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Wordaholics. Gyles Brandreth. Copyright: BBC


  • Radio panel show
  • BBC Radio 4
  • 2012 - 2014
  • 18 episodes (3 series)

Radio 4 panel game that tests the guests linguistic knowledge. Hosted by Gyles Brandreth, with regular panellist Natalie Haynes. Stars Gyles Brandreth and Natalie Haynes.


Episode menu

Series 3, Episode 5

Word-obsessed comedy panel game hosted by Gyles Brandreth. With comedians Lloyd Langford, Holly Walsh and Paul Sinha and novelist and classicist Natalie Haynes.

Further details

Today's Letter of the week is the sinuous letter 'S'. Lloyd Langford has to work out what the Victorian term 'Smothering a parrot' meant. Natalie Haynes works out what a 'Saint Giles Carpet' was. Holly Walsh works out what she'd be doing in the 1700s if she were to ride on 'Shank's mare'. And Paul Sinha works out what a 'spermologer' is.

In a round about portmanteau words Natalie is asked what a 'chork' is; Holly a 'geep'; Paul 'smirting' and Lloyd a 'flexitarian'.

Next the panellists are asked to guess the meaning of some foreign words which have no direct equivalent in English. Lloyd tries to guess the meaning of the Central American word 'chaquetero' and Holly works out what the Chilean phrase 'pagar el piso' means.

The panel then try and ban the words which drive them most mad including 'foodie' and 'chillax'.

Finally they try and decipher what the long-forgotten words from the early 1600s are: 'mulct','matrixe', 'pistated' and 'obnubilate'.

Broadcast details

Wednesday 1st October 2014
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Gyles Brandreth Host / Presenter
Natalie Haynes Regular Panellist
Guest cast
Lloyd Langford Guest
Paul Sinha Guest
Holly Walsh Guest
Writing team
Jon Hunter Writer
James Kettle Writer
Production team
Claire Jones Producer

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