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Good evening and welcome to Would I Lie To You At Christmas,
a very special edition filled with festive fibs.
On David Mitchell's team tonight, a Bafta-nominated actress whose
first job was in a sandwich shop.
Well, it did allow her time to work on her roles.
-It's Kerry Howard.
And a legendary cricket commentator who is
so posh he makes David sound common, it's Henry Blofeld.
And on Lee Mack's team tonight, a BBC news journalist who has
reported from war zones and trouble spots in over 80 countries.
It's a dangerous job, but think of the air miles, it's Clive Myrie.
And a vicar who once performed the number one song, Don't Leave Me This Way.
What a funeral that was.
It's the Reverend Richard Coles. APPLAUSE
And so we begin with round one, Home Truths, where our panellists
each read out a statement from the card in front of them.
Now, to make things harder, they've never seen the card before,
they have no idea what they'll be faced with.
It's up to the opposing team to sort the fact from the fiction.
And we start with Richard.
In our family, whoever was deemed to have done the worst
mime in the Christmas game of charades had to stand up
and have their finger nibbled by our pet tortoise.
-What was the tortoise called?
-Why was he called Aldwincle?
Because that was the name of the place we got him,
-the village of Aldwincle.
-How did it start?
It must have been my father, it has his stamp upon it.
I don't really remember, it was just something we always did
and it seemed perfectly normal to us.
What was it about your father's finger?
It wasn't my father's finger.
It was... He rather liked the sort of traditional
aspects of Christmas, and liked to follow these things.
But that's not one of them.
-Well, we could...
-But that's an invention.
I mean, there are other... Already there are some off-the-shelf traditions you could have used.
-Well, I think a little...
Mince pies, carols, turkey or goose, that kind of thing.
I think he was sprinkled with a little artificial snow
to make him seasonal, but nonetheless that's what we did.
It wasn't a great time of year for Aldwincle,
I think he was probably bewildered by the entire process,
but nonetheless that was what we did.
Of course, as I'd forgotten, but you've reminded me, they hibernate.
KERRY: Oh, yeah!
That's exactly, that's exactly true.
But hibernation can be an interrupted affair.
I hope you've got your information right here.
All the kids at home - "Wake up the tortoise, it's fine, the Reverend Richard Coles says.
"Let's go and dig up Nan."
-I will concede...
I will concede Aldwincle was not at his liveliest,
he was a bit more vital, I have to say, vigorous, in the summer months.
Well, this is the thing that worries me because I think waking a tortoise...
-ROB: I mean, can you wake an animal?
-Waking any animal from hibernation can cause problems,
so let's not do that, kids. Whether this is truth or a lie.
OK, but the actual ceremony. So, so you've played charades...
There would always be somebody who did Papillion,
there would always be somebody who did The Taking of Pe...
We did the same, you know, it's ritualised, that stuff.
Sorry, you did the same films every year?
Nearly every, yeah.
You're really into ceremonial, aren't you?
"We will now mime The Taking of Pelham 123."
How was it decided who'd lost at charades? How did you do the scoring of charades?
It was usually by the kind of tutting and sighing,
-the amount of tutting and sighing.
And also by the length of time it took to guess
-the four films that we did every year.
And what were the other two? Papillion and The Taking of Pelham 123.
-It was Papillion, The Taking of Pelham 123.
The Sound Of The Music and Towering Inferno.
-I've not seen The Sound Of The Music.
That sounds less positive about the music.
The Sound Of The Music is keeping everyone awake.
OK, so, David's team. Kerry, what are you thinking?
KERRY: I think it's got to be a lie, hasn't it?
Richard has a very honest face doesn't he?
You see, well, interesting about Richard, cos that clothing he's wearing,
only two sorts of people wear that - vicars and confidence tricksters.
We don't know which one he is yet.
-You think there's a difference?
-ROB: What are you thinking, Henry?
I think because of the hibernation problem, I think it has to be a lie.
What about you, though, David?
What I think, and what I always think, is it could be either.
Because of course it sounds unlikely, but at the same time
that's exactly the kind of true thing they would pick.
-If he just said, "At Christmas we would have mince pies,"
then you'd go, "Well, that sounds true, yes, true."
What a merry show that would be.
But, no, they've got to pick something that's either a lie,
or a true thing that might as well be a lie because it's so unlikely.
And it's finding that distinction that apparently is
the point of this section of my life.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
Lie, we'll say lie.
You're saying lie. Richard, truth or lie?
It's a lie.
Yes, it's a lie. Richard didn't have his finger bitten by a tortoise if he lost at charades.
Henry, you're next.
My dear old thing.
If fans stop me in the street when I don't want to be disturbed,
I will put on my common voice and pretend I'm someone else.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
Right, Henry, I think you should pretend you're at Lord's,
and I want you to give me a bit of commentary...
In the common voice? Or the normal voice?
No, no, no, no - in his common voice.
In the common voice, yes.
-ATTEMPTS COCKNEY STYLE ACCENT:
-My dear old thing, it's, it's...
Oh, that's the Australian voice, isn't it?
Don't worry that'll do.
-ATTEMPTS "COMMON" VOICE:
-I'll tell you what, I'll tell you what.
No, gawd bless her, that's, that's...
Where's all, where's all these coming in from the pavilion end?
Gor blimey, look at them strides.
I'll tell you what! He bowls and Boycott. Boycott, he played forward, gawd bless him!
-ACCENT BECOMES WEST COUNTRY:
-That's what, that's what I do when I, when I go off my long run.
Also West Country now, he's coming to me!
You are changing your accent throughout.
-Where did you go then? You went down to the West Country all of a sudden.
You didn't tell me where I had to go...
-WEST COUNTRY ACCENT:
-..and I wanted to make all your audience feel 'appy.
Do you get all your voice training from Worzel Gummidge?
When was the last time this happened,
where you didn't want to be recognised?
Well, I'll tell you when I don't want to be recognised, when I'm eating.
When I'm eating and drinking and having dinner.
In your own house?
I mean, we've met your lovely wife tonight,
if she recognised you, surely she deserves some sort of warmth from her husband.
I allow her to recognise me on alternate Tuesdays
and on Bank Holidays.
So you don't...
No, of course not, she's wonderful and absolutely marvellous
and I wouldn't have a word said against her and she's
the best thing that ever happened to me, what was the question?
So, what, when was the last time this happened?
The last time, when I was eating outside, in a restaurant.
-When was this?
-Oh, two nights ago.
-OK, where were you?
Is that where you picked up the accent?
-Ah, I had another one that night.
-Oh, what did you do then?
-I did a little bit of Welsh, I think.
-I had a very good... I had a very good friend who...
Henry, imagine that we're out, you're out in a restaurant now,
you've having dinner with David Mitchell, what a treat,
and I've spotted you, OK? So, imagine, have your dinner,
you and David, you're just eating away, chatting, OK?
Excuse me, I, I don't mean to bother you. Sorry, David, don't mean to bother you,
but you're not that Henry Blofeld, the cricket commentator, are you?
I, I... Would you come again, old thing? I didn't quite get you.
Yes, you are! That's your voice?
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
-It's lovely to meet you.
How are you? Oh, I can't believe it.
-Oh, it's wonderful, gawd bless.
I love the Peep Show, I really do. Not the later series.
It dropped off a bit, but the early stuff, wonderful.
Can I have a selfie, you don't mind, do you?
Darling, of course.
Lovely to meet you.
A friend told me you always put on a different voice,
but apparently you don't.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
Fair enough. Lovely to meet you.
So, what are you thinking, Lee's team?
Clive, does this strike you as true?
I don't think it's true because it was
the flip-flopping between the accents that I thought was a little bit suspect.
Richard, what about you?
Well, in a very real sense, what is truth?
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
Well, well, no-one's ever said that on this before.
I think it's a farrago, a falsehood and a tissue of lies.
-Shall we say it's a lie?
-You're going to say lie?
OK, Henry, was it the truth or was it a lie?
It was a lie.
Yes, it's a lie.
Henry doesn't put on a common voice to avoid talking to fans.
Our next round is called This Is My, where we bring on a mystery guest
who has a close connection to one of our panellists.
Now, this week, each of Lee's team will claim it's them
that has the genuine connection to the guest,
and it's up to David's team to spot who's telling the truth.
So, please welcome this week's special guest, Matthew.
So, Richard, what is Matthew to you?
This is Matthew.
When we were nine years old, we co-founded an atheists' club.
Clive, what is Matthew to you?
This is Matthew, and when he was filming me
reporting on a rise in street crime, someone took his camera.
And finally, Lee, what is your relationship with Matthew?
This is Matthew. I had to foot his dry cleaning bill
after my fidget spinner landed in his soup.
So, there we have it.
Is Matthew Richard's atheist ally,
Clive's camera-less cameraman, or Lee's dirty diner?
David's team, who would you like to start with?
Well, there's an obvious question, isn't there?
At what point did you decide to lie about your atheism just to
earn money from the Church of England?
Matthew and I were boy trebles, choristers together at prep school,
and we sang in the choir together,
and at the age of nine we formed the School Chapel Choir Atheists Club.
As a protest against the blandishments of religion,
and as a refusal to submit to the mythical and tyrannical deity forced upon us.
Richard, Richard, it's Christmas.
I'll bet you had a lovely voice as well, because, you know,
-with the Communards...
-You were lovely, weren't you?
Well, that wasn't me singing in the Communards.
Have you ever interviewed a rock star before?
-IN WELSH ACCENT:
-"With the Communards you were lovely, weren't you?
"Next week, Mick Jagger.
"With the Rolling Stones you were lovely, isn't it?"
I don't believe that a nine-year-old would have
bonked his Christmas stocking on the head like that.
Well, that's a very interesting point. Did you still have a Christmas stocking?
Well, I would suspend my atheism if there was any chance of personal reward involved.
-Yes, OK, I...
-I believe that, yes, yeah.
And now you've done so with your whole career.
-Yeah. So at what point did you begin to doubt your doubts?
At what point did I wake from the slumber of atheism?
-Yes, exactly, or...
-That came along much later, when I was in my late 20s,
after a period of turbulence in life
and I realised that what I had acquired, unknowingly,
all those years ago in the choir, was actually... I was good to go with it.
And that was after the Communards,
a time at which, I will say, you were lovely.
Thank you very much.
Was it just you and Matthew or were there other non-believers?
No, there was Porky Hamblin as well.
Porky Hamblin sounds like a cartoon character
-that they use to advertise pies.
-You read in the Beano.
-Were you brought up in an Enid Blyton book?
Porky, Porky Hamblin was a barrister who became a Pilates teacher in Market Harborough.
Could you harmonise now, together, you and Matthew?
No, Matthew's not allowed to make any sound.
Matthew's not allowed to sing.
-Is he not?
-I've got a lovely voice so...
-If you wanted to sing we could.
# Sing choirs of angels
-ROB ATTEMPTS HARMONY
-# Sing in exultation. #
Oh, you, you did that, I went for that as well. I went for the descant, sorry.
-What would be the atheist's version of that?
It would be a largely silent howl of punk rage.
Go on, then.
Who would you like to question next?
You were filming a segment about street crime.
Rising levels of street crime, yeah.
And Matthew was filming me doing a piece to camera,
and it often happens when you're in the middle of the street
and, you know, things are going on and so forth.
People are coming up behind you and mooning or they come up doing
this kind of thing while you're trying to do the piece to camera.
And this kid comes up behind and goes like this.
I, of course, didn't see him do that, but Matthew saw that happen.
Definitely a kid, not a rabbit?
He took one hand off the lens to say, "Get out of the shot!"
And someone ran up behind him and just grabbed the camera off him.
-A camera's quite big and heavy.
They're heavy, exactly, so he legged it with the camera.
-Holding it by the handle, running like this.
Me and Matthew legged it after him,
and because they are quite heavy, he couldn't continue that far.
So he just dropped it.
So, you got the camera back, but presumably it was badly damaged?
It was a bit knackered, yes.
But the film, the main thing was the film was intact.
-But a television camera, that's not a very useful thing for them to steal, is it?
-You flog it.
It's pretty noticeable, isn't it? "We've got this television camera. It's my granny's."
-You'd be... You would be surprised.
What you want is an iPhone or some cash, don't you?
Kids, what you want is an iPhone or some cash.
-Can I touch Matthew's arms, to feel his muscles?
-Yes, you can.
Cos, if you're a cameraman, you've got to have guns, right?
Well, feel free.
-OK, would you like...?
-Bear in mind...
Not necessarily. A lot of guys wear braces now.
-Bear in mind Matthew's not allowed to speak.
-I won't engage.
-None of your probing questions.
-I'm not going to...
Quite strong. And the other one?
-Wow! You work out?
-Not a word.
-I tell you what, I wish I hadn't dropped my fidget spinner in his soup.
I wouldn't have done it if I had known that.
OK, now, what about Lee? He is having soup and fidget spinners.
-What is a fidget spinner, firstly?
-Do you really not know?
A fidget spinner is all the rage at the moment.
You get them in different shapes and sizes,
-and you spin it on your finger and it just spins round.
-Lee, I've got one here. If you want to...
So, that is the fidget spinner.
You place it on the finger and you basically just spin it round,
and it's quite relaxing.
Where were when you were fidgeting with this?
We were in a restaurant, me and my friend.
-If you're in a restaurant eating soup,
surely you wouldn't be spinning things on your finger.
I did not say I was eating soup.
-Were you eating soup?
-But you seem very adept with that.
-But I didn't SAY I was eating soup. Cos it landed in his soup.
Describe the scene. You are in a restaurant. Who are you with?
I'm with Eddie The Hat, who's a mate of mine.
-Eddie The Hat. Is that a nickname, or is he a hat?
Have you befriended a hat?
No, he is Eddie The Hat, it's a nickname we have, because...
-I don't care.
-Weirdly, weirdly, he never wears hats.
Now, so, you're having a meal with Eddie.
-Eddie The Hat.
Matthew is sat, I would say, not a million miles away from the distance he is now.
A little bit nearer.
-At the next table?
-So, you're having soup with one hand,
..using the spinner with the other, is that right?
I'd had the last few mouthfuls, the bowl was still there,
and then, as we all do, well, since I stopped smoking, I decided to have a quick spin.
And you can still spin in a restaurant.
-They haven't started the rule where you have to spin outside.
Did you feel, as you were eating the soup, a bit of spinning coming on?
I did. I always do, towards the end of a particularly...
After breakfast, do you spin with your cup of coffee?
Every opportunity, to keep my... To stop my hands feeling busy.
It was something a therapist told me to do.
I think it's "to keep your hands busy", is the expression.
Not "stop my hands feeling busy".
-Those are the words of a maniac.
It keeps my hands calm,
cos I'm always wanting to do things with my hands.
Like at the moment, I want to punch David in the face.
With my fidget spinner, I wouldn't do it.
So, there you are, you're having a post-soup spin.
-Having a little spin.
I'm spinning away, and Eddie The Hat is talking about things,
you know, and he is quite impressed, he's going, "You can spin quite fast, can't you?"
I said, "Oh, yeah." And I got a little bit carried away and I went for a massive one.
It flew off, the spinner landed in the soup, and an explosion
of tomato soup went all over his shirt, his jacket and trousers.
-What happened to the spinner?
He took the spinner out like that, he was disgusted at me.
He gave it back. I didn't help matters by going, "Yep, still working."
All right. We need an answer. So, David's team.
Is Matthew Richard's atheist ally,
Clive's camera-less cameraman,
or could he be Lee's dirty diner?
Well, he's got strong arms, he's wiry, he could be a cameraman.
-He looks like a cameraman.
-He looks like a cameraman.
He could also, of course, eat in a restaurant, because anyone can.
And he looks about the right age to have been at school with Richard.
Do you see the problem?
I would say Clive.
-And you think...?
-I think Clive. Yep. The cameraman, defo.
-Well, I think it's Richard.
-It sounds to me like the truth is somewhere between Clive and Richard.
-I'm not going to overrule, we'll say Clive.
OK, they are saying that it's Clive.
Matthew, would you please reveal your true identity?
I'm Matthew, and Richard and I did start an atheists' club.
Yes, Matthew is Richard's atheist ally.
Thank you very much, Matthew.
Which brings us to our final round, Quick Fire Lies and we start with...
Right, OK. After a flu virus swept through my class,
I starred in a primary school production
of Snow White And The Two Dwarfs.
-And presumably one of them was Sneezy.
-What did you play?
-I played Snow White.
And which of the two dwarfs appeared?
And which of the five didn't?
-Snoozy, oh, yes.
Sleepy, Snoozy, Can't Wake Upy.
-Davy, Beaky, Mick and Titch.
-Who can remember the seven dwarfs?
-I can't remember all of them.
-There's Happy, Doc...
..Grumpy, Sleepy, Gary, Robbie and Mark.
You've played 'em all, Rob.
Did no-one suggest cancelling?
No, because originally, the thing is, I was one of the dwarfs. I was Sneezy.
-Oh, you got promoted.
-Yeah, so I was adamant,
I was like, "Come on, this is my chance." I had one show.
-And how much notice did they give you?
-Pff, they gave me one day.
One day, and you learnt all the lines in a day?
I knew the lines.
-She was sneezing in rehearsal.
She could have been feeling Grumpy, that would have been worse.
So, what do you think, is she telling the truth?
I'm loving this, I'm loving this show, I desperately want to see it,
but I'm allowing that to cloud my judgment, cos I think it's not true.
Clive, what do you think?
It doesn't sound plausible to me at all.
-Lie. Lie, team says lie.
OK, Kerry, were you telling the truth, or was it all a lie?
My life is a house of lies.
Yes, it's a lie, Kerry didn't star in a school
production of Snow White And The Two Dwarfs.
Next, it's Henry.
After a mix-up on the telephone,
I accidentally went on holiday with the wrong girl.
Right, Lee's team.
Was this recently?
Not recently, but near enough to be slightly embarrassing.
-It was early 1979.
And that's fairly recently, is it? Blimey.
-I'm glad this story wasn't a long time ago, it would have been in the 1640s.
So, who did you think you were phoning?
-That's none of your business, but...
Were you going out with her at the time, was she your girlfriend?
-Was she a sort of...?
-She was a lady I had met in Sydney.
What was the circumstance that meant that you ended up meeting this lady?
Well, I mean if you're in another country like Australia for,
for five months or nearly five months, there's always
the chance you're going to meet a lady or two, isn't there?
-I mean... I mean.
-LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
I want to know, at any point during the phone call did you
realise you were speaking to the wrong woman?
-You never realised.
It was quite late at night, I have to admit,
and I'd probably had a thimble or two of wine,
so I wasn't actually into the business of dissecting voices.
And the reason you were calling was to say, "Come on holiday with me."
Well, it was more specific than that, actually, it was to say,
"Would you like to come and spend three or four days with me the weekend after next in Monte Carlo?"
-Wow, I'd say yes.
So, this girl that's answered, have you ever met this other girl,
the one that you're now phoning?
-Who was this girl, another sort of...?
It's not a matter I'm prepared to discuss with an almost total stranger.
Right, got you.
Right, so, just to clarify, you're sleeping with both of these women.
-Can I ask, is that a question or a statement?
-It's definitely a statement, we all know.
-We're all reading between the lines.
-In which case I can ignore it.
You've got this other woman's phone number,
now you've phoned her up, woman number two answers the phone,
how long does the conversation go on where you think it's woman number one?
Oh, it went on for seven or eight minutes.
OK, so, when you put the phone down,
you believe that you have now arranged a holiday with
what you think is woman number one, is that correct?
-You're getting better and better at this.
Now, when is the next time you speak to woman number two?
I went, in fact, 10 days later to Heathrow,
and you know how it takes... You get there and you meet someone.
I'm sure everyone here will understand exactly what I'm saying.
And you see people come through and you wait forever
and you look at the wretched board that says the thing has landed.
And you wait and wait and wait and no-one came at all.
No tall, voluptuous blonde, I couldn't see anything like that.
And then I did see a rather...
I don't mean the word dumpy in an uncomplimentary way.
Maybe that's the wrong word.
A brunette there, and I said, she walked through...
"No, sorry, dumpy's the wrong word, I meant brunette."
That's not going to wash.
And she walked through, and I suddenly thought there was
something vaguely familiar about her, and she looked up
and looked at me and recognised me.
And I said to her, "My dear old thing, what on earth are you doing here?"
And she said, "What are you doing here? I'm supposed to be meeting Geoffrey Boycott."
I said, "My dear old thing, what on earth are you doing here?"
And she said to me, "Don't you remember ringing up and asking me
"to come to Monte Carlo for the weekend?"
And do you know what was so awful?
Was that I couldn't remember her name.
And so what I did was, I ran towards her to pick up her baggage,
not in order to be altruistic and help her,
but in order to read her name on her label.
Henry, I just wondered how was the weekend?
Erm, interesting, interesting.
It wasn't what I would call a Grand Prix weekend, exactly,
we had one, one or two rather sort of unenforced pit stops.
-So, what do you think, Lee?
-Wow this is an... I hope it's true.
-The Monte Carlo rings true for someone like him.
-Oh, definitely, yeah. Yeah.
Well, look at his jacket, I would've said Butlins.
So, what we going to say?
-I think it's true.
-Well, I think it's a lie, but I want it to be true.
So I'm going to say true.
All right, you're going to say it's true.
Henry, was it true or were you telling a lie?
-I'm so excited.
Yes! Hey, hey, hey!
Yes, it's true, Henry did go on holiday with the wrong girl.
That noise signals time is up, it's the end of the show
and I can reveal that Lee's team have won by 4 points to 1.
Yay! Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas.
Thanks for watching, we'll see you next time, goodnight.