One of the UK’s longest running and highest rating TV panel shows is coming Down Under.
The first half-a-dozen episodes of the Australian version of Would I Lie to You? are currently being taped at Fox Studios in Sydney and will premiere on the Sky News Australia network and undiscerning free-to-air stations around the nation from early February.
Taking the role of Welsh comedian, impressionist and actor Rob Brydon to host the Australian show is Sydney funnyman, confirmed bachelor and raconteur Alan Jones.
His two team leaders are Rowan Dean and Peter Gleeson (pictured above with Jones).
A SkyNews Australia spokesperson explained the Australian version was quite a bit different from the UK original, now in its 13th season.
“The United Kingdom has close to 67 million people and the talent pool of genuinely funny and engaging people as droll as David Mitchell and as quick with a quip as Lee Mack and an endless supply of similar celebrities from all walks of life means the UK show flourishes on really silly questions on just about anything really.
“We simply don’t have that talent here to fill six seats in any one show, and that’s with Hamish and Andy between projects at the moment.
“Also, by our very network name, we are a serious news outlet anyway so our format centres of the news of the day and yes, our flavour is largely political.
“Most of the team members come from both sides of the political reporting class – the far right and the fringe lunatic right.”
I’ve seen the first episode and I must say panelists – Janet Albrechtsen, Parnell Parme McGuinness, Des Houghton and Rachel Baxendale – have a lot of fun trying to convince the opposing team that various articles they have written or comments they have made are true!
As Alan Jones says in his introduction: “None of these cards have any idea about the words they are about to read out. Are they really theirs? Is it nuanced, fact-based commentary or fictional nonsense? Are the opinions theirs or someone else’s?”
And the show’s first “this is mine” is different too. The first not-so-mystery guest is recently retired New York Post editor Col “Pol Pot” Allan and even though the panelists clearly know this, they still have a lot of fun trying to convince the opposing team that they could best emulate the great newsman’s own career by crawling up his arse the furthest.