Press Clippings - Page 4
Publishing company Faber has acquired the rights to publish two books based on the BBC comedy panel show Would I Lie to You?The Bookseller, 11th February 2015
"I find nothing more relaxing than making scented candles," is the claim Adrian Chiles reads from his card to start the show. It's a splendid image - the football presenter dabbling with hot wax and perfume - and even better, it kicks off a heated dispute about what exactly candlestickmakers sell, which gets Lee Mack, Rob Brydon and David Mitchell barking at each other in a surreal shouting match.
Otherwise it's an episode held together by Mack's artful embroidery - right up to the point where guest June Brown almost collapses the whole format by replying in an exasperated tone, when asked if she thinks a story is true, "I don't see why it's so important!"David Butcher, Radio Times, 8th January 2015
On the face of it, the formula for WILTY? is childishly simple. Celebs and comedians reveal 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 panel game on TV that so reliably creases you up. The battle of wits between David Mitchell and Lee Mack - or rather between their adopted roles of unworldly toff and philistine oik - always chucks up comedy sparks, but something in the vibe of the show keeps it likeable, feel-good and family-friendly. There's a reason it has won the British Comedy Award for best panel show three times: it's the best panel show on TV, end of.David Butcher, Radio Times, 26th December 2014
Not every Christmas special needs a change of scene. Would I Lie To You? at Christmas was much like any other episode of the show, save for a few snowflake decorations, yet it still felt festive. It's at Christmas that this cosy parlour game comes into its own. Something else that hadn't changed was the gender imbalance. It's not unusual for a panel show, of course, but the fact that WILTY? can muster only one woman out of seven participants is still a shocker.
Judged by any other standard, however, this was a strong line-up. On Lee Mack's team, the lone woman, Countdown's co-presenter Rachel Riley, got in a good yarn about a cake-baking super-fan and David Mitchell's team, featuring actor Ray Winstone and The Last Leg's Josh Widdicombe, was balanced in other ways. "It looks like Ray's on charge for something, Dave is his flustered barrister and Josh is the child they're fighting for custody over," commented host Rob Brydon.
Winstone proved himself a formidable fibber, but the most spurious story of all came from Lee Mack: "I can write so well with my foot that to save time writing Christmas cards I simultaneously write one card with my hand and one card with my foot." Naturally, a demonstration was in order.Ellen E Jones, The Independent, 22nd December 2014
"Do you touch the frogs?" It's the kind of question you'd only hear in a David Lynch film or an episode of Would I Lie to You? Here, team captain David Mitchell dons a helmet with a light on it that he maintains is his "frog-lamp" for wearing on nocturnal trips to check on the frogs at the bottom of his garden. If that strikes you as a rattlingly daft claim, you're in good company, but stranger things have been posited on this show and proved true. At the bottom of Ray Winstone's garden, meanwhile, he wants us to believe he has a scale model of Stonehenge. A Winstonehenge, if you will.David Butcher, Radio Times, 22nd December 2014
Occasionally you have to wonder at WILTY?'s booking process. I mean, if you were searching for a quick-witted guest with a sharp sense of humour, would you immediately come up with the name of bushcraft expert Ray Mears? In fact he acquits himself very well, especially considering he's sitting alongside fiercely comic guests such as Jo Brand. She comes up with a ridiculous story about hitch-hiking down to the coast on Christmas Day that could be the basis of a Tarantino film as well as one about squeezing through an ex-boyfriend's dog flap. Both will make you cry with laughter.
Once again the best exchanges are between the peerless Lee Mack and David Mitchell. Carried away with his tale about a fox (illustrated beautifully by Rob Brydon doing an impersonation of Basil Brush), Lee says something that David pounces on with almost Poirot-like powers of deduction. It's very impressive.
Make the most of tonight's edition as WILTY? is taking a break for a few weeks.Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 24th October 2014
It's as reliably funny as a Swiss timepiece is accurate. But what if you replace one of the mainsprings in the WILTY watch? This time, there's no Lee Mack, but far from spoiling the show, the presence of Greg Davies as replacement captain brings an enjoyable new dynamic.
It's particularly good when he abuses his power and overrules team-mates Gareth Malone and Richard Osman - unheard of on this show. (That's right, Osman and Davies together at last, the Harlem Globetrotters of comedy.) The round where Davies insists he invented a private language with his sister - and has to speak it - is a joy. Also on board: Phill Jupitus and Sherlock's Amanda Abbington.David Butcher, Radio Times, 17th October 2014
From the start there are hysterics tonight. Carol Vorderman collapses in helpless laughter at the very idea that fellow guest Kelly Hoppen washes her face with an orange every morning. Mind you, it's not much more plausible that Carol once shared her bed with a lion cub while staying at a safari park.
Both claims are tested to destruction on the comedy workbench, and as ever we're left marvelling at what a gem of a parlour game this is. Just listen to David Mitchell read from the card: "Whenever I see my postman Roy, he shouts 'Oggy! Oggy! Oggy!' and won't move on until I have replied 'Roy, Roy, Roy!'" You so want it to be true.David Butcher, Radio Times, 10th October 2014
The Beeb's decision to run Would I Lie To You? directly before HIGNFY is a particularly cruel piece of scheduling. The former show, thanks to team captains Lee Mack and David Mitchell and host Rob Brydon, is as sharp as a tack and laugh out loud; messrs Hislop and Merton's effort, by contrast, now looks creaking and dated.Fergus Kelly, The Daily Express, 8th October 2014
Miles Jupp joins David Mitchell's team tonight. Yes, Jupp and Mitchell, side by side at last - it's like a posh-comic supergroup. At one stage, as Mitchell is in the midst of a typically heated interrogation of an opponent, Jupp turns to him and murmurs, "David, even if you don't believe him, you don't need to be angry about it." At which Mitchell yells, "I'm trying to break him!"
Jupp also tells a brilliant story about having to tell neighbours that their cat had died, while he himself happened to have his face painted as a kitten. But in the end, it's one of those episodes that Lee Mack carries almost single-handed. When he's on this form, there's no one quicker.David Butcher, Radio Times, 3rd October 2014