We Need Answers

In terms of new comedy shows that I’ve really liked, there hasn’t been too many. Apart from Psychoville, nothing leaps out and smacks me upside the head. That is, until I watched We Need Answers (BBC Four) last night.

We Need Answers stars Mark Watson (who you’ll recognise from various panel show slots or, as that gangly Welsh stand-up bloke) and Tim Key (the guy who does the oddball poems on various Charlie Brooker shows). It also stars a bloke called Alex Horne, but I don’t really know anything about him.

Mercifully, it matters not because this show is as silly as silly can be… and lawd knows I’ve needed some silliness in my life.

To try and pick the show to bits in order to convey what it actually is seems like a useless endeavour. All you need to know is that daft questions are asked of the celebrity guests… who occasionally have to do very silly things.

It’s all very silly and British, which gives the feeling of this being the brainchild of some sixties gang who cracked the funnies during the heyday of Cambridge Footlights. I guess it should come as no surprise that Watson and Key are both alumni of the fabled gag-factory (again, I don’t know about that other bloke).

This show feels like a radio programme that someone accidentally filmed, despite the fact it was actually a live show from Edinburgh Fringe Thingy. Of course, this makes the show reek of Comedy Club, but in this instance, it doesn’t matter a jot.

I tend to get switched off by hooray-ha-ha these days, but there’s something pleasingly daft about this… something that has a toe in Shooting Stars as well as The Frost Report.

Last night, our scruffs-in-suits bowled about the set like the early nineties never happened and Martin Offiah (rugby league legend) was put up against Woman’s Hour presenter Jenni Murray in a contest to see who could shout the loudest.

Naturally, it’s all a bit flight of fancy, but there was something inordinately pleasing about it. Sure, it may be destined to be a cult hit until the end of time… which I sincerely hope it isn’t (because BBC Two is crying out for a show like it).

We Need Answers is a very funny show. Don’t take it too seriously and you’ll reap TV gold.

Richard Klein, Controller of BBC Four, has commissioned a second series of We Need Answers, the anarchic comedy game show, where the public set the questions to be answered by celebrity guests.

Hosted by Mark Watson, with expert analysis from Alex Horne and quiz master Tim Key, the series will return for a 13-week run later this year.

Each week two celebrities will battle it out to be crowned the winner and save themselves the shame of donning on the clogs of defeat!

The rules are simple – contestants must match their answer to the one given by a text answering service. These can range from how many gerbils stacked on each other would it take to reach the moon to what night of the week is curry night at the Red Lion in Stockport.

Richard Klein said: “I am delighted that We Need Answers is coming back. The show is a smart way of playing with the whole entertainment quiz genre, and Mark, Alex and Tim are an anarchic but genuinely funny team on the show (even if they still don’t quite understand the questions).”

Jo Sargent, executive producer, added: “We’re really excited to working with such rising stars in the comedy world. This show is certainly not like anything else and I’m delighted that BBC Four have supported this show and commissioned a long and healthy run. Please watch it. No, seriously, please.”

The series will be filmed in front of a live studio audience and transmit later this year. The series has been commissioned by Richard Klein and Lucy Lumsden, BBC Controller of Comedy Commissioning.

The executive producer is Jo Sargent, the producer is Simon London.

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