Bafta nominee Ó Briain drafted in to host awards

He’s already become one of Ireland’s most successful ever comic export to Britain, where he fronts a string of prime time TV shows.

But Dara Ó Briain’s popularity has hit new heights across the water, so much so that he could be presenting himself with a coveted award this weekend.

Ó Briain has been drafted in to compére the Baftas on Sunday night, even though he has been nominated for a gong in the Best Entertainment Performance category alongside fellow Irishman Graham Norton and funnymen Alan Carr and Harry Hill.

But the 40-year-old is playing down his chances of lifting an award for his long-running political satire show Mock The Week.

“It’s slightly irritating that I don’t get to sit back and bask in the nomination. This year my shows have been up for an RTS award, a Broadcast award and an NTA and not won, so it could be four out of four.”

Ó Briain, from Bray, Co Wicklow, is taking on hosting duties for the first time, because regular presenter Norton has been dispatched to Azerbaijan to lead the BBC’s Eurovision coverage.

But despite being omnipresent on British TV, he said even he would turn down the Eurovision gig.

“I’ll leave that one to him [Norton]. I’ve never understood Eurovision, even when we were winning it year on year. We’ve sent over Jedward again this time — that marks the point at which Ireland just went, ‘Who cares’. I won’t be watching but good luck to Graham, I’ll keep his Bafta chair warm.”

However, despite his growing TV commitments he stressed stand-up is his first love. In an interview with this week’s TV Times, he continued: “I just want to write at least a couple more tour shows. All the telly stuff is a joy but that’s incidental — if I can play a 2,000-seater room and just have fun, that’s the point I would like to stay at.”

Ó Briain’s voice is also to feature in Etihad Skyline Tour at Croke Park. The tour opens to the public on June 1. Ó Briain will provide the introduction to the narrative which visitors will hear through audio guides.

The tour offers panoramic views of Dublin City and surroundings.


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