Panel shows are better when there's class war involved
Oh good, Would I Lie to You? (BBC1) is back. There's just something very nice about this show. Not because of the game itself, which is merely a vehicle – as is always the case with the best panel shows. It's about the people behind the desks.
It's about Rob Brydon, in the middle, running things, dealing out the lines and the lies and the arch observations with an arched eyebrow. And it's about team captains Lee Mack and David Mitchell, a couple of schoolboys fighting their own little class war. Lee's the rough bully, picking on the swotty prep schoolboy with his blazer and funny haircut. David counters with annoying know-it-all braininess. He does his thing, which is to repeat what Lee says with a sneery incredulity, then pick holes in it from the safety of behind the posh school fence – well, the panel desk anyway – so Lee can't headbutt him.
Actually, am I wrong, or has David Mitchell hunked up, with his beard and his not-quite-so-neatly parted hair? Grrrrr ... Victoria Coren's a lucky lady. But all these funny people are destroying themselves. Mitchell with his new ruggedness. Charlie Brooker, celebrity family man – he's practically David Beckham now, isn't he? He'll be driving soon, a Range Rover, and moving to the country ... Anyway, Charlie Brooker's not in this, and yes of course I'm jealous; I'd like to be Charlie Brooker.
There are other people though: the guests. It must be a hard show to come on, to get a word in, and it's interesting to see who does well and who doesn't. In this one, Alexander Armstrong is uncharacteristically unchatty and looks unhappy, probably because this is a better show than any of his regulars. Mel, off Mel and Sue, is nice, but more like someone you might meet on the school run than on the telly. Chris Tarrant is Chris Tarrant: not funny, horrid and smug. But Alex Jones, off the One Show, is a revelation. She's dead funny, gives as good as she gets, is a laugh, has a laugh – and a lovely Welsh accent. And she lies pretty well, too. The winner – best guest by a mile.TelevisionGame showsSam Wollastonguardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds