Stand-up Comedian Bio – Ardal O’Hanlon

Heidi Ko   |   October 7, 2021

Stand-up Comedy Show Live in Shekou at Mont Orchid Riverlet/
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Multi-award winning comedian and actor, Ardal O’Hanlon, is one of the most acclaimed artists to break through the comedy industry in recent years.


A spellbinding fusion of off beat stories and confident polished material combine to make Ardal O’Hanlon’s stand up act, a hilarious journey touched with life enhancing observations and unexpected twists. His sheer originality and talent ensure that there is no other performer like him.

A previous winner of no less than three ‘Best Comedian’ awards, along with a major British Comedy Award; Ardal has travelled extensively as a live performer, completing successful tours of Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Montreux (television festival) and twice at the acclaimed Montreal Comedy Festival (Juste Pour Rire). Ardal performed a sell-out run at the Irish arts Centre in New York Jan 2000, and returned to New York in March 2001 for an extended run and a special solo TV recording for USA cable company, Comedy Central. In addition, he has enjoyed three massive sell out tours of the UK and Ireland and has released a live video, produced by Working Title Films for a special full-length video (‘Ardal O’Hanlon Live’); released via PolyGram/Universal video. The show has since been broadcast on Channel 4 prime time television. Most recently, Ardal performed a special stand up special for BBC1 hosted by Jack Dee: ‘Live at The Apollo’.

Ardal has an extensive list of both acting and comedy television credits to his name, and demand from the TV Networks is such, that he is currently developing his own solo television and film projects.

Ardal is currently starring in the new BBC series ‘Blessed’. Previously, he has starred as the title role in the USA short feature, ‘Another Bobby O’Hara Story’ – which filmed on location in LA/Hollywood and was considered for the 2002 Oscars. Ardal also starred (as the lead, ‘Eamon’) in the ITV drama-comedy series ‘Big Bad World (2 series) and stars in the twin lead roles (of ‘George Sunday/ThermoMan’) for the BBC 1 comedy series ‘My Hero (5 series). Ardal also provides the voice of ‘Robbie’ for the award winning Comic Relief animation films, Robbie the Reindeer. Ardal featured in Neil Jordan’s feature film ‘The Butcher Boy’, and in the lead role of ‘Johnny Eddy’ in the award winning short film ‘Flying Saucer Rock ‘n Roll’. He also previously hosted three series’ of the BBC1 series ‘The Stand Up Show’. It was, however, his consummate starring role in 3 series of Channel 4’s BAFTA winning series ‘Father Ted’, which initially propelled Ardal in to public attention; his hilarious portrayal of ‘Father Dougal McGuire’ gaining such reviews as:
‘The true star of the show is Ardal O’Hanlon, the acclaimed stand up whose comedy innocence and natural born acting ability is well worthy of the genius of James Stewart’ (The Independent Newspaper) It is this performance which won Ardal the ‘Top Television Comedy Newcomer’ award at the ‘95 British Comedy Awards and earned him nominations for the 1996 Awards in the ‘Best Actor’ and ‘Top Television Personality’ categories, and ‘Best Actor’ at the 1997, 1998 and 1999 Awards, along with ‘Best Comedy Actor’ at the 1999 BAFTA awards. During 2004 Ardal shot the role of ‘Coconut Tam’ in the feature film ‘Greyfriars Bobby’. Ardal has recently finished filming the lead role in Ben Elton’s ‘Blessed’ for BBC1.

August – December 2003, Ardal starred (and gained wide critical praise; see Biog, page 3 ) in the West End production of ‘See You Next Tuesday’ at the Albery Theatre, in the lead role of Francois; following the successful run at the Gate Theatre in Dublin the previous year.

As an innovative writer, who has written for publications as diverse as The Independent, and Total Sport Magazine, Ardal secured a major publishing deal with Sceptre (the contemporary fiction arm of Hodder & Stoughton) in 1998. His first novel, ‘The Talk of the Town’, made it to the Best Seller lists for a full year. The rights were sold to the US (where the book has been renamed ‘Knick Knack Paddy Wack’, published by Henry Holt) and reprised the UK success.


“Eschewing any sort of flashy showmanship or high-tech trickery, one man and a microphone held a packed Manchester Apollo spellbound and rocking with laughter. There’s a powerful intelligence at work and crucially as well as being very, very funny, he’s also terrifically likeable, recounting tall tales for all the world as if he was chatting to you in a bar. It’s a combination that seems likely to make Ardal O’Hanlon one of the most popular live stand ups in the country

“O’Hanlon’s timing and technique are outstanding in an age when such things do not seem to matter as much as they should. An inspirational performer poised on the brink of greatness. The one thing that really matters about Ardal O’Hanlon is that in a world already overpopulated by comedians, he really makes a difference. See him – if you can find a ticket”

“Ardal O’Hanlon appearing as ‘himself’ will be a revelation. If you’ve only seen him in his television role as wide-eyed eejit ‘Father Dougal’ don’t miss his stand up performance. Watch him turn innocence into a deadly comic weapon”

“Displays a proficiency of delivery which puts him well a head of the pack. He is a complete joy to watch, planting the sort of silly images that bump around in your head forever.” THE GUARDIAN

“..Skilfully handled running jokes, his manipulation of a capacity crowd is just as and genial observation . O’Hanlon is certainly a comedian to be reckoned with” THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

“An hour of well-structured observational comedy, planting verbal mines which later detonate in glorious pay-offs. Funnier than one could imagine possible. Stardom surely beckons to Ardal O’Hanlon on a second count”

“His performance leaps between devilishly-delivered non-sequiteurs, but keeps a common thread of outstanding observation too. If you love comedy and smart talking – and only go to see one comedy show, make it O’Hanlon” THE DAILY EXPRESS


“For the belly laughs it is Father Ted’s Ardal O’Hanlon, showcasing his unrivalled skill at playing village idiots who shines.”

“Enter the wonderful Ardal O’Hanlon in an ill-fitting suit, a portfolio of his scale models at the ready…O’Hanlon as the chosen victim is a total joy. He’s wonderful as the sacrificial lamb, a performance of radiant sweetness that gets our sympathy without begging for it.”

“It has its amusing moments thanks to the miraculous comic timing of Ardal O’Hanlon”

“Ardal O’Hanlon…makes a thoroughly decent and engaging theatrical debut.”


“Ardal O’Hanlon is ideal as the useless Pignon, not quite matching Father Dougal’s plankton levels of gormlessness, but exuding an irritating dimness from under his shiny, crumpled suit, his comic tics as recognisable as those of Frankie Howerd or Sid James.”

“Ardal O’Hanlon plays Francois, and he is a delight. A natural comic gift suffuses his goofiness, his anxieties, his eagerness to please. For a moment, when he realises that he has been set up as an idiot, he even achieves an unexpected dignity.”


“That the laughter comes louder and more often…is thanks, for the most part, to the endearingly hapless presence of Ardal O’Hanlon”