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One of the biggest comedy tours of the last year was Dara O Briain. He played 75 dates in theatres all over the UK and Ireland, to sold-out houses and huge acclaim.
On the telly, Dara's stewardship of BBC2's Mock The Week brought it to record viewing features, with four series and more planned. At the end of 2006 Dara released his new DVD 'Dara O Briain Live at the Theatre Royal' which is the record of one incredible night in London's West End, and of the show which triumphed up and down the country.
What the critics said about the 2006 Tour
'A reminder of just how royally an audience can be treated and how uplifting stand-up can be. The Big bald Irishman takes nothing for granted, expending more physical energy than seems possible in stoking laughter levels to their molten maximum. Go marvel.'
Dominic Cavendish - The Daily Telegraph
'In 2005 I likened O Briain to an intellectual Peter Kay. This time round he may have even moved up a gear to classic-era Billy Connolly, effortlessly riffing at the drop of a hat and constantly displaying a lightning fast wit. He simply does what he does brilliantly, spinning seamless scripted material and audience banter together to produce pure comic gold'
Bruce Dessau - The Evening Standard
As well as his live work, Dara O Briain is popularly known in the UK for hosting BBC 2's Mock the Week, and in Ireland for hosting RTE 2's The Panel. He is one the few performers to host successful comedy shows in both the UK and his native Ireland at the same time. This was the third series of the topical comedy show Mock the Week on BBC television, and the show's ratings went from 1.7 million for the first episode to three million viewers by the last show. The show returns on BBC2 in January.
Other notable televison work in 2006 includes two documentaries re-creating the legendary British comedy novel 'Three Men in a Boat', where he rowed down the Thames with Griff Rhys Jones and Rory McGrath and the interview programme 'Turn Back Time' in which he quizzed various comedy legends including Barry Humphries, Vic Reeves and Terry Jones.
Dara started his career in television as a children's presenter on RT whilst performing his first stand-up gigs on the Irish comedy circuit, after studying at University College, Dublin, where he did a degree in Mathematical Physics. He spent three years as a presenter on the bilingual (Irish and English) children's programme Echo Island but came to prominence as a team captain on the topical panel show Don't Feed The Gondolas (1998-2000). He left the show midway through its fifth season in order to perform at the Adelaide and Melbourne comedy festivals.
Dara later co-founded the televison production company Happy Endings Productions, whose most famous show in Ireland is The Panel (2003-onwards). The show has become one of the most talked about shows in Ireland and was twice nominated for the Best Entertainment show IFTA (Irish Film and Televison Award). His big break in UK television came in 2003 when he became host of BBC2's Live Floor Show. This was 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 was based in the UK full-time and gigging there constantly. This paid off when he 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, and was rewarded when the show was recorded for inclusion in the BBC1 series Jack Dee Live at the Apollo. Dara has been a regular on television's top stand-up showcases and has made regular appearances on, among others, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Parkinson and QI.
When not touring or televising, Dara can either be found fronting prominent awards ceremonies and corporate events, or devising more telly projects with his company .
'An excellent show, drenched in truth and intelligence, by a comedian at the top of his game, 5 stars'
'Genuinely imaginative and ridiculously funny'
'If you don't laugh at O Briain, check your pulse, you must be dead.'
Bruce Dessau, The Independent
'One of the biggest and best comics in the countryReal class.'
'This is 100 per cent, grade A, pure uncut stand-up - and it's simply brilliant. O Briain's simply an astonishingly funny comic, hitting scorching form. 5 stars'
'O Briain is phenomenal'
'O Briain's solo shows just get better and better'
Video of Dara O Briain
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