Dara O'Briain Fires Back As Andrew Neil Suggests Mock The Week 'Deserved' To Be Axed

Dara O'Briain and Andrew Neil
Dara O'Briain and Andrew Neil
Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

Mock The Week host Dara O’Briain has fired back at broadcaster Andrew Neil after he hinted the panel show “deserved” to be taken off air.

Announcing the news on Tuesday, the BBC said that while they “are really proud of the show”, they had “taken the difficult decision in order to create room for new shows”.

Following this, Andrew – who left the BBC in 2020 to start the ill-fated station GB News – tweeted a link to a column in The Spectator with the headline: “Mock The Week deserved to be cancelled.”

Poking fun at Andrew’s short stint at GB News, Dara fired back: “Still, at least I didn’t bail on it after two weeks and fuck off to my house in France, eh Andrew? All the best!”

Dara later joked: “Have really enjoyed all the chat about Mock today. It’s been really sweet, thank you.

“And people have been kindly checking I still have work after this. Of course I do! Exciting news: I’m in the new Batgirl movie! I got an e-mail today about release dates, must check that.”

Speaking to Newsnight shortly after the announcement, Dara admitted: “It would have been nice to have carried on, but in many ways when the announcement came, when I found about it, it kind of got engulfed by theatres reopening after the pandemic which in many ways is more important to our working lives.”

He added: “But you can have a moment of reflection and say ‘we had 17 years of it’ – so not a bad innings.”

Dara previously said of the BBC’s decision: “That’s it folks, the UK has finally run out of news. The storylines were getting crazier and crazier – global pandemics, divorce from Europe, novelty short-term prime ministers. It couldn’t go on.

“And so, regretfully, we are closing the doors on Dara and Hugh’s Academy for Baby Comedians. We just couldn’t be more silly than the news was already.”

The upcoming eight instalments of Mock The Week, set to air in the autumn, will be the last, marking the end of the popular panel show after 21 series and more than 200 episodes.

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