Press Clippings - Page 11
It's hard to devise a test to measure how funny a TV programme is but I've come up with one and the results are fascinating.Sam Wollaston, The Guardian, 30th July 2010
Full marks to whoever booked the panellists on tonight's Would I Lie To You?. It's a solid gold line-up this week. Joining David Mitchell, Lee Mack and Rob Brydon are Ruth Jones, Jason Manford, Jack Dee and Peter Serafinowicz - taking a break from what is practically a full-time job of filling the Twitter-verse with surreal one-liners.
This week they're all bringing their best poker faces to some very tall tales involving Ray Charles, a tortoise, a human sausage, a cheese and onion sandwich, Lee Mack's life expectancy, and David Mitchell's battery-buying habits.Jane Simon, The Mirror, 30th July 2010
Comedians ribbing each other about far-fetched tales - it's what Friday-night telly was made for. And this week's gathering of deceivers and doubters may be the sharpest yet. Joining chalk-and-cheese team captains David Mitchell and Lee Mack are Ruth Jones (of Gavin & Stacey fame), Jason Manford (The One Show) and comedians Jack Dee and Peter Serafinowicz. In short, every one's a winner. Tonight's best round involves a mystery guest called Ian. The question is, did he save Jones's tortoise from death, sell batteries to David Mitchell via eBay, or get attacked by schoolchildren alongside Manford? Finding out is a blast. Plus there's a new round where host Rob Brydon has a go at fooling the teams himself. But did he really once steal Catherine Zeta-Jones's dinner money?David Butcher, Radio Times, 30th July 2010
Would I Lie To You? is a more pizzazzy version of the gentle, bookish Call My Bluff of years gone by. I was barely aware of it until recently. Eventually the barren landscape of Freeview's late-night schedules resulted in me getting drawn in, only to discover that it's actually quite good. In fact I found myself laughing out loud two or three times during a single half-hour show, and I rarely laugh out loud.Howard Male, The Arts Desk, 23rd July 2010
The best factoid in this show is that when he appeared in an episode of Inspector Morse, Martin Clunes deliberately called him "Cheese Inspector". That's not even one of the fibs in this week's show - it's just one of the inbetween bits of banter that gets chucked in for free. And the return of this series ratchets up the laughter quotient of Friday nights on the BBC (and Martin Clunes' career, come to that) by roughly four million per cent.
It makes you realise that all those years Clunes has spent stomping around Cornwall as the grumpy Doc Martin, pretending to be Reggie Perrin or making documentaries about dogs have been a waste of his talents. What he should really have been doing is spending his time larking about with his mates on comedy panel shows because I've never seen him enjoy himself as much as he does here.
It all adds up to a brilliant start to the series with team captains David Mitchell and Lee Mack conjuring perfect comebacks out of thin air. Host Rob Brydon's impromptu impersonations add an extra coat of comedy emulsion to an already sparkling format. Tonight's other guests, Richard E Grant and Sanjeev Bhaskar put on their best butter-wouldn't-melt faces as they swear blind that they once rear-ended Michael Winner and made a hip-hop Hamlet. And is Fern Britton really a secret Morris Dancer?Jane Simon, The Mirror, 23rd July 2010
The panel game it is acceptable to like returns with another amusing episode. The guests are mainly people who think that they're funnier than they are - Martin Clunes, Richard E Grant and Sanjeev Bhaskar - but nonetheless there's some amusing banter and a bit of a frost between Rob Brydon and Clunes, which is entertaining.TV Bite, 23rd July 2010
On the face of it, the formula for Would I Lie to You? is almost insultingly simple - celebs and comedians revealing daft things about themselves that may or may not be true. As formats go, it's a feather duster, an airy nothing. Yet there's no other panel game on TV that so reliably creases you up. It helps when the chemistry between the guests comes together, as it does in tonight's opener for the fourth series. When guest Martin Clunes teases Richard E Grant over the latter's not-very-plausible claim to have recorded a dance version of a Shakespeare soliloquy, it feels like old friends sharing a joke. Even when nobody really believes a given tale - such as that Fern Britton briefly worked in the Post Office or that Sanjeev Bhaskar once crashed into Michael Winner's car - the fusillades of good-natured mockery are great fun. And to add to the fun tonight, there's a little hint of aggro between Clunes and host Rob Brydon.David Butcher, Radio Times, 23rd July 2010
Jonathan Ross's old slot is taken up this week by the fourth series of this jovial comedy panel show - a safe play by the BBC, as they figure out how best to plug the gap left by Ross. It's hosted by Rob Brydon, and tonight features Fern Britton, Richard E Grant, Martin Clunes and Sanjeev Bhaskar alongside regular captains David Mitchell and Lee Mack, as the two teams attempt to fool each other into believing a series of plausible lies.The Telegraph, 23rd July 2010
There's a whole clutch of matey comedians, including Rob Brydon and Lee Mack, who seem to do nothing much except appear in various combinations on comedy panel shows like this. Would I Lie to You?, however, an update on Call My Bluff, is the most enjoyable format. David Mitchell and Ruth Jones also appear - their trick seems to be to tell their tall stories with deceptive incompetence, which is why the biggest-seeming lies turn out to be true - except for when they don't.The Guardian, 23rd July 2010
The competitive aspect of lying makes Would I Lie To You? even more engaging. Mock The Week, for all it's good humour is sometimes frustrating for its pointless use of a scoring system. It's also refreshing not to see rehearsed jokes trotted out time and again - the telling of anecdotes makes for much more spontaneous comedy.Jez Sands, On The Box, 23rd July 2010