Dara O Briain is a stand-up comedian, and television presenter, best known in the UK for hosting BBC’s Mock the Week, and in Ireland for hosting RTÉ 2′s The Panel.
Dara is one the few performers to host successful comedy shows in both the UK and his native Ireland at the same time. He started his career in television as a children’s presenter on RTÉ whilst performing his first stand-up gigs on the Irish comedy circuit, after studying at University College, Dublin, where he studied Mathematical Physics.
His big break in UK television came in 2003 when he became host of BBC2′s Live Floor Show. This led to an appearance as guest and, ultimately, four appearances as guest host of the popular news quiz, Have I Got News For You. By this time he had moved to the UK and was working on the British circuit full-time.
Dara sold out the entire run in Edinburgh in 2002, a feat he was to repeat for the next three years. By 2005, he was the biggest selling solo stand-up comedy show on the Edinburgh Fringe.
The basis for this success is Dara’s place at the very top of the stand-up circuit. Winner of the Chortle award for ‘Best Headline Act’ in both 2003 and 2004, Dara has performed virtually all over the world, from Dubai to Shanghai, and at all the major festivals from Melbourne to Montreal. He has performed at the world famous Just for Laughs Festival Gala, and has appeared in the UK’s ultimate showcase for entertainers, The Royal Variety Performance.
Dara has hosted the comedy panel game Mock the Week for BBC television since 2005 and he can also be seen hosting BBC 2′s The Apprentice: You’re Fired.
Other notable television work sees Dara as an integral member of the Three Men in a Boat, alongside Griff Rhys Jones and Rory McGrath – the show is now in it’s fourth series. In 2007 Dara also fronted the BBC comedy interview programme Turn Back Time and in 2011 Dara co-hosted BBC1′s astronomical show Stargazing Live alongside Professor Brian Cox.
In 2012 Ó Briain presented an eight-episode series of School of Hard Sums with co-host Marcus du Sautoy. Series 2 was on air from May 2013. In November 2012, Dara Ó Briain began presenting a series called Dara O Briain’s Science Club, in which Dara and other celebrities discuss science issues.
Dara has also developed an enormous reputation as host to award ceremonies and corporate events in Britain and Ireland and regularly hosts events as the European Advertising Awards in the Grosvenor Hotel’s Great Room, the Meteor Awards in Dublin, the Empire Film Awards and the BAFTA Video Game Awards.
Dara’s first book Tickling the English, released in 2009, proved to be an instant hit, remaining in the charts for almost two years after release. Part travelogue, part tour diary, the result is an affectionate, hilarious and often eye-opening journey through the Sceptred Isle.
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