Dara O Briain is one of the UK and Ireland’s favourite stand-up comedians and television presenters. He is best known for hosting Mock the Week, Blockbusters, Robot Wars, Three Men in a Boat, Dara and Ed’s Great Big Adventure, Stargazing Live, Dara O Briain’s Science Club, and the documentary Dara O Briain Meets Stephen Hawking, all on the BBC. Most recently Dara fronted a Channel 4 quiz One and Six Zeroes, with the aim to give away a million pounds.
Dara 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 read Mathematical Physics.
Dara came to prominence in Ireland as host of topical panel show Don’t Feed the Gondolas. He had to leave the show midway through its fifth season in order to perform at the Adelaide and Melbourne comedy festivals.
Dara later co-founded the television production company Happy Endings Productions, whose most famous show in Ireland is The Panel. The show became one of the most talked about shows in Ireland and was twice nominated for the Best Entertainment Show IFTA (Irish Film and Television Award). His big break in UK television came in 2003 when he became host of BBC Two’s The 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 has hosted 18 successful series of the comedy panel game Mock the Week for the BBC, and recently hosted BBC Two’s reboot of Robot Wars. He also hosted BBC Two’s The Apprentice: You’re Fired for three years.
Other notable television work sees Dara as an integral member of the Three Men in a Boat, alongside Griff Rhys Jones and Rory McGrath. In 2007 Dara fronted the BBC comedy interview programme Turn Back Time and since 2011, co-hosted BBC One’s astronomical show Stargazing Live alongside Professor Brian Cox.
Dara is also one of the most sought-after award show hosts in Britain, and regularly hosts the BAFTA Games Awards.
Dara tours regularly, and has performed shows all over world, from Moscow to Sydney, Tromsø to Malta, and has recorded five live DVDs for Universal Pictures. He also holds the record for the most appearances in a year for Dublin’s legendary Vicar Street. His previous shows include: Live at the Theatre Royal (2006), Dara O Briain Talks Funny: Live in London (2008), This Is the Show (2010), Craic Dealer (2012) and Crowd Tickler (2015).
Dara’s latest tour Voice of Reason has been performed across the globe, touring in the UK and Ireland, Scandinavia, mainland Europe, Australia, and the Middle East. It was filmed by the BBC in 2020 for a live stand-up special that was broadcast on New Year’s Day.
Dara released the bestselling book Tickling the English in 2009, and more recently his non-fiction children’s book about space, Beyond the Sky, was nominated for Best Book with Facts at the 2018 Blue Peter Book Awards. In 2018 Dara wrote the follow up book, Secret Science – The Amazing World Beyond Your Eyes, which was received with great critical acclaim. 2020 saw the release of Dara’s third children’s book Is There Anybody Out There, again with Scholastic.
Dara will be touring the world in 2022/23 with his brand-new show So, Where Were We?