- 31 Oct 19
With a new series of Mock The Week about to commence, Dara Ó Briain discusses the show's remarkable longevity, as well as the shifting landscape of comedy, getting caught in the crossfire of the Danny Baker Twitter storm, and how he approached the gay marriage and abortion referendum campaigns. Plus, he shares his thoughts on Brexit, The Apprentice, the GAA, and more.
On the occasion of Hot Press' 40th anniversary issue last year, Dara Ó Briain feigned outrage over the magazine ignoring a submission of his back in the midsts of time. "I still haven't forgiven it!" cries Ó Briain, ahead of the resumption of Mock The Week, the topical panel show that's been going strong for 14 years.
In the topsy-turvy world of TV, it's no mean achievement. But for all of the TV projects Ó Briain regularly works on, it's touring that remains the fulcrum of his working life. Based in London, the comic – a married father of two – enjoys such international popularity that he regularly performs throughout Europe, as well as in Russia, Australia, New Zealand, the US and Aisa.
With Mock The Week set to gear back up on Friday night, alongside potential new Brexit developments, Ó Briain is sure there will be plenty of ground to cover.
"It could be really exciting – it could be one normal episode, followed by the 'We're all wearing poppies and no longer part of Europe' episode," explained Ó Briain in a recent interview with Hot Press.
However, talking about Brexit is by no means easy comedy. "The general level of knowledge about Northern Ireland is astonishingly bad," Ó Briain admits. "To the extent that I can't even mock it on Mock The Week, because they don't know what I'm mocking. I've attempted several times to go, you know, 'And now they're trying to take the votes off Sinn Fein!', or whatever. Silence, tumbleweed."
Luckily, there's plenty more to talk about aside from Brexit, including a recent Twitter spat with the BBC's Danny Baker who tweeted a racist comment about the royal baby.
"I stood next to that fire, and the heat off of it was ludicrous," Dara recalls.
Although he considered leaving Twitter after the spat (and on numerous other occasions), he admits he's always stayed around in the end. "I don't tweet anywhere like I used to, and I don't engage anywhere like I used to, because this stuff tired me out."
Instead, he's kept his eye on other pastimes, such as featuring in a spin-off of The Apprentice and his affinity for the GAA. He follows hurling closely and has high hopes for a particular young Kerry team.
To read the full interview with Dara Ó Briain, grab a copy of the latest issue of Hot Press, which hits stands today and is available online below.