I’ve been watching some British panel shows on Youtube, and I have a question about language. I’ve mostly been watching Would I Lie To You, 8 Out of 10 Cats, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, and The Big Fat Quiz. The shows share a lot of the same performers, but they seem much more restricted in their use of language on Would I Lie to You. Is that because of where they were shown (Would I Lie to You is apparently BBC One and the other three are Channel 4) or because of what time of night they aired?
Pretty much yes. On the standard “free-to-air” broadcast channels that anyone can receive (including the BBC) anything before 9:00 normally conforms to more strict content guidelines but after that time pretty much anything goes in terms of language, violence and nudity.
I’d been watching ‘Have I Got News For You’ for a while, when I came upon, ‘Have I Got A Bit More News For You’. I was surprised it was about 10-15 mins longer but substantially the very same episode.
It took me a little investigating to realize they film 40min or so, then cut out the racy bits before broadcast. But somehow also post the episode in it’s entirety some time later.
Sometimes the panel will hilariously refuse to get back on track and keep referencing the racy bits throughout the show. It’s quite amusing!
Yeah, the Brits are weird about their racy tv!
Is it the racy bits specifically or just a shorter and a longer cut of the episode? QI does the same thing releasing a QI XL a week or so after the show airs and it’s just more jokes, I thought.
Recently WILTY has been going out at 8:30, so it’s a bit more restricted than the other shows you mention, which are later in the evening. 9pm is the “watershed” time for more adult content.
All panel shows shoot much longer than what’s allocated for broadcast, for obvious reasons - some stuff just doesn’t work for a start. The XL versions tend to be for bits that didn’t make the first-broadcast edit but are still worth showing, and off-topic tangents are a big part of that I think.
The watershed here in the US is also at 9:00 pm; at least it used to be, I don’t pay much attention anymore. But here they could never go as far as you do in Britain.
I have to say thank you to all of the people uploading these shows onto Youtube; I would never get a chance to see them otherwise. I watched a Youtube clip of highlights from The IT Crowd earlier this year. Then, I started getting recommendations for Was It Something I Said. After a few of those I started seeing recommendations for Would I Lie to You. Later, The Big Fat Quiz and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. Now I’m deep down the rabbit hole. I never would have guessed that Youtube would become my favorite tv channel.
Additionally 45 minute programmes are easier to sell to channels with advertising, whether at home or abroad as they will then fit an hour slot. The XL versions get a same week repeat in the UK.
Here’s to you, Nick from Fulham!
Can I recommend another show? Check out Taskmaster. If you have trouble finding it, the r/panelshow subreddit will likely be helpful.
If you’d like some stand up comedy, and fancy an Irish accent, do check out a comic named
Dara O’Briain. (Yes it’s spelt right!)
He’s very funny! Enjoy!
Ones not mentioned that might be good to check out if you can find them: Mock The Week (hosted by the aforementioned Dara O’Briain - it helps if you know a bit about British politics, but not essential. Definitely post-watershed.) and Duck Quacks Don’t Echo (hosted by WILTY’s Lee Mack - a very Doper-style show, IMO. I see there’s a US version too, haven’t seen it)
If you haven’t already done so, I’d suggest watching an episode of Countdown to see what the real show they’re copying on 8 Out of 10 cats Does Countdown is really like! It’s a very long running popular quiz programme with contestants who can actually do the questions!
There’s also an episode of The IT Crowd involving a secret club for winners of multiple Countdown episodes!
He’s also a scientist and debater and has presented the odd science show. Heaven help the current crop of politicians if he ever gets into Irish politics.
Right. Taskmaster, Duck Quacks Don’t Echo, Mock the Week. Sorry kids, Daddy’s going to be busy for a while. There’s goldfish and Triscuits in the cupboard. Don’t forget to brush your teeth before bed.
Amen to that! Add on QI and No Such Thing as a Fish/The News, and Mock The Week.
He’s still around? the stuff I’ve been finding hasn’t been from him, so I thought he got in trouble and got his stuff taken down. I notice that with others. (Watching QI this season seems to require more than YouTube, for example.)
I also will recommend a homemade panel show calledCitation Needed, by Tom Scott and friends. The last few seasons are even done on a proper stage rather than in their kitchen.
Fortunately, since YouTube is its legal home, I can link it. Do notice the season dropdown.
Something not mentioned is that we Brits don’t really like crude comedians; we prefer clever wordplay and innuendo.
Well, there’s always a market for that sort of thing but it’s definitely fringe comedy these days. The working men’s club circuit isn’t as influential as it used to be.
I sorry but that is bollocks.
I give you Roy Chubby Brown.
A man who has been holding his end up under the banner of truly crude British comedy for decades.He does not get much TV air time, it is true. 'Blue' comics are found in live stage shows are where the depths are most easily plumbed. The strain rude humour is still very evident in popular TV shows like Mrs Browns Boys.