OBriain spent his early television career as a childrens TV presenter, working on Irelands bilingual Echo Island. His cheerful disposition and sense of fun made him ideal for this role, but the affable giant (he is six feet four inches in height) was soon working as a team captain on topical panel show Dont Feed The Gondolas. In the role for two years between 1998 and 2000, OBriain also continued his work in stand up, eventually leaving the show in order to perform at comedy festivals in Australia.
OBriain studied maths and theoretical physics at University College Dublin, where he founded a student newspaper (the University Observer) and was an active member of the debating society. It was during his university days that he discovered his love of comedy performing and decided to pursue a career as a stand-up.
During his career, OBriain has worked on numerous shows both in his native Ireland and in the UK. His appearances alongside Rory McGrath and Griff Rhys Jones in the Three Men in a Boat series further enhanced his reputation as he added his uniquely comic take on events during adventures on river, canal and the high seas. Daras appearances on The Apprentice: Youre Fired have also earned him widespread acclaim and have helped fans of The Apprentice to enjoy a light-hearted catch-up with contestants.
In 2003, OBriain and Seamus Cassidy co-founded Happy Endings Productions, which has since produced more than one hundred hours of programming for British and Irish television, including a show hosted by Dara, the highly successful The Panel. In 2009, Dara published his first book, Tickling the English, but he was already no stranger to writing, having produced a football column for the Guardian in 2009 and 2010 (in which he mostly discussed Arsenal!)
Able to entertain millions as a quiz host and presenter and one of the best stand-up comedians of his generation, Dara O'Briain is a brilliant after dinner speaker who combines topical humour with natural warmth.
Voted the 16th greatest stand-up comic by Channel 4 in 2010 and the winner of two Chortle Awards, Dara OBriain has become one of the UK and Irelands most popular comedians and presenters. Still best known for his work as the host of the BBCs topical quiz Mock The Week and RTɒs The Panel, OBriain has recently begun to combine his love of science with his love of presenting, becoming the face of School of Hard Sums and Stargazing Live.
"One of the most dependably entertaining stand-up comics in the land" - The Times.
"O'Briain has a laser eye for the absurd and the spurious" - The Guardian.
Testimonial for Tickling the English: "A master-class in intelligent stand-up...It's thoughtful stuff, impeccably delivered. With material this strong, you don't need gimmicks." - The Guardian.