Television review: Would I Lie to You, TV3

By Rebecca Barry Hill

Would I Lie To You. Photo / Supplied
Would I Lie To You. Photo / Supplied

Monday, February 27, has been confirmed as the day Paul Henry debuts on morning TV in Australia. This was after Henry leaked the commercially sensitive start date, telling media, "I won't blow the launch date for Breakfast again, promise."

Oh well. At least he made up for it with a funny quip. Did he really blow it? Or conveniently generate interest in his tendency to blurt stuff out? Henry's new employers, Channel Ten, are describing the show as one that "throws out the rule book", another way of saying, "Bear with us, even if you've no idea who the Kiwi is."

You couldn't say the same for Henry's new venture back home. Would I Lie to You, his new Sunday night endeavour for his old employers MediaWorks/TV3. It's based on a BBC show and what sounds like a Paul McKenna-esque look at surreptitious body language is more like 7 Days meets the board game Balderdash, with a studio set that resembles what I'd imagine a Scientology centre to look like.

Last night's first episode had two teams led by Jon Bridges and Jesse Mulligan, each with two celebrity guests (this week Penny Ashton, Oliver Driver, Ewen Gilmour and Robyn Malcolm), reveal weird things about themselves, some of them raging porkies.

Malcolm said she used to have three rotisserie chickens delivered to her on the set of Outrageous Fortune at 6am every day. C'mon. As if the campaigning greenie eats chicken.

She's an actor so she's paid to lie. Her Equity mates would've been proud of her explanation, something to do with negotiating her contract.

Then a pearler from Gilmour who said he took his surfboard to the local school pool to do laps on it. Ha! Arrested outside a West Auckland cop shop for nicking a car battery? That one had to be true. Twenty points to the other team. Driver said people mistook him for Jeremy Wells. That was true too.

The best improv came from Mulligan, a sometimes 7 Days panellist and radio guy. He was genuinely likeable and funny.

But there were few opportunities for Henry to make off-the-cuff statements. While the others got free rein, most of his lines were scripted.

"To be fair, it was never going to work out for Jesse in business," he said. "He comes from Hamilton. The only successful businessman to come out of Hamilton was the guy who owns the bus to Auckland." Boodaboom-chish.

He didn't let loose until the end, suggesting Malcolm's vet - who'd packaged her cat's ashes in an attractive box - wasn't a very good one or it would still be walking around. More of that, please.

Was Henry naughty, out of line, controversial? Was he rude about anyone's surname or wheezing with laughter at anyone's appearance?

Of course not. He's saving that for the Aussies.

REVIEW

What: Would I Lie to You.
When: TV3, last night.

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