Tell the Truth



MacDonald Hobley (1957-8)

David Jacobs (1959)

Shaw Taylor (1961)

Graeme Garden (1983-5)

Fred Dinenage (1989-90)


Robin Houston (1983-5)
Malcolm Brown (1989-90)


ATV (credited as "ATV by arrangement with Goodson and Todman and CBS") for ITV, 17 September 1957 to 6 September 1961 (76 episodes in 3 series)

LWT in association with Goodson-Todman Productions and Talbot Television for Channel 4, 17 April 1983 to 22 November 1985 (51 episodes in 4 series)

TVS in association with Mark Goodson Productions and Talbot Television for ITV, 11 April 1989 to 26 October 1990 (92 episodes in 3 series)


Four celebrities with some time on their hands and three nobodies. Ah, but which nobody is the somebody and can you spot the bad acting?

Yes, that's Tell the Truth! Four celebs come to play by asking questions of the three protagonists. One of the protagonists has a secret which they would like to reveal to the world. The two actors also share that secret except they don't and the celebs try to work out who the real one is.

Once the person telling the truth has been revealed, and has talked more on the subject, another three appear claiming something different, and the show continues in the same vein. In the end game, the four impostors come back, as one of them has a different secret. Each is individually questioned by a different celebrity, who decides whether or not he/she is telling the truth, and the truth-teller is revealed - usually leaving a gobsmacked celebrity, who would never have believed that he/she was the genuine article!

Which one is the REAL Superman? I hope it's not contestant No. 3


(At the beginning of the show): "Number One, what is your name, please?" This was repeated with Number Two and Number Three, and when all three had claimed to be a certain person: "Only one of these people is the real (whoever) and has sworn to tell the truth (or, before the break, "....And in Part Two, we'll find out which one has sworn to tell the truth").

"It's 'make your mind up' time for our panel - and for you at home - is it Number One - or Number Two - or could it be Number Three?"

"Right, team - there's an envelope in front of you all with a sworn statement inside it - open it up - I'll read it to you..."

"Will the real (whoever) please...stand up?" or, "...Now let's find out who's right and who's wrong as I ask the real (whoever) to please...stand up?"

(Fred Dinenage, if a contestant was prevented from answering a question by the 'time's up' buzzer): "We shall never know!"


Based on a Goodson-Todman format created by Bob Stewart.


Among the most regular guest panellists in the 1980's/90's version were Chris Tarrant, Claire Rayner, Bob Carolgees, Christopher Biggins, The Reverend Roger Royle, Bill Tidy, Beverley Anderson and Judi Spiers.

The LWT series seems to be the only version to have all of its episodes survive from the archives as all of the episodes from the ATV series have been wiped and all the episodes from the TVS series are bought by Disney, with an amount of paperwork missing, which can't been re-aired at all.

Web links

Wikipedia entry

See also

Odd One In, a 2010 reworking of the same idea.


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