Would I Lie to You? at Christmas special...

Monday:Would I Lie to You? at Christmas; (BBC One, 8.30pm)

Rob Brydon
Rob Brydon

Have you ever wondered how the producers of Would I Lie to You? keep coming up with weird true stories and bizarre lies for Lee Mack, David Mitchell and their guests to share?

The award-winning comedy panel show has been going for 14 and a half years now, in which time they have filmed over 130 episodes.

But nevertheless, there seems to still be a rich seam of tall tales to mine.

Ardal O'Hanlon, Rose Matafeo, David Mitchell, Rob Brydon, Lee Mack, Angela Rippon and Jim Broadbent

According to Mack, both he and Mitchell have a backlog of facts still waiting to be used, which they update every series.

“Obviously from series one this happened, someone comes and asks you about your life,” he told Radio Times when the series celebrated its 10th run in 2016. “And then every series we do that, and then they end up using stuff they’ve had in the backlog anyway, from years ago that we haven’t quite used yet. We just have a little get-together each year to see if anything interesting has happened, we say no, and then they say ‘alright, we’ll use that story from childhood that we haven’t used yet then.’”

Over the years, the game show has developed three distinct rounds – Home Truths, This is My…, and Quick-Fire Lies. And although the lies and truths have become ever more complex (see the classic Bob Mortimer clips for evidence of that), Mitchell believes there are definite giveaways for when someone is lying on the show.

“People tend to overdo it a little bit,” he says. “You think: ‘oh if you were lying, you’d make it slicker than that’. When they pick up a card and chuckle at the thing on it, that’s a giveaway that what’s on it is true and has happened to them. Because they’re in front of an audience, they’re on television.

“You’d have to be a sociopath have such sang-frois that you could just chuckle. It’s a fake chuckle.”

“I’ve never noticed anyone fake a ‘oh this is nonsense’ chuckle on a lie to make it seem like a truth that they’re badly concealing. That’ll be the next step. I might give that a go…”

Host Rob Brydon, who took over from Angus Deayton after the first two series in 2009, adds: “Sometimes you will get panelists who think they can see the little physical giveaways,”.

“A few people have said ‘oh, so-and-so touched their nose,’ – they’re called tells. You can look for things like that.”

Brydon is back in the host’s chair tonight for a festive edition of the show. And as ever, a stellar cast of celebrity guests are joining Mitchell and Mack. David is joined by Jim Broadbent, who won an Academy Award and Golden Globe for his role as John Bayley in the film Iris, as well as New Zealand comedian, actress, and TV presenter Rose Matafeo.

Meanwhile, Lee welcomes journalist and Rip Off Britain presenter Angela Rippon, and Father Ted, My Hero and Death in Paradise star Ardal O’Hanlon to his team. During the show, the will reveal amazing stories about themselves, some of which are Christmas-themed. But are they telling festive fibs?

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