Dara O Briain: School Of Hard Sums. Dara O Briain
Dara O Briain: School Of Hard Sums

Dara O Briain: School Of Hard Sums

  • TV comedy
  • Dave
  • 2012 - 2014
  • 24 episodes (3 series)

Dara O Briain presents a comic entertainment show about maths, based on an Emmy Award-nominated Japanese format. Stars Dara O Briain and Marcus du Sautoy.

Dara O Briain: School Of Hard Sums. Image shows from L to R: Dara O Briain, Marcus du Sautoy

Key details

2012 - 2014
24 (3 series)
Dara O Briain and Marcus du Sautoy
Sarah Morgan, Ged Parsons, George Sawyer, Colin Swash, Matt Parker and Paul Powell
Mike Bradley, Samuel Wilkinson, Richard Valentine, Ian Lorimer, Jill Cumberbatch, Peter Orton and Simon Gover
Sean Miller, Mark Barrett, Ruth Wallace, Mike Bradley, Samuel Wilkinson, Helen Younger, Jill Cumberbatch, Simon Gover and more

Dara O Briain: School Of Hard Sums is based on the Emmy Award-nominated Japanese comedy-panel format Comaneci University Mathematics.

The show is hosted by Dara O Briain. The brainbox Irish comedian and broadcaster studied maths and theoretical physics at University College, Dublin and now he's on a mission to use all his knowledge and intuition to solve some very tasty real-world brainteasers and conundrums.

Dara, with the help of Oxford University maths professor Marcus du Sautoy, uses maths, physics, chemistry, logic and all those hidden mechanics of the world we don't see or are too distracted by football to notice to solve problems.

Each episode is themed and Dara, along with comedy guests like David O'Doherty, Andi Osho, Alex Horne, Simon Evans and Jason Byrne, dissect each conundrum and find out guaranteed ways to solve them.

Want to know how best to save a drowning man? Dara works out the optimum angle to jump into the river and pull them to safety. Want to deduce which door to pass through if the choices are one leading to an exit and one leading to certain death, with each door guard blatantly lying about the contents of each room? Dara finds an answer. Want to find out the most slices you can get out of a pizza if you're only allowed to cut it three times? Dara to the rescue!

The second series evolved from a simple mathematical formula. By adding a 1 to Series 1 you got Series 2. To celebrate, the number of guests Dara competed with also doubled. They included Stephen Mangan, Marcus Brigstocke, Josh Widdecombe, Alex Horne, Tim Key, Andrew Maxwell, Josh Widdicombe, Mark Watson, Susan Calman, Josie Long and many more.

Pitted against each other, the teams fought it out to solve some of the world's quirkiest puzzles. From rescuing your best mate from death in the desert and catching thieves in an art gallery, to bluffing your way through your first day at work, Dara shows how maths can give you the advantage.

The guests in Series 3 were Peter Serafinowicz, Lee Mack, Kevin Bridges, Sally Phillips, Andrew Maxwell, Josh Widdicombe, Mark Watson, Susan Calman, Jon Richardson, Stephen K Amos, Marcus Brigstocke and Miles Jupp.

Play some of Dara's Series 2 puzzles online

Additional details

Also known as
  • Dara O'Briain's University Of Practical Mathematics (Working title)
Camera set-up

Website links

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Monday 16th April 2012 at 8pm on Dave
Most recent repeats

Recording details

  • BBC Television Centre

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