Irish comedians see murder victim while filming TV series
Things became very serious for top Irish comedians Dara O Briain and Ed Byrne as they saw the body a murder victim being put into a body bag while filming a new TV series.
The funnymen, who have been friends for decades, were travelling through Central America for a show called ‘Dara and Ed’s Pan Am Adventure’ which will be aired on RTE and BBC2.
They were recreating a journey originally made by three friends, Sullivan Richardson, Arnold Whitaker and Kenneth Van Hee, from Detroit known by the American press at the time as the ‘three damn fools’ in the 1940s. They had been trying to become the first ever people to drive from North America to South America.
However, there was a slightly sinister side to O Briain and Byrne’s adventure as the pair were constantly being followed by armed guards.
When they reached a US-Mexico frontier town, they were told about the local drugs trade. Simply put, the money and guns go into Mexico while the people and drugs go into the US.
However, O Briain later said: “The bit they didn’t mention in the press releases was this murdered guy we saw on the side of the road outside San Salvador.
“We stopped at this coconut stall and there was this dead body being bundled into a body bag. Not one of those zipped-up ones but a big plastic sack which was put in the back of a pick-up truck.”
It was a sobering experience and reminded the friends what a volatile place they were currently in.
O Briain told the RTE guide: “A police officer told us the dead guy was one of 39 who were shot in gang-related violence that weekend.
“That was a sharp reminder why we were travelling under armed guard, having been told by our local fixer in San Salvador not to mention we had family in London or where we were staying or anything like that.”
The pair managed to keep their spirits up and spent much of the trip behaving like an old married couple, according to O Briain.
He said: “I suppose it could all be characterised as bickering.”
Dara and Ed’s Pan Am Adventure will consist of three shows, each lasting for one hour. The first episode will be shown on RTE1 on Thursday at 10.15pm.