About Would I Lie to You?

Did Dom Joly go to school with Osama Bin laden? Is there really an Anne Robinson flavour of ice cream? Did Tara Palmer-Tomkinson once eat a diamond? If these are the kind of questions that rattle around in your head, nagging at you day-in day-out, then you're going to love Would I Lie To You?

Would I Lie to You?

Hosted first by ex-Have I Got News For You smoothie Angus Deayton before the reigns were taken by Rob Brydon, the programme features titanic team captains in the form of David Mitchell and Lee Mack – two comics so bewilderingly different, they make chalk and cheese look like bosom buddies. Now, David Mitchell has become known as a bit of a legend on panel shows. In fact, you could describe him as the Muhammad Ali of panel shows, if the comparison wasn't fairly hilarious. But his presence certainly hasn't put off the cream of British comedians from strutting their witty stuff, with the likes of Frankie Boyle, Vic Reeves, Tiff Needell, Dara O'Briain and Jimmy Carr all appearing.

And what of the show itself? Well, Would I Lie To You? gets these eloquent comedians to face off against each other. Not with surgery and guns, a la Cage and Travolta, but with bluffs, double bluffs and triple bluffs (or would a triple bluff just take us back to a bluff again? Stephen Fry would know).

Contestants take it in turn to relay embarrassing personal tales or incredible facts to the opposing team. Some of them are true, some of them actually complete and utter codswallop. The other team must then decide whether what they are saying is true or false by interrogating them. Some of the personal tales are quite revealing, and you may be shocked by what you learn about the celebrities. Or you may not, you big old cynic.

Sounds suspiciously like Call My Bluff? Yes, agreed, there may be some similarities in the format. But where Call My Bluff is now around 1,000 years out of date, this is shiny, modern and has comedians you have actually heard of. Oh, and Sandy Toksvig is nowhere to be seen. (Although, in a surreal twist, Michael Aspel once made an appearance.)

There are also other bits to it. For example, the round in which a guest turns up (a non-celebrity guest, that is), and the panellists on one team each claim a link to him or her. All three yarns inevitably come across as, well, yarns, but it's down to the other team to deduce which tall-sounding tale is in fact horribly true.

We also witness "quick-fire lies", which is like the bluffing round only at a more Speedy Gonzales style pace, and some guests have even been known to whip out their prized possessions and attempt to convince their opponents that they do indeed own the incriminating item.

Often, the most hilarity is provided by the non-comics who've turned up. None other than Duncan "It's ridiculous, I'm out" Bannatyne was in the first episode, and the likes of John Barrowman, Trisha Goddard and, er, Michael Ball have all starred. In fact, Michael Ball was teamed with Charlie Brooker, which was a sight more surreal than all of Salvador Dali's output, we reckon. However, we must apologetically report that one of the guests was Terry Christian. Yes, we know. But at least it gave a jolt of nostalgia to anyone who spent the mid-90s gazing at The Word through a haze of cider and broken teenage dreams. Don't lie, you know you did.

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