Dara O Briain's Go 8 Bit. Dara O Briain. Copyright: DLT Entertainment Ltd..

Dara O Briain's Go 8 Bit

Dave panel show about computer games. 26 episodes (3 series), 2016 - 2018. Stars Dara O Briain, Steve McNeil, Sam Pamphilon and Ellie Gibson.

Dara O Briain's Go 8 Bit. Dara O Briain. Copyright: DLT Entertainment Ltd..

Dara O Briain interview

Dara O Briain is a big computer game fan. Now he's hosting a comedy show based around video games...

What is 'Go 8 Bit'?

It's my name over the door, but it's a show that predates that a fair bit. The two guys that did it, Sam Pamphilon and Steve McNeil, had this thing running for a long time live. Go 8 Bit is a chance to watch comedians compete against each other in video games, which incidentally is something comedians have a tendency to do anyway. We have a lot of hours to kill.

What can we expect to see in the show?

Gaming's a really broad term these days; there's things on phones, there's big studio blockbusters, and then there's indie games which are these really cool, quirky things - they're the equivalent now of bedroom coders coming up with a great idea - that wouldn't be worth £40 of your money but is worth £7 of your money. We have a few of those really cool ones which I hope people will watch the show and then run out and download.

And there were levels that were made just for us by games companies, which are just the sweetest thing. We've a Little Big Planet level which is just gorgeous, just little versions of us in Little Big Planet, which is just the sweetest thing in the world.

It gives a proper big snapshot of how broad the panorama is of games, how diverse and exciting from casual to immersed to proper big serious, big narrative things, to ones where we put people in cages and they have to defuse a bomb, and bad things happen! It was lovely just to show how many fun things are happening in games.

What did you make of your team captains?

The show inherently has an underdog element to it because Sam and Steve, whose show this originally was, who toured this live for years, have always set it up as Sam doesn't like or doesn't play games very much, Steve is really into it and really across it and knows everything about the previous generations and stuff. So already you're rooting for Sam as Steve knows too much! There was a genuine worry that the shows would be a walkover for Steve constantly. And that's not what happened!

Dara O Briain's Go 8 Bit. Image shows from L to R: Dara O Briain, Ellie Gibson. Copyright: DLT Entertainment Ltd..

What did you think of resident expert Ellie Gibson?

Ellie's great because Ellie was genuinely a games reporter for a long time. I love games and I get the chance to play them, but I've got small kids so I don't get a chance to play as much as I'd like to, so I'm not across all the things. But I'm an aficionado and a champion of them... but there is proper knowledge in the room.

What are your favourite memories of making the series?

I think among the many high points for me of this series was one performer who realised he was so far ahead that he couldn't lose and dropped the controller and walked around, and let the other person play on in vain - that was quite the psych-out!

There were a number of surprising results, whereby the person you did not expect to win the fighting game won the fighting game! And we were able to watch it back again and just bask in the discomfort and the genuine disappointment of the people who lost.

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Published: Saturday 3rd September 2016