A Word in Your Ear



Gordon Burns


Kershaw Production Associates and Stag Presentations Limited for BBC1, 19 April 1993 to 14 October 1994 (40 episodes in 2 series)

Kershaw Production Associates and Stag Presentations Limited for The Family Channel, 1995


Robohost Gordon Burns presided over male and female pairs of celebrities participating in five or so rounds of communication games.

One round involved providing a running commentary for a short film, which the partner had to memorise and answer questions upon; woe betide you if your commentary failed to contain the appropriate observational details.

Image:Wordinyourear kinnocks.jpgNeil and Glenys Kinnock

Another frequently-used form is that one celebrity sees a photofit identity picture or an object made up of Lego-style building-bricks or ping-pong balls and pipe cleaners and has to describe how the various parts of the picture or object relate to one another. The other celebrity uses the description provided by their partner in order to try and replicate the original. Usually they don't, which is always good for a giggle.

File:Word in your ear3.jpgDuplo: how hard can it be?
File:Word in your ear4 suzannedando.jpgSuzanne Dando, hiding her handiwork from Gordon Burns.

Other rounds still involved the passing of emotions or adjectives by gesture and charade.

Pleasant celebrity jollity, revealing more than most shows do about your favourite domestic B-list stars' strengths, weaknesses and innermost thought processes. Usually reliable for a good giggle or two.


Created by Gordon Burns and Geoff Kershaw.

Theme music

Andrew Neve


Several games later appeared in Relatively Speaking, a similar show between two families of civilians. They worked quite well there, too.

Repeats of the 1994 series were shown in a lunchtime slot when Wipeout was taking a break during the summer of 1998.

Web links

Wikipedia entry

See also

Weaver's Week review (in a Gordon Burns appreciation)


Bob Holness considers his drawing of a lighthouse.
We said it's called "A Word in Your..." - never mind.


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