Stand & deliver
DARA O'Briain has become one of our best-loved TV faces.
The Irish comedian, who comes to Cheltenham Racecourse on Thursday, has gained a huge following hosting a wide range of programmes, including the consistently brilliant topical panel game, Mock The Week, the hit show about wannabe entrepreneurs, The Apprentice – Your Fired! and the enormously popular astronomy programme, Stargazing Live.
But now he is returning to his first love, once again travelling round the country with a brand new show, Craic Dealer Live, and reminding us why he is
one of the finest stand-ups on the circuit.
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He said: "There is no greater pleasure than doing stand-up.
"When you tie a bow on a routine or find a gag that is unique to that night, the sense of satisfaction is immense. I can't wait to start touring again."
One of Dara's greatest strengths as a stand-up is his spontaneous exchanges with the audience.
He said: "I get such a thrill from my audience. They remain a great untapped resource. I love interacting with them. They go in directions I would never have thought of.
"One of the things that makes stand-up great and different from any other art form is that it's so reactive. The audience can feel the tension when it is off-the-cuff and can sense that it's unique. It's great fun."
Dara admits that the difficult part of stand-up is finding topics to talk about, but said: "Once you have found them, your natural stance takes off. This far into a career, you're like a sitcom character. Your persona takes over. Mine is argumentative but with a tendency towards misadventure. It's not the most catchy title in the world, is it?"
Dara will also address the subject of ageing.
He said: "There is a long section about whether we genuinely shift to the right as we get older.
"Once we reach a certain age, are we on the slippery slope of golf club membership and reading other people's planning applications? Is it just a lifetime of fighting tiny battles?"
Tickets for Thursday night's show have sold out, but fans can still catch Dara at the Birmingham Hippodrome on Sunday, November 4.
For tickets, which cost £21, log on to www.birminghamhippodrometickets.com.