Road to Mandalay presenter Dara Ó Briain has taken UK newspaper The Guardian to task for describing him and co-host Ed Byrne as "white British men" in an unfavourable review of the new travel adventure programme
The BBC show, which airs on RTÉ One on Thursday nights, sees the two comedians travelling 3,500 miles from Malaysia to Myanmar on the "expedition of a lifetime".
But after the first episode aired on BBC on Sunday night, The Guardian's Chitra Ramaswamy wrote in her TV review of "the increasingly dull and unedifying formula of sending white British men to far-flung places in search of 'strange and quirky' aspects of other cultures".
"The latest are Irish comedians Dara Ó Briain and Ed Byrne who, in Dara and Ed's Road to Mandalay, travel across Malaysia in the first of a three-part series exploring south-east Asia, 'one of the most rapidly changing places on earth'," she continued.
"This entails watching a chicken beauty pageant in downtown Kuala Lumpur, where their jokes fall flat, and performing some 'brand new material' at a comedy club, where they get some laughs."
An aggrieved Ó Briain took to Twitter, writing: "Bravo @guardian telly review! Accuses us of cultural insensitivity, while in the same sentence subsuming Ireland back into Britain..."
Bravo @guardian telly review! Accuses us of cultural insensitivity, while in the same sentence subsuming Ireland back into Britain... pic.twitter.com/FhVRM2DcUR— Dara Ó Briain (@daraobriain) May 8, 2017
"Calling me and Ed "white British men" is also irritating since the show was clearly a celebration of Malaysia's hugely diverse culture," he continued as the back and forth between Ó Briain's followers combined national identity, snarkiness and that old chestnut, 'the British Isles'.
When one wag on Twitter wrote in Irish that Ó Briain and Byrne were recipients of "the Queen's shilling", Ó Briain - who bills himself on Twitter as an "infamous Brit-Licker" - replied that they were being paid more than a shilling these days.
Tá sí ag íoc i bhfad níos mó ná scilling na laethanta seo! https://t.co/tBqU7UvNty— Dara Ó Briain (@daraobriain) May 8, 2017
After the word 'British' was later deleted from the online review, Ó Briain wrote: "Ha! Well done @guardian! Now it just implies that you're bored of Irish people and our many travel documentaries."
Our favourite tweet from the whole to-do was Brian O'Sullivan's:
@daraobriain @guardian I blame Theresa Lowe. Where in the World? was this country's ruination. 😁— Brian O'Sullivan (@LifeOfBOS) May 8, 2017