Mock The Week Host Dara O'Briain Addresses BBC's Decision To Axe The Show After 17 Years

"It would have been nice to have carried on."
Dara O'Briain on the set of Mock The Week
Dara O'Briain on the set of Mock The Week

Dara O’Briain has spoken out about the BBC’s decision not to renew Mock The Week after 17 years on the air.

The Irish comic has fronted all 21 series of Mock The Week, which was revealed to be coming to an end on Tuesday afternoon.

Announcing the news, 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”.

Speaking to Newsnight on Tuesday evening, 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.”

Responding to accusations the show had become “too Remoanery” in recent years, Dara also said: “You’re drawing on a pool of comedians, who generally – there are very few Brexiteer comedians. It did have a stab, at perhaps recognising that the issue was about sovereignty as much as it ever was about immigration.

“It was always a clumsy tool, there were seven voices speaking. I always bristle when people call it satire. When there’s seven different people speaking at a time, it’s very difficult to have a coherent political stance.”

Dara posing with Mock The Week regular Hugh Dennis
Dara posing with Mock The Week regular Hugh Dennis

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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