Dara O'Briain blasted as a 'hypocrite' over 'pregnant man' joke in resurfaced clip: 'Cowardice is SO evident!'

Dara O'Briain

Dara O'Briain has sparked controversy for his participation in a joke on Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2008

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 22/08/2023

- 12:45

Updated: 22/08/2023

- 12:47

A clip from Channel 4's Big Fat Quiz of the Year from 2008 has re-emerged online

Dara O'Briain has come under fire for his reaction to a joke poking fun at the notion of a man having a baby during a 2008 recording of Channel 4's Big Fat Quiz of the Year.

The criticism aimed O'Briain's way comes in the wake of fellow Irish comic and writer Graham Linehan having his Edinburgh Fringe gigs cancelled by two separate venues.

Linehan has been vocal in his criticism of O'Briain in recent years due to the comedian's silence and overall stance on gender issues.

However, the Father Ted creator has become a prominent gender critic, a position which he claims has resulted in his “discriminatory” cancellation.

He was even banned from Twitter in 2020 for saying "men aren't women" in a much-publicised tweet.

The row between the two comics was revisited earlier this year when Linehan publicly called out O'Briain's apporach to the topic in January after he responded to a tweet that suggested comedians "prioritise their careers & profile ahead of the safeguarding of children & safety of women".

The writer wrote in response: "This reminds me of when I asked @daraobriain to sign the JK Rowling letter and he refused because he said he found the debate 'confusing'. A few weeks later and he's calling @eddieizzard 'she'."

The aforementioned clip featuring O'Briain, which has now gone viral, was actually in response to another tweet of Linehan's.

Graham Linehan

Graham Linehan has been critical of Dara O'Briain's stance on gender issues


In it, O'Briain is paired up with Davina McCall as they take on the quiz against two teams made up of Michael McIntyre and Claudia Winkleman, and the late Sean Lock and James Corden.

Host Jimmy Carr asks the teams what was "unusual" about Thomas Beattie announcing he was expecting a baby to which O'Briain is the first to pipe up: "We have that he was a man.

"That he was a pregnant male transexual, it was him having the baby," O'Briain adds before Carr turns his attention to Lock and Corden.

"It was an abomination," Lock deadpan replies to raucous laughter from the audience and his fellow guests.

O'Briain even chips back in to comment: "Our team will accept that answer as the same as ours, that's grand."

Corden then interjects to double down on the joke, adding: "You said what was different about it and we've decided it was an abomination and we're sticking by it, Jim."

McIntyre and Winkleman also get the answer correct but engage in a back and forth with Carr where they brand the subject of the question a "womb-man".

McIntyre then goes on to joke that when "he or she" gives birth and asks the sex of the baby, the doctor would reply: "How dare you."

The clip has garnered plenty of attention on Twitter since it resurfaced, with many calling out the hypocrisy of those involved.

Comedian and star of Headliners on GB News, Leo Kearse, weighed in: "It's great to see these comedians stick up for @Glinner given that they've said far more transphobic things. Oh wait...."

Another referred to O'Briain specifically as they tweeted: "Well, well @daraobriain. Striking how so many who abandoned @Glinner are not just cowards but hypocrites."

"The cowardice of #DaraOBriain is SO evident in this," a fellow Twitter user added.

While a further argued: "Hahahahaha not only is @daraobriain a coward but he’s a massive hypocrite as well." (sic)

GB News has contacted O'Briain's representatives for comment.

O'Briain has addressed his decision to stay silent on the more contentious issues while performing on-stage before.

Speaking on Desert Island Discs, he explained: "My style is generally conversational, anecdotal, personal or I tend to do whimsical connections and make improvisational things.

"I find it weird that people can go, ‘You can't say anything,’ and I’m going, ‘I'm literally talking for two hours’. I genuinely dislike it when people try to narrow comedy down to, 'Well, the point of comedy is to be saying something shocking,’ and it's really not.

"That's the way some people like to do it, and it's one of the things it can do, but it also has been a hugely broad church.

"People tend to skip all that and talk about it as if the only thing that comedy should be doing is having a take on whatever - the trans issue or whatever the thing is that people are getting very, very passionate about."

55-year-old Linehan was scheduled to perform a stand-up gig in Edinburgh last week, alongside GB News' Andrew Doyle, only for the venue to cancel at the last minute.

When another venue pulled out, Linehan ended up performing outside the Scottish parliament.

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