Funnyman Dara O' Briain’s talents were challenged on social media last night in a rapidly escalating and expletive-filled row.
The Irish comedian and television presenter was obviously in fighting form as he argued passionately with the 'troll', assisted by a number of his following Twitterati.
“C@*t” was the word of the night as Alan Osler – musician and music teacher according to his bio – launched a scathing attack on Dara, known for shows such as Don't Feed the Gondolas, and Have I Got News for You.
“Hi Dara - congratulations - you won the TV C@*t award. Mainly because you keep saying 'aaaaa',” began the long-running heated exchange from @alan_osler.
The correspondence started off harmless enough with Alan even congratulating Dara for being such a good sport – but the mood rapidly declined when the comedian stepped it up a notch.
“Well, let me accept this award as it was intended; a powerless gesture from some trolls to get noticed. Bravo!” he posted on his Twitter page, much to the disgust of Mr Osler.
“And just like that, Dara becomes a c@*t again. Well done for s@*ting on yourself Dara, you melon headed unfunny c@*t,” came the reply from @alan_osler.
Fans began to weigh in on the argument after the c-word was used several more times – and mainly on behalf of the Mock the Week host.
Luke Orru (@lukeorru) simply posted: “Alan you're an ugly little man tbh.”
And this followed with a sarcastic note from @GlennFarbrother. “Cracking sideburns pal, I could find endangered species in there.”
But even Dara himself came under fire from some quarters for bullying Mr Osler using his fanbase and ‘mob’ tactics.
“I've received an avalanche of abuse from Dara's followers for even daring question him,” complained @janhopis.
However, a response from Dara: “Listen, I'm being rude to a friend sitting in a gaming "lobby" in cyberspace, but good to talk!” elicited a more favourable response.
“Well okay, fair enough! I stand by you being sh@8ty but I do appreciate you've bothered to engage,” @janhopis tweeted.
And Dara qualified, using capital letters for good measure that he did not need his fan’s online support, posting “I now have people complaining that I'm bullying the troll. So, for the avoidance of doubt, again. NO TWEETS TO THAT GUY!”
At one point, the comedian – who has also featured on QI – seemed confused as to where his ire should be directed.
“I don't even know who I'm outraged at myself now,” he quipped.
Yet most on Twitter last night took the banter for all it was – mindless, if amusing, tit-for-tat that is rife on the social media platform that tweeters have grown to both love and hate.