The comedian and TV presenter on his new children’s book and standup show, being starstruck by Stephen Hawking, and David Beckham’s weird way with Lego
Wicklow-born Dara Ó Briain, 45, studied maths and theoretical physics at University College Dublin. In the mid-90s he became a children’s TV presenter and standup comic. He has hosted panel show Mock the Week for 12 years, and also presents BBC2’s revival of Robot Wars and astronomy series Stargazing Live. He has now written a children’s book about space.
You’re currently writing your next standup show. How’s it going?
Slowly. I’m two months away from the tour so I’m staring at a wall of scribbles and half-formed ideas. The process is driven by failure and wine. But it basically gets written on stage. I’ve been doing low-key preview shows in Edinburgh, and it’s the prospect of failure that lights the creative fire. The cold, unamused stare of the audience is a great motivator.