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Funnyman Dara O Briain lands his own BBC chatshow

LYNNE KELLEHER IRISH comic Dara O Briain is set to rival TV giants Jonathan Ross and Parkinson after landing a new BBC chat show.

The sharp-tongued comedian has wowed BBC bosses with his hilarious performances on the satirical shows Have I Got News For You, Mock The Weekand The Last Laugh. Now the presenter of RTE's The Panel, who is already a household name in Ireland and England, has landed his own celebrity chat show, Turn Back Time. The Wicklow comic has been a guest on Parkinsonand Friday Night with Jonathan Ross. Now he is set to interview celebrity guests on his own show, Turn Back Time, which will use stills and archive footage of his guests' various exploits to look back over their careers.

The celebrities then investigate what they would change about their lives if they could turn back the clock. In the first show, the Irish host dresses up in drag with Monty Pythonstar Terry Jones.

The series, which is constructed along a biographical timeline, features a mixture of the curious, poignant, trivial and hilarious elements that make up a lifetime.

Dara's first guest, Terry Jones, confesses to an allergy to kissing men with moustaches, and talks about how Monty Python rescued Spam from oblivion. Drawing on his Python experiences, he teaches the 6'4" Irishman how to look and speak like a woman.

Other guests will include Vic Reeves, Johnny Vegas, Phill Jupitus, Ruby Wax and Barry Humphries.

The comedian, who believes his Irishness helps to get him laughs, has been commuting between London and Dublin for the past few years. Ireland's biggest comic talents, including Dermot Morgan and Graham Norton, frequently ended up finding their fame and fortune in Britain.

O Briain started out as a children's presenter, but has spent the last decade making a name for himself as a stand-up comic and television presenter. The comedian couples a razor wit with a relaxed and likeable personality. Last year he fronted a Fame Academy-style series for sitcom writers for BBC3. The show, entitled The Last Laugh, was searching for the author of the next Office or Little Britain.

'Turn Back Time', BBC 2, starts Tuesday, Aug 8, 10pm

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