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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: January 2, 2010 @ 12:16 pm

    Three men in a bád

    Pól Ó Muirí

    Comedian Dara Ó Briain popped up on BBC2 NI last night as part of the ongoing whimsy that is Three Men in a Boat. With companions, Rory McGrath and Griff Rhys Jones they were in Ireland on another little sailing expedition the point of which seems to have been to fill the screen for a couple of hours. Amiable enough stuff with little of note – except at the end. Ó Briain and friends visited Inis Mór where he got the chance to speak some Irish. He seemed genuinely moved at being in the Gaeltacht and the importance of the culture – which is not to say the film makers did not take the opportunity to take the hand of him while he recited Irish poetry from Dún Aonghusa.

    Ó Briain is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in contemporary comedy, having swapped hosting The Panel for the greater challenge of Mock the Week and various other gigs. The Three Men in a Boat series is wearing thin but you wonder if there is not an opportunity there to get a little more out of it – Ó Briain actually exploring the living Celtic languages in Ireland and Britain. He could take his crewmates if he wanted. Rhys Jones is Welsh and, if I am not mistaken, there is a Cornish connection with McGrath. So that only leaves an excuse to visit the Gaelic-speaking Hebrides and call in to the Isle of Man on the way home. They can even sail over to Brittany and give us a little insight into how Breton is getting on. Sailing, jokes and a wee bit of culture. What could be better?

    • Pomme de Pratai says:

      I watched the first episode of the said programme, mainly because I will watch anything, indiscriminately,about Ireland,despite my reservations about Rory McGrath and Griff Rhys Jones. To describe McGrath as too ‘laddish’ would be tantamount to flattery given his age but you get my drift. All that toilet humour and sexist shite, no pun intended, Deux ex machina. Griff Rhys Jones is too smug for my liking not to mention curmudgeonly. I was even prepared to put up with their patronising and racist stereotypes just to get some glimpses of the ould Sod, and I’m not referring to Dara OBriain. Just wonder (rhetorically) if there would have been quite so much stereotyping if they were in Jamaica or some other Colonial outpost, perhaps not! The best bit for me was the footage of Limerick, not only because the people of Limerick could not come up with ‘Limerick’ as their most famous export but also because they played ‘O’Farrell’s Welcome to Limerick’ throughout, as the background music. I’ve never been to the city, having been put off by the bad press, reinforced by one of the ‘young wans’ who cited ‘knives and thugs’ (or something like that) as the most famous thing about the place. However having watched the programme I might just make a point of visiting next time I’m ‘home’. So yes, Dara, make another programme about Ireland but leave the Philistines behind!

    • Macdonnacha says:

      Dara OBrian reciting verse from Dun aonghusa on the BBC? Ive got to see this!

    • Liam says:

      I found DOB quite annoying in the programme. I enjoy his comedy but for someone who commutes/works between England and Ireland his attitude was like some hangover from the 1980′s. It was only in his head that 4 million eyes pondering every word he was uttering.

    • Aidan says:

      I caught the episode where they were in Dublin and I thought that it was drivel. The BBC seem to love these series where people go to Oirland and funny things happen to them.
      In that episode Dara did actually use a few Irish words too (I think he said’”go raibh maith agat”) and they repeated it. The thing is though that it is pure tokenism because most Irish people don’t say “go raibh maith agat” or really use too much Irish at all (is oth liom a rá).
      What would be really nice would be for a British TV crew to come to Ireland and to find that they needed to sub-title everything because everybody was speaking our own language.


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