Genius. Dave Gorman. Copyright: BBC


  • Radio panel show
  • BBC Radio 4
  • 2005 - 2008
  • 18 episodes (3 series)

Radio panel show in which Dave Gorman and a celebrity guest take a range of ideas from the public, in the hope they will find something that is 'Genius'. Stars Dave Gorman.

About Genius

Genius is the programme all about your ideas. Each week, Dave Gorman and a celebrity judge examine all sorts of policies, plans, inventions, schemes and scams in the hope that they will find at least one will have that rare quality of 'Genius'. Out of these ideas, two are chosen and the audience must then decide which will take home the (not so) glorious 'Genius Trophy'.

The series was first heard on BBC Radio 4 on 27 October 2005, there have now been three series to date. A television series based on the same idea has also been commissioned, after an un-broadcast television pilot starring Stephen Mangan as the guest judge was recorded.


1) The creator of the idea emails it to the Genius team at

2) If the show's production team decide it could work, the creator is invited to a recording. They then put their idea to the judge who decides if the idea is 'Genius' or not. If the idea is 'genius', they and their idea move to the next round. If it is not genius, they are knocked out.

3) After all the ideas are heard, the guest judge decides which two of the ideas left are the most genius (if only two were declared genius, they automatically qualify).

4) The audience then applaud for which idea is the most genius of all. The one with the most applause wins the Genius Trophy.

The Ideas

Amongst the ideas declared genius in the radio series include:

- Running the Houses of Parliament based on the rules of Just a Minute. No politician is allowed to repeat, hesitate or deviate from the subject.

- Bubble-wrap filled with helium to save money on postage.

- The best thing since sliced bread: Perforated bread, so you can select your own thickness.

- Tetris: The Movie.

- Prisoners making their own cells out of Lego, so that there is no prison over-crowding, saves space and criminals learn a trade.

- Changing the way the winner of Genius is judged. As Gorman asks for people to applaud for ideas one at a time, those who vote for the second idea know how much louder they have to clap. Over the course of three series, 75% of winners were the second idea mentioned. The following episode, the 2008 Christmas Special, did use a different method of judging. Instead, the guest judge, Lee Mack, was given 10 seconds to decide which of the two ideas was the best.

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