Dara O Briain’s Science Club – review

Did you know that 50% of our DNA is identical to that of a banana? Or that exercise can actually change your genes?

They’re probably topics that your biology teacher droned on about at school while you were busy passing notes to your mates and texting under the table.

However, comedian Dara O Briain has now joined the ranks of Brian Cox and David Attenborough to give you a science show that you’ll actually want to pay attention to.

Don’t be under the illusion, though, that just because O Briain is a comedian that Science Club can’t deal with hard hitting topics too. Indeed, one of the more interesting segments explored how successful the Human Genome Project – an attempt to document the entire genetic material of humans – really was, and how the scientists involved essentially conned politicians into paying for the whole thing.

Science Club does seem to have the potential to become one of the most popular factual shows on TV, with interesting and memorable pieces that are dumbed down just enough that we can understand the ideas and impress our mates with the trivia afterwards. One word of caution, though: it shouldn’t try to be too cool.

With the set looking like a trendy New York loft and frequent jokes to counteract the actual science, there is a risk that this show could become too much of a comedy and drive away the audience that actually wants to be informed.

If it carries on the way it started, though, they’re on to a winner.The show airs Tuesday’s at 9pm on BBC Two or catch up on iPlayer.


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