Born in Dundrum, N. Ireland, Patrick began stand up whilst studying psychology at Queen’s University Belfast. He quickly made a name for himself as the host of Northern Ireland’s first comedy club “The Empire Laughs Back”. His fearless satirical routines, in which he regularly attacked both Republican and Loyalist paramilitaries drew praise from both critics and those on the streets of pre ceasefire Belfast, not least because he had himself lost his father to UFF gunmen in 1988 aged 16.
The BBC were quick to pick up on his ability to both provoke and charm in equal measure and his big break came in 1995 on Comic Relief’s Saint Patrick’s Day Special along side Ben Elton, Jo Brand and Sir Lenny Henry.
His first two stand up titles went triple platinum and the award winning series “PK Tonight” for the BBC quickly followed. The Channel 4 show “Last Chance Lottery”, saw Patrick make the move to network television and he was soon a household name fronting shows like “Fame Academy” along side his own late night talk show “Patrick Kielty Almost Live” which ran for 6 seasons on BBC1. In 2006, a sell out UK stand up tour and a headline appearance on “Live at The Apollo” along side Joan Rivers confirmed him as one of Ireland’s most successful comedy exports.
However it was his acting debut, playing Kenneth McCallister in “A Night in November” at Belfast’s Opera House that saw things come full circle for Patrick – back on the stage that launched his Comic Relief debut a dozen years earlier. It was a role that charmed both critics and audiences and a transfer to London’s West End quickly followed.
Treading the boards of the Trafalgar Theatre was his second Whitehall engagement of 2008, the first being his interview of both the British and Irish Prime Ministers at 10 Downing Street where he raised eyebrows when comparing the success of the Irish peace process with the failures in the Middle East – “Surely Iraq is just IRA with a Q on the end?”
In 2009 Patrick played his first shows at Montreal’s “Just For Laughs” Comedy Festival and took to the airwaves for the first time on BBC Radio 2 where he has been a regular host and firm favourite ever since. Appearances on The CH4 Comedy Gala, BBC’s Comedy Roadshow and CH4’s Comedy Roasts followed in 2010 and saw him named as the host of Ch4’s new satirical review -‘Stand Up for the Week’ later that year.
In 2012, his sell out comedy tour “Home’ led to his first network stand up special “Patrick Kielty’s One Night Stand’ and his first US stand up performances.
In 2015 Patrick debuted his hotly anticipated standup show ‘Help’ at Belfast’s Grand Opera House to both audience and critical acclaim. He then embarked on a sellout tour across the UK.
Patrick is a regular presenter on BBC’s flagship The One Show and he can often be heard on BBC Radio 2, where he hosted the BBC New Comedy Award for four series’ and which has also taken him Stateside, fronting BBC music specials from Nashville and Boston.
In 2018 Patrick returned home to Northern Ireland to explore the legacy of the Good Friday Agreement in a landmark documentary for the BBC. The documentary received critical acclaim and won him the prestigious Grierson Award for Best Presenter.