Dara O Briain Profile

He's large, he's funny, and he has too many i's in his name, Say hello to Irish comedian Dara O Briain.

Dara O Briain

The ringleader of mirth on Mock The Week may have lost his hair but his tongue's only getting sharper. It would be a very foolish person who'd attempt to get one over on this giant Irish wit.

Born in County Wicklow, Dara's education was unusual not only because of his remarkable academic success, with 9 As in his leaving cert, but also because he went to a Gaelic language school. Dara isn't just funny; he's funny in two languages.

Having taken the impressively geeky combo of Physics and Maths at University College Dublin, Dara also got his teeth into the art of the argument, winning a whole raft of awards for his debating skills in English and Gaelic. Not a natural choice, then, to become a children's presenter it would seem, but that's exactly what Dara did after graduating.

Luckily for comedy fans, and Dara's sanity no doubt, the kids' TV gig was purely to pay the rent - and the petrol to get him up and down the country for his stand-up shows. Not for the last time in his career Dara began to catch the eye on a panel show, called Don't Feed The Gondolas, and was soon catapulted into the big leagues on the stand-up circuit.

More panel-show success followed, with Dara hosting The Panel on Irish telly, all the while bagging guest slots on hit shows like Have I Got News For You and Never Mind the Buzzcocks across the Irish Sea. He doesn't only do quiz shows however, as his appearances on Three Men in a Boat and Live at the Apollo testify. Landing the job as presenter on Mock the Week not only meant he'd almost completed the full set of quizcoms, but that he'd also well and truly arrived as a star in the UK.

Now an established wit and huge live stand-up draw, Dara's clever observations about life, love and religion, not to mention his bi-lingual brilliance, has seen him cast off the children's TV spectre for good. Well, that and his appearance on Room 101 where he condemned children's TV presenters to the abyss along with Gillian McKeith - a fate worse than death, surely?

In 2010 Dara pushed Adrian Chiles to one side (woohoo!) taking over as the host on The Apprentice: You're Fired! Disguised behind his Santa-like chuckle, Dara manages to come across as a big friendly giant. But because we know he's also a guy who could easily have been holed up in a lab covered in chalk figuring out how to reinvent the wheel, Dara can outwit them all - without having to tell them he's been running his own business since he was eighteen or demanding that they all call him Lord. We're just sayin', like...

Hailed as the new Sir Terry Wogan for being Britain's favourite Irishman, Dara, with his giant frame and shiny head, could quite happily slot in as a long lost Mitchell brother in EastEnders - if EastEnders were suddenly able to cope with sentences longer than "alright babe" that is. But Dara is no nightclub guarding bruiser; instead he's given an unlikely comic voice to geeky science kids everywhere - almost as if Einstein had discovered alcohol and life beyond the Petri dish.

Most of the time Dara claims that he is holed up playing video games (conquering the world is clearly something he likes to achieve in all arenas) but his comments on society are so accurate, we imagine that even the Queen takes notes. Hell, we like to think of her holed up in the Palace calling the Duke of Edinburgh an eejit.

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