Joe Lycett
It's Not What You Know

It's Not What You Know

  • Radio panel show
  • BBC Radio 4
  • 2012 - 2018
  • 25 episodes (5 series)

Panel show testing the knowledge of panellists in regards to how well they know their own families and friends. Hosted by Joe Lycett. Also features Miles Jupp.

Press clippings

Preview: It's Not What You Know, Radio 4

Lycett says: "We had the most terrific fun recording the new series of It's Not What You Know and I personally can't wait for audiences to hear about Adrian Chiles' worrying eating habits, discover Nish Kumar's homicidal mother, and enjoy me having an argument with Vanessa Feltz."

Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 22nd September 2016

Joe Lycett becomes new host of It's Not What You Know

Joe Lycett is to become the new host of Radio 4 panel show It's Not What You Know. He will take over from Miles Jupp, who devised the format and hosted the three series since its launch in 2012, but has now become host of The News Quiz.

Chortle, 21st December 2015

Radio Times review

Miles Jupp returns as the jovial host, who manages to slip in some boundary-pushing quips - gasps from the audience on one occasion - under the guise of his apparently gentle delivery.

His guests are also comical - Sarah Millican, Nathan Caton and Richard Osman. But the biggest laughs come from the answers given by the three individuals they have nominated as people who know them really well. Millican selects her friend Lou (a fellow comic); Caton picks on, quite literally, his younger brother; and Osman chooses his mother, whom he claims for most of the show is using her "posh" voice, the one she favours when she answers the telephone.

It's akin to a re-versioned Mr And Mrs, with friends and family members instead of spouses, but it's a damn sight funnier - even potatoes get a laugh.

Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 30th June 2015

Is Frankie Boyle cleaning up his act?

Were my ears deceiving me? On Tuesday night I turned Radio 4 on at 6.30pm and heard a familiar Scottish accent being unfamiliarly reasonable. Frankie Boyle was one of the guests on the first edition of a new series of It's Not What You Know.

Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 11th July 2013

If this new panel show sounds familiar it's because host Miles Jupp tested the idea in 2011 in a round called What Does My Dad Know? in Angus Deayton's It's Your Round series on Radio 4.

The brief has now expanded beyond questioning his own father to getting three guests to test someone who supposedly knows them well with questions such as "Who would I rather spend an evening with: George Clooney or God?" Des Lynam picks his agent to answer these Mr and Mrs-style questions. Rachel Johnson opts for a girlfriend she met when they were in their 20s. And Mark Steel puts his faith in his teenage son. One couple does very well indeed, another faces predictable embarrassment and there's a duo who might just as well have never met before.

Listen out for a particularly saucy comment from Mr Lynam - his agent certainly wasn't expecting this when she agreed to appear with him.

Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 23rd February 2012

New panel game, the premise of which is to see how well the contestants know their nearest and dearest. Rachel Johnson, Des Lynam and Mark Steel will each nominate a chosen relative or friend to whom, privily, a list of questions will be put. Chairman Miles Jupp will then test the panel's knowledge by asking them to predict what answers the nominees gave. Sounds oddly similar, perhaps, to those old TV games that came with loud buzzers, manic studio audiences and major prizes. No prizes though for guessing this week's celebrity guest, Michael Winner.

Gillian Reynold, The Telegraph, 22nd February 2012

It was a formula that could have easily have been as self-indulgent as Dave Gorman's pub quiz disaster, but thankfully the show had several redeeming features. Host Miles Jupp's convoluted links between rounds were so bizarre they were funny and the contrasting personalities of those taking part also proved to have comedy value.

Best of all was hearing the celebs second-guessing the answers given by friends and family and getting it wrong. Mark Steel's nerves might have been on edge every time it was his son's turn but it made for very funny radio. This was especially true when young Elliot was asked if he had a motto and replied: "never do it without an alibi".

Lisa Martland, The Stage, 22nd February 2012

Miles Jupp fronts Radio 4 panel show pilot

Comedian Miles Jupp will present It's Not What You Know, a new panel show for BBC Radio 4 testing panellists knowledge of their own families.

British Comedy Guide, 28th August 2011

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