Rose Matafeo and Jim Broadbent turned him into a real cracker

Would i lie to you? is a celebration of the art of creative lying. And so it was fitting that his “Christmas Special” extended the definition of “Christmas” to breaking point.

Team captains David Mitchell and Lee Mack wore a festive tie and Santa badge, respectively. And sprinkled occasional references to turkeys and cheerful men in red overalls. Otherwise, it was business as usual on a popular quiz that’s sort of been running for 14 years without anyone really noticing.

But all was well because the series is, in its usual format, an understated charm. And with former presenter Angela Rippon, Father Ted star Ardal O’Hanlon, New Zealand comedian Rose Matafeo and Oscar winner Jim Broadbent as guests, the episode was a cracker, though it could have done it with a few extra bells.

Quizmaster Rob Brydon has dusted off the identity thefts of Ronnie Corbett and Terry Wogan after their expiration date.

Jim Broadbent in Would I Lie To You On Christmas? (Photo: Zeppotron / Endemol Shine Company / Brian j Ritchie)

O’Hanlon, for his part, claimed to have carried a nut since it was presented to him by a man on top of a mountain in Spain (true).
And Broadbent had brought a pillow supposedly donated by Judi Dench and bearing the inscription “Naughty Broadbent” (this is also true – Naughty was her cat’s name).

It was laughter-filled entertainment without importance, without the cruelty or the all-too-often characteristic of panels.

And if the seasonal dish of Would i lie to you? didn’t really deliver Christmas with all the trimmings, the truth was it was so much fun that, in the end, it didn’t matter.

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