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Dara Ó Briain

Dara Ó Briain

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Dara Ó Briain (ˈd̪ˠaɾˠə oː ˈbʲɾʲiənʲ, born 4 February 1972) is an Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 stand-up comedian
Stand-up comedy
Stand-up comedy is a comedic art form. Usually, a comedian performs in front of a live audience, speaking directly to them. Their performances are sometimes filmed for later release via DVD, the internet, and television...

 and television presenter, noted for hosting topical panel shows such as The Panel and Mock the Week
Mock the Week
Mock the Week is a British topical celebrity panel game hosted by Dara Ó Briain that launched in 2005. The game is influenced by improvised topical stand-up comedy, with several rounds requiring players to deliver answers on unexpected subjects on the spur of the moment.It is made by independent...

.

Ó Briain has hosted and appeared on a number of successful panel shows; as well as The Panel and Mock the Week he has featured on Don't Feed the Gondolas
Don't Feed The Gondolas
Don't Feed the Gondolas is an Irish comedy panel show, similar in format to the BBC's Have I Got News For You and Never Mind the Buzzcocks, that ran for four series on Network 2 between 1997 and 2001...

, Have I Got News For You
Have I Got News for You
Have I Got News for You is a British television panel show produced by Hat Trick Productions for the BBC. It is based loosely on the BBC Radio 4 show The News Quiz, and has been broadcast since 1990, currently the BBC's longest-ever running television panel show...

, QI
QI
QI is a British comedy panel game television quiz show created and co-produced by John Lloyd, hosted by Stephen Fry, and featuring permanent panellist Alan Davies. Most of the questions are extremely obscure, making it unlikely that the correct answer will be given...

and The Apprentice: You're Fired!
The Apprentice: You're Fired!
The Apprentice: You're Fired!, sometimes named You're Fired!, The Apprentice: You're Hired! or You're Hired!, is a British television show made by the BBC and filmed at Riverside Studios as a spin-off from the reality TV hit The Apprentice...

. The Irish Independent
Irish Independent
The Irish Independent is Ireland's largest-selling daily newspaper that is published in both compact and broadsheet formats. It is the flagship publication of Independent News & Media.-History:...

described him as "Terry Wogan
Terry Wogan
Sir Michael Terence Wogan, KBE, DL , or also known as Terry Wogan, is a veteran Irish radio and television broadcaster who holds dual Irish and British citizenship. Wogan has worked for the BBC in the United Kingdom for most of his career...

's heir apparent as Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

's 'favourite Irishman'". Writing for The Evening Standard, Bruce Dessau noted that "If you don’t laugh at Ó Briain, check your pulse, you must be dead."

Since January 2006, Ó Briain has taken part in the BBC Three Men in a Boat
Three Men in a Boat (TV Series)
Three Men in a Boat is a television comedy/documentary series produced by Liberty Bell Productions for BBC Two starring Dara Ó Briain, Rory McGrath and Griff Rhys Jones, first shown in January 2006...

series, with Rory McGrath
Rory McGrath
Patrick Rory McGrath is an English comedian and writer. He is best known for roles in Who Dares Wins, Chelmsford 123, Three Men in a Boat and its successors. He was also a regular panellist on They Think It's All Over....

 and Griff Rhys Jones
Griff Rhys Jones
Griffith "Griff" Rhys Jones is a Welsh comedian, writer, actor, television presenter and personality. Jones came to national attention in the early 1980s for his work in the BBC television comedy sketch shows Not the Nine O'Clock News and Alas Smith and Jones along with his comedy partner Mel Smith...

. The series, broadcast in pairs of episodes around new year in 2006 and then every year since 2008 have almost consistently brought in 3 million viewers.

In 2007 he was voted the 42nd greatest stand-up comic on Channel 4's 100 Greatest Stand-Ups and again in the updated 2010 list as the 16th greatest stand-up comic.

Early life


Ó Briain was born in 1972, in Bray
Bray
Bray is a town in north County Wicklow, Ireland. It is a busy urban centre and seaside resort, with a population of 31,901 making it the fourth largest in Ireland as of the 2006 census...

, County Wicklow
County Wicklow
County Wicklow is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Mid-East Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the town of Wicklow, which derives from the Old Norse name Víkingalág or Wykynlo. Wicklow County Council is the local authority for the county...

, and attended Coláiste Eoin
Coláiste Eoin
Coláiste Eoin is an Irish language Catholic voluntary secondary Gaelscoil for boys, under the trusteeship of the Edmund Rice Schools Trust located in Booterstown, County Dublin, Ireland. It prides itself in the Irish culture, having successful hurling and football teams, traditional music bands,...

 secondary school, a Gaelcholáiste
Gaelcholáiste
A gaelcholáiste is a particular type of Irish medium school in Ireland and Northern Ireland at secondary level. They are characterised by being secondary Irish-medium schools outside the Gaeltacht. Of the approximately 10,000 secondary students who do all their school subjects through Irish,...

 on Dublin's southside. He attended University College, Dublin (U.C.D.), where he studied mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

 and theoretical physics
Theoretical physics
Theoretical physics is a branch of physics which employs mathematical models and abstractions of physics to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena...

. In 2008, he remarked: "I haven't written it into my act, but it occasionally comes through. I could come on with a chalkboard and say: 'Now you're all going to pay attention.'" While a student there, he was both the auditor of the Literary and Historical Society
Literary and Historical Society, University College Dublin
The Literary and Historical Society is the oldest debating society in University College, Dublin , and is the official College Debating Union. Founded in 1855 by Father John Henry Newman , it is one of the most prestigious and well-known student societies in Ireland...

 (the university's oldest debating society) and the co-founder and co-editor of The University Observer
The University Observer
The University Observer is a fortnightly Berliner-sized newspaper distributed throughout the campus of University College, Dublin . It was launched in 1994 by University College Dublin Students' Union...

college newspaper. In 1994, he won the Irish Times National Debating Championship
Irish Times National Debating Championship
The Irish Times National Debating Championship is a debating competition for students in higher education in Ireland. It has been run since 1960, sponsored by The Irish Times...

 and The Irish Times/Gael Linn
Gael Linn
Gael Linn is an organization devoted to the Irish language and arts.It is a non-governmental, non-profit organization, founded in 1953 to foster the Irish language and promote artistic events. On the business side, they run the Gael-Linn Records record label, which is partly funded by the Irish...

 National Irish language debating championship; he is fluent in Irish, and speaks to his father only in Irish.

Early career


After leaving college, Ó Briain began working at RTÉ
RTE
RTÉ is the abbreviation for Raidió Teilifís Éireann, the public broadcasting service of the Republic of Ireland.RTE may also refer to:* Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, 25th Prime Minister of Turkey...

 as a children's TV presenter. At this time he also began performing his first stand-up gigs on the Irish comedy circuit. He admitted, "I did the trip from Dublin to Donegal
County Donegal
County Donegal is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Donegal. Donegal County Council is the local authority for the county...

 to play to six people; then I turned round and drove home again. I did about three or four years playing to a lot of bad rooms, but learning as I went. It's not bad when someone gives you £40 for standing up and telling jokes. I remember thinking: 'This is the life.'" Ó Briain spent three years as a presenter on the bilingual (Irish and English) language children's programme Echo Island
Echo Island
Echo Island was an Irish television programme for children and young adults, shown on RTÉ Network 2. It was shown at 17:00 during The Den. The show effectively took over from Jo Maxi which had been aimed at Teenagers....

but came to prominence as a team captain on the topical panel show Don't Feed The Gondolas
Don't Feed The Gondolas
Don't Feed the Gondolas is an Irish comedy panel show, similar in format to the BBC's Have I Got News For You and Never Mind the Buzzcocks, that ran for four series on Network 2 between 1997 and 2001...

(1998–2000) hosted by Seán Moncrieff
Seán Moncrieff
Seán Moncrieff is an Irish broadcaster, journalist and writer. He currently presents the weekday afternoon radio show Moncrieff on Newstalk. His television credits include his own Raidió Teilifís Éireann chat show Good Grief Moncrieff!, comedy panel show Don't Feed the Gondolas, and The...

. Ó Briain also hosted RTÉ family entertainment gameshow It's A Family Affair.

Stand-up comedy


Ó Briain's stand up career internationally took off around this time as he began to tour heavily, performing across Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, with gigs in Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

, Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, Adelaide
Adelaide
Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the fifth-largest city in Australia. Adelaide has an estimated population of more than 1.2 million...

, Shanghai and New York. He was a regular at the Kilkenny Cat Laughs
Cat Laughs
The Cat Laughs Comedy Festival is a comedy festival held over the first weekend in June each year in Kilkenny, Ireland. It was founded in 1994 in response to the burgeoning wealth of Irish comic talent with no clear national outlet for expression...

 and the Edinburgh Festival
Edinburgh Festival
The Edinburgh Festival is a collective term for many arts and cultural festivals that take place in Edinburgh, Scotland each summer, mostly in August...

, as well as making one notable appearance at the Just For Laughs
Just for Laughs
Just for Laughs is a comedy festival held each July in Montreal, Quebec, founded in 1983. It is the largest international comedy festival in the world.- Information :...

 festival in Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 in 2002 where he was offered a prestigious gala show because of his performances at the Irish showcase. Around this time Ó Briain presented the weekend mainstream game show It's a Family Affair for RTÉ
RTE
RTÉ is the abbreviation for Raidió Teilifís Éireann, the public broadcasting service of the Republic of Ireland.RTE may also refer to:* Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, 25th Prime Minister of Turkey...

. It was the first time he worked with former Channel 4 commissioning editor Séamus Cassidy. They later set up the production company Happy Endings Productions, and together they produced (and Ó Briain presented) the chat show Buried Alive (2003) and most famously in Ireland The Panel (2003–2006).

On March 12, 2011 Dara set a new Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records, known until 2000 as The Guinness Book of Records , is a reference book published annually, containing a collection of world records, both human achievements and the extremes of the natural world...

 title with Jack Whitehall
Jack Whitehall
Jack Peter Benedict Whitehall is an English comedian, television presenter and actor, best known for hosting the E4 show Big Brother's Big Mouth in 2008, Celebrity Big Brother's Big Mouth in January 2009, and the Channel 4 topical entertainment show the TNT Show.-Early life:Whitehall was born in...

 and Jon Richardson
Jon Richardson
Jon Richardson is a professional footballer, who is currently playing for Worcester City. A central defender, he was originally a trainee at Exeter City, making his debut in 1994...

, for hosting the 'Highest stand up comedy gig in the world', on a British Airways
British Airways
British Airways is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom, based in Waterside, near its main hub at London Heathrow Airport. British Airways is the largest airline in the UK based on fleet size, international flights and international destinations...

 flight in support of Comic Relief
Comic Relief
Comic Relief is an operating British charity, founded in 1985 by the comedy scriptwriter Richard Curtis and comedian Lenny Henry in response to famine in Ethiopia. The highlight of Comic Relief's appeal is Red Nose Day, a biennial telethon held in March, alternating with sister project Sport Relief...

.

Panel shows


The Panel was hosted by Ó Briain. Three times nominated for the Best Entertainment show IFTA
Irish Film and Television Awards
The Irish Film and Television Awards were first awarded in 2003. Its sole aim is to celebrate Ireland's notably talented film and television community...

 (Irish Film and Television Award) the show has a rotating cast of panelists, usually drawn from the world of Irish comedy, discussing the events of the week and interviewing guests. The most regular panelists have been Colin Murphy
Colin Murphy (comedian)
Colin Murphy is an Irish comedian. He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland but now lives in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland. He is best known for his television work hosting and co-writing The Blizzard of Odd, The Unbelievable Truth, and as resident panelist on The Panel for RTÉ and The Blame Game...

, Ed Byrne
Ed Byrne
Ed Byrne is a Perrier Award-nominated, Irish stand-up comedian, voice over artist and actor. He has presented television shows Uncut! Best Unseen Ads and Just for Laughs, and is a regular guest on various television panel games...

, Neil Delamere and Andrew Maxwell
Andrew Maxwell
Andrew Maxwell is an Irish stand-up comedian. Raised in Kilbarrack, Dublin, and now resident in London, he is a father of two. He regularly appears on The Panel.-Early life:...

.

Around 2002, with his profile rising across in the UK due to his one-man shows at the Edinburgh fringe festival
Edinburgh Fringe
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the world’s largest arts festival. Established in 1947 as an alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival, it takes place annually in Scotland's capital, in the month of August...

, Ó Briain began to make appearances on UK television shows such as Bring Me the Head of Light Entertainment (a Channel 5 production) and Never Mind the Buzzcocks
Never Mind the Buzzcocks
Never Mind the Buzzcocks is a comedy panel game television show with a pop music theme, currently without a permanent presenter. It stars Phill Jupitus and Noel Fielding as team captains. The show is produced by Talkback Thames for the BBC, and is usually aired on BBC Two...

. At the start of 2003 he hosted the second series of BBC Scotland
BBC Scotland
BBC Scotland is a constituent part of the British Broadcasting Corporation, the publicly-funded broadcaster of the United Kingdom. It is, in effect, the national broadcaster for Scotland, having a considerable amount of autonomy from the BBC's London headquarters, and is run by the BBC Trust, who...

's Live Floor Show
Live Floor Show
Live Floor Show was a television comedy show produced by BBC Scotland for three series from 2002–2003. The first two series, hosted by Greg Hemphill, were broadcast on BBC One Scotland...

. His big break in UK television came in 2003 when he appeared as a guest panelist on the popular news quiz, Have I Got News for You
Have I Got News for You
Have I Got News for You is a British television panel show produced by Hat Trick Productions for the BBC. It is based loosely on the BBC Radio 4 show The News Quiz, and has been broadcast since 1990, currently the BBC's longest-ever running television panel show...

, subsequently making several appearances as guest host of the show.

He was nominated in 2003 at the Chortle Comedy Awards for Live Comedy in the categories Best Compère and Best Headline Act (which he would go on to win). In 2004 he won the Best Headliner award again, as well as being nominated for Best Full-length Show. Since 2005 he has been the host of the comedy panel game Mock the Week
Mock the Week
Mock the Week is a British topical celebrity panel game hosted by Dara Ó Briain that launched in 2005. The game is influenced by improvised topical stand-up comedy, with several rounds requiring players to deliver answers on unexpected subjects on the spur of the moment.It is made by independent...

on BBC television, a blend between Have I Got News for You and Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Whose Line Is It Anyway? is a short-form improvisational comedy TV show. Originally a British radio programme, it moved to television in 1988 as a series made for the UK's Channel 4, for a 10 series run...

. He is a relatively frequent panelist on QI
QI
QI is a British comedy panel game television quiz show created and co-produced by John Lloyd, hosted by Stephen Fry, and featuring permanent panellist Alan Davies. Most of the questions are extremely obscure, making it unlikely that the correct answer will be given...

, and wrote about Ireland in the QI series E annual, and appears occasionally on Just a Minute
Just a Minute
Just a Minute is a BBC Radio 4 radio comedy panel game chaired by Nicholas Parsons. Its first transmission on Radio 4 was on 22 December 1967, three months after the station's launch. The Radio 4 programme won a Gold Sony Radio Academy Award in 2003....

on BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

. He has also appeared in and hosted the stand-up show Live at the Apollo.

Ó Briain starred in the BBC Radio
BBC Radio
BBC Radio is a service of the British Broadcasting Corporation which has operated in the United Kingdom under the terms of a Royal Charter since 1927. For a history of BBC radio prior to 1927 see British Broadcasting Company...

 show about "the world according to science". Episode 1 of "Infinite Monkey Cage" began on 30 November 2009 on Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

 at 16:30 GMT
Greenwich Mean Time
Greenwich Mean Time is a term originally referring to mean solar time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. It is arguably the same as Coordinated Universal Time and when this is viewed as a time zone the name Greenwich Mean Time is especially used by bodies connected with the United...

.

In 2010, Ó Briain hosted The Sixth series
The Apprentice (UK series six)
Series Six of The Apprentice is a British reality television series. The series started on BBC One on 6 October 2010 and ran for twelve weekly hour-long episodes, as in all previous years...

 of The Apprentice: You're Fired!
The Apprentice: You're Fired!
The Apprentice: You're Fired!, sometimes named You're Fired!, The Apprentice: You're Hired! or You're Hired!, is a British television show made by the BBC and filmed at Riverside Studios as a spin-off from the reality TV hit The Apprentice...

and appeared twice on the Sky1 show, A League of Their Own
A League of Their Own (game show)
A League of Their Own is a comedy panel game that was first broadcast on Sky1 on 11 March 2010. It is hosted by Gavin and Stacey star James Corden and features Andrew Flintoff and Jamie Redknapp as team captains and Georgie Thompson and John Bishop as regular panellists, alongside two weekly...

. He also presented the seventh series
The Apprentice (UK series seven)
Series Seven of The Apprentice is a British reality television series. The series started on BBC One on 10 May 2011, and ran for 12 hour-long weekly episodes, as in all previous years...

 in 2011.

From 3 to 5 January 2011 Ó Briain and Professor
Professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

 Brian Cox
Brian Cox (physicist)
Brian Edward Cox, OBE , is a British particle physicist, a Royal Society University Research Fellow and a professor at the University of Manchester. He is a member of the High Energy Physics group at the University of Manchester, and works on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at...

 presented Stargazing Live
Stargazing Live
Stargazing Live is a live television programme that was broadcast in 2011 for three evenings on BBC Two in the United Kingdom between 3 and 5 January, and will be returning in 2012 on 16-18 January. In 2011 it featured scientist and TV presenter Brian Cox, comedian and amateur astronomer Dara Ó...

on BBC Two
BBC Two
BBC Two is the second television channel operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom. It covers a wide range of subject matter, but tending towards more 'highbrow' programmes than the more mainstream and popular BBC One. Like the BBC's other domestic TV and radio...

, three programmmes based at the Jodrell Bank Observatory, scheduled to coincide with the conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus, a partial solar eclipse
Solar eclipse of January 4, 2011
The solar eclipse of January 4, 2011 was a partial eclipse of the Sun that was visible after sunrise over most of Europe , northwestern and South Asia. It ended at sunset over eastern Asia...

, and the Quadrantid
Quadrantids
The Quadrantids are an easily visible January meteor shower.The radiant of this shower is an area inside the constellation Boötes. The name comes from Quadrans Muralis, an obsolete constellation that is now part of Boötes...

 meteor shower
Meteor shower
A meteor shower is a celestial event in which a number of meteors are observed to radiate from one point in the night sky. These meteors are caused by streams of cosmic debris called meteoroids entering Earth's atmosphere at extremely high speeds on parallel trajectories. Most meteors are smaller...

.

Tours, chat shows and writing


Since 2006 Ó Briain has starred in the BBC's Three Men in a Boat
Three Men in a Boat (TV Series)
Three Men in a Boat is a television comedy/documentary series produced by Liberty Bell Productions for BBC Two starring Dara Ó Briain, Rory McGrath and Griff Rhys Jones, first shown in January 2006...

series, alongside Griff Rhys Jones
Griff Rhys Jones
Griffith "Griff" Rhys Jones is a Welsh comedian, writer, actor, television presenter and personality. Jones came to national attention in the early 1980s for his work in the BBC television comedy sketch shows Not the Nine O'Clock News and Alas Smith and Jones along with his comedy partner Mel Smith...

 and Rory McGrath
Rory McGrath
Patrick Rory McGrath is an English comedian and writer. He is best known for roles in Who Dares Wins, Chelmsford 123, Three Men in a Boat and its successors. He was also a regular panellist on They Think It's All Over....

. The series has included the trio rowing the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

, as in the 1889 novel of the same name, sailing from London to the Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a county and the largest island of England, located in the English Channel, on average about 2–4 miles off the south coast of the county of Hampshire, separated from the mainland by a strait called the Solent...

 for a sail boat race, borrowing numerous vessels
Watercraft
A watercraft is a vessel or craft designed to move across or through water. The name is derived from the term "craft" which was used to describe all types of water going vessels...

 to make their way from Plymouth
Plymouth
Plymouth is a city and unitary authority area on the coast of Devon, England, about south-west of London. It is built between the mouths of the rivers Plym to the east and Tamar to the west, where they join Plymouth Sound...

 to the Isles of Scilly
Isles of Scilly
The Isles of Scilly form an archipelago off the southwestern tip of the Cornish peninsula of Great Britain. The islands have had a unitary authority council since 1890, and are separate from the Cornwall unitary authority, but some services are combined with Cornwall and the islands are still part...

. In 2009 the three took to the Irish canals and rivers on a trip from Dublin to Limerick
Limerick
Limerick is the third largest city in the Republic of Ireland, and the principal city of County Limerick and Ireland's Mid-West Region. It is the fifth most populous city in all of Ireland. When taking the extra-municipal suburbs into account, Limerick is the third largest conurbation in the...

. In 2010 they explored the Isles of Scotland. Other notable television work includes hosting the BBC sitcom writing competition "Last Laugh".

In 2005, Ó Briain's show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was the biggest selling solo comedy show of the festival. On 14 September 2005, he appeared as a guest on Room 101
Room 101 (TV series)
Room 101 is a BBC comedy television series based on the radio series of the same name, in which celebrities were invited to discuss their pet hates and persuade the host to consign them to a fate worse than death in Room 101, named after the torture room in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, which is...

, where he got rid of children's television presenters (originating from his co-presenters on Echo Island) and once-in-a-lifetime experiences (he was given a once-in-a-lifetime experience on the show, by being the second guest, the first being former host Nick Hancock, to pull the lever that opens the chute to Room 101), banter, Gillian McKeith
Gillian McKeith
Gillian McKeith is a Scottish nutritionist, television presenter, and writer. She is the former host in the UK of Channel 4's You Are What You Eat and Granada Television's Dr Gillian McKeith's Feel Fab Forever, and as of 2010 presents Eat Yourself Sexy on the W Network in Canada...

 (host of You Are What You Eat) and magicians.

Ó Briain conducted his third and largest multinational tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland in early 2006. This included shows at the Theatre Royal
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane is a West End theatre in Covent Garden, in the City of Westminster, a borough of London. The building faces Catherine Street and backs onto Drury Lane. The building standing today is the most recent in a line of four theatres at the same location dating back to 1663,...

, MEN Arena, Symphony Hall
Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Symphony Hall is a 2,262 seat concert venue located inside the International Convention Centre in Birmingham, England. It was officially opened by the Queen in June 1991, although had been opened on April 15, 1991. It is home to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and hosts around 270 events...

, Grand Opera House, as well as 9 nights in Dublin at Vicar Street
Vicar Street
Vicar Street is a concert and events venue in Ireland, located on Thomas Street, Dublin 8. Its capacity allows for 1,000 people for seated performances, and 1,500 people for standing gigs...

. His second night in the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane is a West End theatre in Covent Garden, in the City of Westminster, a borough of London. The building faces Catherine Street and backs onto Drury Lane. The building standing today is the most recent in a line of four theatres at the same location dating back to 1663,...

, in London was recorded for his first live DVD. His fourth multinational tour followed in late 2007, which as he says in his routine has "no title" but was almost entitled "You Had to Be There". Ó Briain has also been an extensive newspaper columnist, with pieces published in many national papers in both the UK and Ireland, from The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times (UK)
The Sunday Times is a Sunday broadsheet newspaper, distributed in the United Kingdom. The Sunday Times is published by Times Newspapers Ltd, a subsidiary of News International, which is in turn owned by News Corporation. Times Newspapers also owns The Times, but the two papers were founded...

to The Daily Telegraph. On 9 August 2006, he hosted the first edition of his new celebrity chat show, Turn Back Time
Turn Back Time (TV)
Turn Back Time started on 9 August 2006, and is hosted by Dara Ó Briain. In the show, famous faces reveal what they regret doing, and not doing, in their life....

.

Ó Briain released his first book on 1 October 2009, the book is entitled Tickling the English and is about what he perceives it means to be English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

. As part of its promotion he has stated that he is a great fan of English culture and a student of English history
History of England
The history of England concerns the study of the human past in one of Europe's oldest and most influential national territories. What is now England, a country within the United Kingdom, was inhabited by Neanderthals 230,000 years ago. Continuous human habitation dates to around 12,000 years ago,...

, his favourite periods being the Gin Craze
Gin Craze
The Gin Craze was a period in the first half of the 18th century when the consumption of gin increased rapidly in Great Britain, especially in London...

 and the civil war
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

. In a review of Tickling the English Ó Briain was described as Sir Terry Wogan
Terry Wogan
Sir Michael Terence Wogan, KBE, DL , or also known as Terry Wogan, is a veteran Irish radio and television broadcaster who holds dual Irish and British citizenship. Wogan has worked for the BBC in the United Kingdom for most of his career...

's heir apparent
Heir apparent
An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person who is first in line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting, except by a change in the rules of succession....

 as Britain's "favourite Irishman".

Ó Briain hosted the British Academy Video Games Awards in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The awards were streamed live for the first time in 2010 at BAFTA.org and again in 2011.

In 2011, Ó Briain took part in two shows of the 16-date Uncaged Monkeys tour with names such as Professor Brian Cox
Brian Cox (physicist)
Brian Edward Cox, OBE , is a British particle physicist, a Royal Society University Research Fellow and a professor at the University of Manchester. He is a member of the High Energy Physics group at the University of Manchester, and works on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at...

, Robin Ince
Robin Ince
Robin Ince is an English stand-up comedian, actor and writer. He is best known for presenting the BBC radio show The Infinite Monkey Cage .-Stand-up comedy:...

, Ben Goldacre
Ben Goldacre
Ben Michael Goldacre born 1974 is a British science writer, doctor and psychiatrist. He is the author of The Guardian newspaper's weekly Bad Science column and a book of the same title, published by Fourth Estate in September 2008....

, Simon Singh
Simon Singh
Simon Lehna Singh, MBE is a British author who has specialised in writing about mathematical and scientific topics in an accessible manner....

 and Chris Addison
Chris Addison
Chris Addison is an English stand-up comedian, writer and actor. He is known for his lecture-style comedy shows, two of which he later adapted for BBC Radio 4...

.

Personal life


Ó Briain married his wife Susan, a surgeon, in 2006 and they have a daughter, born in 2008. Tickling the English, Dara O'Briain. O'Briain says that his daughter was born during his Dara O'Briain Talks Funny Tour in 2008. His best man at his wedding was fellow comedian Ed Byrne. He describes himself as looking like "one of Tony Soprano
Tony Soprano
Anthony John "Tony" Soprano, Sr. is an Italian-American fictional character and the protagonist on the HBO television drama series The Sopranos, on which he is portrayed by James Gandolfini. The character was conceived by The Sopranos creator and show runner David Chase, who was also largely...

's henchmen", and admits that, "living in London I probably only get recognised about once a day. And that's okay by me. I'm not a celebrity. And I certainly don't see myself as one."

Ó Briain has said he sees himself as an atheist, but "ethnically Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

": "I'm staunchly atheist, I simply don’t believe in God. But I'm still Catholic
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

, of course. Catholicism has a much broader reach than just the religion. I'm technically Catholic, it's the box you have to tick on the census form: 'Don't believe in God, but I do still hate Rangers
Rangers F.C.
Rangers Football Club are an association football club based in Glasgow, Scotland, who play in the Scottish Premier League. The club are nicknamed the Gers, Teddy Bears and the Light Blues, and the fans are known to each other as bluenoses...

.'"

His surname is the original Irish form of O'Brien. He admitted, "My dad was involved in the Irish language movement and changed it. Even Irish people are now confused by it".

He is a keen Arsenal F.C.
Arsenal F.C.
Arsenal Football Club is a professional English Premier League football club based in North London. One of the most successful clubs in English football, it has won 13 First Division and Premier League titles and 10 FA Cups...

 fan.

In his stand-up show, he's been known to note that he's "a gamer, and proud to be a gamer", stating his favourite games include the Gears of War
Gears of War (series)
Gears of War is a science fiction video game franchise created and owned by Epic Games and published by Microsoft Studios. The three games that currently make up the series take place on the fictional planet Sera and focus on a war between humans and creatures known as Locust...

 series.
Ó Briain was one of fifteen members of a racing greyhound syndicate for several years. The December 2009 transmission of Three Men Go To Ireland featured their dog Snip Nua
Snip Nua
Snip Nua was a racing greyhound who featured in the BBC television show Three Men go to Ireland.-Biography:Born in the spring of 2008, Snip Nua was a racing greyhound who became famous because she featured in the BBC television show Three men go to Ireland, which was broadcast over the Christmas...

 who, by the time of transmission, had been put down
Animal euthanasia
Animal euthanasia is the act of putting to death painlessly or allowing to die, as by withholding extreme medical measures, an animal suffering from an incurable, especially a painful, disease or condition. Euthanasia methods are designed to cause minimal pain and distress...

 following injuries sustained in a race. Ó Briain was so upset about the death that he and his fellow syndicate members immediately disbanded the syndicate permanently. In early 2010 a series of small demonstrations were held outside some of Ó Briain's tour venues, urging him to publicly denounce the sport of greyhound racing
Greyhound racing
Greyhound racing is the sport of racing greyhounds. The dogs chase a lure on a track until they arrive at the finish line. The one that arrives first is the winner....

 due to the dog's death.

Stand-Up DVDs

Title Released Notes
Live At The Theatre Royal 13 November 2006 Live at London's Theatre Royal
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane is a West End theatre in Covent Garden, in the City of Westminster, a borough of London. The building faces Catherine Street and backs onto Drury Lane. The building standing today is the most recent in a line of four theatres at the same location dating back to 1663,...

Talks Funny - Live in London 17 November 2008 Live at London's HMV Hammersmith Apollo
This Is the Show 22 November 2010 Live at London's HMV Hammersmith Apollo

External links