typical actor’s life, it was just too much at one point with rejections left right and centre, and that’s why I started my own online channel.
“We’ve got loads of stuff written now and we are filming again this month, the videos are still going viral. The fans are getting a bit impatient, but we are working on it. I’d love to get Brenda as big as possible because people can really relate to her.
“From the comments I get she really takes people back to when they were growing up, it’s refreshing to hear that. It’s always good to hear feedback. We don’t want to be too controversial. We are just here to laugh and joke and make people laugh.”
And how does his mum Linda, who still lives in Old Trafford, feel about it all?
Mark laughs: “She loves it. She’s like the number one fan. I said: ‘Mum you do know who it is based on?’ I show her before anyone else. Some of the stuff that’s definitely her she finds it so funny.”
As for Brenda’s rather unique appearance, Mark says the blonde wig – complete with black roots – is all part of her charm.
He says: “I wanted to give off the vibe that she’s a hard working mum. She doesn’t go all glam and we don’t put much make-up on her.”
Mark, who now lives in London, and his collaborators says the dream would be for Brenda to get her own TV show. He says he’s flattered by the comparison to BBC cult comedy Mrs Brown’s Boys where the Irish mammy is played so convincingly by comedian Brendan O’Carroll.
Mark says: “We always get the Mrs Brown’s Boys comparison, and that to me says we are on the right track, because that has been a massive success. We are just trying to figure out how to get it there. There could maybe be a film in future. We’ve all come from film backgrounds.”
And Mark has no doubt that the Mancunian funny bone is down to the inherent success of the character.
He laughs: “I love the Mancunian accent anyway, when certain things happen in a Manc accent it’s a million times funnier in my opinion. Just look at The Royle Family. You can’t capture comedy quite like Manchester people can.”
Watch more of Mark’s videos on his Facebook page here.