Press Clippings - Page 8
While some panel shows are having trouble finding their footing, Would I Lie To You? just seems to keep going from strength to strength.
Rob Brydon, David Mitchell and Lee Mack seem to make a perfect team. There's so many angles for them to play with: Mitchell's poshness verses Mack's working class background; Mitchell's southerness and Mack's northerness; Mitchell and Mack's Englishness verses Brydon's Welshness, and so on.
There is one significant change to this new series, however, that being the show is now on before the watershed. This, for me, is a worry. You may remember that this happened to QI when it moved to BBC One, which ended up as a failure and resulted in QI moving back...
However, it would seem that it's survived this changed. The show seems to be just as funny as ever, especially the bit when Mack trying to claim that his ex-girlfriend's names spell out the world "Bermuda". The guests, Alexander Armstrong, Mel Giedroyc, Alex Jones and Chris Tarrant, provided much amusement too.Ian Wolf, Giggle Beats, 17th April 2012
Now in its sixth series, WILTY? remains fresh enough to stake a claim as the funniest panel show on TV. This is probably because it's more of a parlour gameshow than most others in the genre-which are often quiz-based because it's easier to attach scripted jokes to that format. WILTY?'s more like Call My Bluff, only with humorous anecdotes replacing esoteric words. Two teams of three celebrities tell each other personal stories (sometimes with the aid of props) in order to trick the opposing side into thinking the yarn is gospel truth or a barefaced lie. More often than not, this makes for a highly amusing half-hour of trickery and repartee.
It helps that the team captains are perfect in their roles, each bringing a specific style of humour to proceedings: David Mitchell's logical dissection of someone's story can sometimes get wearisome, but usually it's a delight to see him analyse things with such comical scrutiny; while opponent Lee Mack plays looser with the rules and manages to create a feeling of uncertainty because he adopts a level of ineptness in his truth-telling that might sometimes be a double-bluff. There's also comedy mined from how middle-class southerner Mitchell and working class northerner Mack (now that's a double-act name, Robert Webb!) are from different backgrounds and upbringings.
The only problem facing WILTY? is that, as time goes on, you wonder if Mitchell and Mack will run out of stories that are sufficiently funny/bizarre enough to work. Not that the show relies on their stories alone, but I hope they each have good anecdotes left to squeeze out before everything they say becomes a lie because they've exhausted the truth. This is a problem that doesn't affect the rotation of guests, thankfully.Dan Owen, Dan's Media Digest, 14th April 2012
Panel shows are better when there's class war involved.Sam Wollaston, The Guardian, 14th April 2012
If you were thinking Friday nights had become a little joyless lately, here's good news. The best panel shows around are back to make BBC1's end-of-week comedy desert bloom again.
First, Rob Brydon wheels his festival of half-truths, fantasy and implausible facts back into view. It's in a new, pre-watershed time slot, which means some of the more colourful exchanges between team captains Lee Mack and David Mitchell will be reined in. But their exaggerated oik/toff banter should still be one of the funniest things on TV.David Butcher, Radio Times, 13th April 2012
The bits that end up on the cutting room floor of a panel show are invariably better than what goes out for broadcast, so you can expect some even funnier or risqué tall stories and banter in this series finale of outtakes. Featured with regulars David Mitchell and Lee Mack are the always-entertaining Dara O'Briain and Frank Skinner, plus leading ladies Sarah Millican and Miranda Hart.Sharon Lougher, Metro, 25th November 2011
Just because this is an end-of-series offcut doesn't mean it'll be sub-standard. In making the show the producers obviously record more dubious anecdotes than each episode has room for. Some end up on the cutting-room floor, to be swept up later, but from previous compilations, we know that's not necessarily because they're less funny. The issue tends to be that for whatever reason, their truth or otherwise is a little easier to guess, so they don't leave you with that distinctive Would I Lie to You? feeling of bewildered uncertainty about how strange things really are in fame-land. The liars and guessers involved tonight range from Bill Oddie to Louie Spence.David Butcher, Radio Times, 25th November 2011
Forget the other guests, Lee Mack and David Mitchell are such sharply funny antagonists that they should have a show all to themselves. Still, Dara O'Briain should prove good value as he parachutes in from Mock The Week tonight, while keeping the Amusing Golden Oldie seat warm is the legendary Barry Cryer.Sharon Lougher, Metro, 28th October 2011
The great Barry Cryer, stalwart of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue and one of the best comedy script-writers Britain has ever produced, takes his place on Lee Mack's team in the last episode of the series (next week's is a best-bits compilation).
He remains convincingly po-faced as he tells some incredible tales. Does he really hail a local bus by saying, "Hello, darling"? Did he ever write romantic novels under a female pseudonym?
Sue Perkins just about manages to get a word in edgeways, and Lorraine Kelly is a giggly good sport on David Mitchell's team with Dara O'Briain. But, as ever, it's Mitchell and Mack's banter that steals the show.Alison Graham, Radio Times, 28th October 2011
I once sat through an edition of Would I Lie to You? without laughing. No, you're right - that's a lie. You try keeping a straight face as Sarah Millican tells the story of what she did when caught short while stuck in her car in a traffic jam. Or as Jon Richardson turns into "Trevor Travel-Planner" in his attempt to discredit Frank Skinner's tale about being taken to A&E in an ice-cream van while on holiday. But it's Lee Mack and David Mitchell who steal everyone's thunder with their by now familiar posh-versus-common, southern-versus-northern tirades.Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 14th October 2011
Some guests on this series fade into the background; others grab it by the lapels and make it their own. In the former category tonight is Konnie Huq, who while charming and plausible doesn't have a great deal to do. In the latter is comedian Greg Davis (from Mock the Week and The Inbetweeners) who dominates proceedings with his booming voice and extreme anecdotes. Except, are they anecdotes or fabrications? Did he really spend his first term at university sleeping in a bath, a tale that sounds as tall as he is? And how could a 6ft 8in man get any sleep in a bath anyway?David Butcher, Radio Times, 7th October 2011