Philomena shines on “Would I Lie to You?”

Reader Saul, aware of my extreme “admiration” for Diane Morgan (aka Philomena Cunk), sent me the link to Morgan’s appearance on the British show “Would I Lie to You?”. On that show, each member of a panel makes a startling statement, and the others, after questioning the panelist, guess whether the statement is true or false. Saul characterizes the show like this:

As to the show in question: it’s a panel show, which is common in Britain but as far as I can see not so much in America, it’s completely lacking in cynicism, the two regulars share an excellent chemistry, the guests are often a good mix of celebs and comics, and the premise is simple brilliance (I can’t understand why it hasn’t been franchised and flogged across the world given how easily the format would work elsewhere.). It has a certain cheesy, light-entertainment air to it but it’s so often a joy to watch. It’s a slightly guilty pleasure of mine, and Diane Morgan was good on it. You might want to try it.

And YouTube’s description:

Rob Brydon hosts the award-winning comedy panel show with David Mitchell and Lee Mack as the lightning-quick team captains. Over the course of the show, celebrity guests reveal amazing stories about themselves, some of which are true and some of which are not. The aim of the game is to fool the opposition into mistaking fact for fiction and fiction for fact.

This episode’s guests are Nadiya Hussain, Diane Morgan, Bob Mortimer and Michael Smiley.

Philomena appears between 4:48 to 7:23 with a statement about an ex-boyfriend. But the whole show is funny, as the contestants are quite quick-witted. I doubt that anything this unscripted is on American television, where even the “reality shows” often follow a script. (I do remember older shows that were similar, like “What’s My Line,” but since I watch almost no TV, I can’t really judge what’s happening now.)

h/t: Saul


  1. Diana MacPherson
    Posted September 11, 2016 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Diane Morgen. I know, I know. You were thinking about women who are phenomenal and you instantly thought “Diana”. Happens all the time. 😀

    I love “Would I Lie to You”. There is an episode with Brian Cox and David Mitchell that is fabulously funny.

    • Posted September 11, 2016 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      How embarrassing! But I don’t think I have to convince anyone here it was a typo. And now I’ll go and efface your name.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted September 11, 2016 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        That’s okay as long as you done efface my face like happened with so many bad emperors and soviet defectors.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted September 11, 2016 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Here’s the ep with Brian Cox, in two parts:

      Specially, watch Part 2. You won’t believe what happened to Professor Brian Cox.


      • Bric
        Posted September 12, 2016 at 12:33 am | Permalink

        That’s a riot. I trust Victoria has sorted out the knot situation.

        • Bric
          Posted September 12, 2016 at 12:34 am | Permalink

          Knob situation, obviously.

  2. Merilee
    Posted September 11, 2016 at 2:44 pm | Permalink


  3. Christopher
    Posted September 11, 2016 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Just watched this last night on youtube, so thankful somebody uploads these shows that I would otherwise not be able to view in the US, especially since BBC America insists on showing American TV shows so often, like Star Trek Next Generation simply because it has a British actor.

    Along with WILTY, I also love QI, 8 Out of 10 Cats (including the Countdown version), Have I got News For You, The Big Fat Quiz series, and Mock the Week. The US market would never put on shows like this, they’re too stuck on trying to copy The Daily Show or find the next Dave Letterman/Johnny Carson clone.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted September 11, 2016 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      I know – I get BBC Canada here. I want the real BBC!! I once had it for a day when there was some sort of screw up.

      • Christopher
        Posted September 11, 2016 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        The BBC radio 4 show, The News Quiz featuring Miles Jupp as host, who took over for the wonderful Sandi Toksvig, is quite good and available as a podcast. Definitely worth a listen if you’ve not already. The Now Show fills in when the News Quiz is taking a break and is likewise quite good.

        Being able to get great radio programs as podcasts has been a blessing. Again, US radio, like US TV, pales in comparison to the wonderful BBC science, history, and comedy programs available.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted September 12, 2016 at 5:07 am | Permalink

      Cats Does Countdown is another brilliant concept. It just works. And Jimmy Carr is an imperiously good host.

  4. GBJames
    Posted September 11, 2016 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Most enjoyable.

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 11, 2016 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    The quiz shows, as I would call them, are no longer popular in America, apparently but then anything that might be good is no longer on TV here.

    What’s My Line was probably closest to this show and To Tell the Truth was also a good one. But these shows were in the 50s and 60s I believe. Others, such as Password required a bit more skill. These shows go back to the time of TV westerns so it was a different generation.

    • Merilee
      Posted September 11, 2016 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Not true that nothing good is on US TV anymore, imo. Try The Wire, True Detective, The Night Of, and quite a few more. There are some excellent writers and directors in the TV business today. Haven’t watched quiz shows since I was 10 or so.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted September 11, 2016 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        You have to look real hard though don’t you? Okay, only 95% is garbage. The Wire was a very good show that ran for 4 years on HBO. So unless you paid through the nose to get HBO or waited on the reruns later, you would not have seen it.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted September 11, 2016 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        I actually think we’re living in the best time for TV series. Game of Thrones, Mr Robot, The Americans, The Walking Dead and a few others are all great. I spend a lot of time watching TV Series.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted September 12, 2016 at 5:00 am | Permalink

          Yes, I don’t understand that comment – American TV is in an unprecedentedly healthy state, to the extent that it’s kind of eating into the movie industry. You see some seriously big names lining up for TV these days, and really, which movie of the last few years was any bigger in pull and buzz than a new series of GOT(never mind half as good)?

          Clearly I like GOT a lot – and I bought the first season of The Americans for a friend but they weren’t keen. I’ve heard good things about Mr Robot.

          I can highly recommend Stranger Things. Just demolished the first season in a few days – it’s impressive. It’s daft too, in premise, but it takes itself seriously enough that you forget the daftness.

          Americans seem to do drama, certainly large-scale drama, much better than anyone else. The Scandinavian stuff is good but too wearyingly kitchen-sink-y to me. Only the American shows have that ability to take themselves seriously enough that you do too. When the British try it it often seems like we’re kids playing at this stuff.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted September 12, 2016 at 9:31 am | Permalink

            No one does apocalypse or dark future better than the British, other than McCormick.

  6. Scote
    Posted September 11, 2016 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Well after watching that, PCC needs to be sure not to fall down any stairs :-0

    • Posted September 11, 2016 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      That’s for damn sure!

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted September 11, 2016 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        Nah, just fall in an elegant way. Diane Morgan broke up with the guy not just for falling down the stairs but falling in a really awful way. Fall with panache and you’ll be alright.

  7. Posted September 11, 2016 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    My advice to Hillary Clinton — cede your position in the debates against Trump to Philomena Cunk.

  8. Florian
    Posted September 11, 2016 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, you might like the US show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”. Very funny and quick.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted September 11, 2016 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      You sure that isn’t cultural appropriation from a British show of the same name?



      • Florian
        Posted September 11, 2016 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        Yes, i should have mentioned was originally a British show. But the US version is probably easier to find in the states.

  9. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted September 11, 2016 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    I think there are some similar comedy bits done in the U.S. For example, the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon includes games between Jimmy and his guests, and in one game they a play Truth or Dare. One of the game shows that airs on NPR is Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. Much of that is a game where contestants try to fool each other into believing fictional news stories over true ones.

    • Christopher
      Posted September 11, 2016 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      Wait, Wait is one of the few bright spots left on NPR, at least my local station. They’re trying other quiz shows but so far they haven’t made any that do much for me. Granted, this may be due to my preference for BritCom. For whatever reason, the American humor has lost much of the former appeal with me.

  10. andymogendorff
    Posted September 11, 2016 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    What a treat, thanks for posting that! Bob Mortimer is completely amazing on this show – you can find a bunch of his contributions by searching for WILTY Bob Mortimer ( The Theft and Shrubbery story is remarkable

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted September 12, 2016 at 4:45 am | Permalink

      Bob Mortimer’s contributions are legendary. They’re all completely insane…and they all turn out to be true. I especially like the one about pulling an apple in half with his bare hands. That was impressive.

      He’s one of those guests who is so reliably entertaining he keeps getting called back.

    • Posted September 12, 2016 at 5:03 am | Permalink

      Bob Mortimer is a godsend for WILTY, because his whole life seems to be one long unlikely episode. I used to think Vic and Bob’s shows were surreal flights of fancy, but now I think they are just documenting their lives.

  11. ploubere
    Posted September 12, 2016 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    The Brits seem to be somewhat more witty than us Americans. That was quite entertaining, and yes, Philomena is great.

  12. Barney
    Posted September 12, 2016 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    It’s been a busy week for Diane, thanks to the BBC having a ‘sitcom season’ which has included some pilot episodes. She had a small part in ‘We The Jury‘, and a much large one in ‘Motherland‘, in which she’s a young mother, who has pretty much given up trying to be perfect and fit in with the ‘in crowd’, unlike her co-star Anna Maxwell Martin (who you may well recognise from lots of top-notch British drama rather than comedy).

    ‘We The Jury’ was a bit surreal, and while they called it a ‘pilot’, I can’t see how they can take it much further without constantly changing all the characters. But ‘Motherland’ was great (as you’d expect, with an excellent writing team – ‘Catastrophe’, Father Ted’, IT Crowd’ in their work – and 2 leads), and it’ll be good if they can make a series out of it. Both are on BBC iPlayer, for those who can use it in their country.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted September 12, 2016 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      I definitely want to see Motherland. Graham Linehan is a complete and utter genius. I reckon The IT Crowd is the funniest TV comedy since early Simpsons. In particular, Matt Berry as Doug Reynholm is responsible for making me hurt myself with laughter. He’s one of the most unique comic actors I’ve ever seen.

      • Merilee
        Posted September 12, 2016 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        Love the IT Crowd! The two nerdy guys the Irish one and the Nigerian/Norwegian/British one (Richard Ayeode??) are hilarious!!!!

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted September 12, 2016 at 9:35 am | Permalink

          I too love the IT Crowd. The episode where IT did all the work for a successful launch of a new product and everyone, even the janitor got credit, except IT. OMG that is so what happens all the time in IT!

          There are so many funny episodes I can’t list them all.

          • Saul Sorrell-Till
            Posted September 12, 2016 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

            One of the funniest things ever is the episode where Jen, the redhead ‘boss’ of the IT dept, agrees to be Reynholm’s secretary and they go to the park…and he sticks his hand into this hole in a stone statue face… My favourite IT Crowd moment of many.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted September 12, 2016 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

              Also when the smokers keep having to move further and further away until they are in some Soviet type setting and Jen is whering a babooshka!

      • Posted September 12, 2016 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        Agree about Matt Berry, and while we’re recommending shows, I will mention the sublime ‘Toast of London’ – “I can hear you Clem Fandango!”

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted September 12, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

          I’ve watched a few episodes of Toast, and it kind of left me a bit nonplussed. I should probably give it another go. I’m a huge Matt Berry fan…even his insane BBC Iplayer-exclusive shows about ghosts and stuff.

          Incidentally, he’s also a singer-songwriter who’s written some occasionally lovely stuff…Take My Hand(Toast theme?) is a gorgeous highpoint with a sweet video. Kind of Badly Drawn Boy-esque, back when he was good.

  13. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 12, 2016 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Nice. Is there an English-language version of this video available — or at least one with English subtitles? 🙂

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