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Dara O'Briain

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Dara O'Briain is a stand-up comedian, and television presenter, 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 succcesful 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 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 stage he had moved to the UK and was working on the British circuit full-time. 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. He has just finished hosting the third series of the comedy panel game Mock the Week on BBC television, and other notable televison work 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, also for the BBC and the comedy interview programme "Turn Back Time". In 2006, he conducted his third and largest national tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland. This included 66 shows across the UK as well as 9 nights sold out in Dublin. His second night in The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London was recorded for his first live DVD, released on November 13 2006.


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