The West

Thank Goodies for the truth
The Unbelievable Truth's Julian Morrow, Craig Reucassel and Andrew Hansen. Picture: Supplied.

Sometimes truth is far stranger than fiction. Seven's new comedy panel game show The Unbelievable Truth relies on this statement to smuggle through strange facts hidden in an often hilarious web of lies.

Produced by Julian Morrow, Craig Reucassel and Andrew Hansen from The Chaser's War on Everything and The Hamster Wheel, the show entails comedians delivering entertaining presentations.

Each is full of lies, with only a few truths. The aim of the game is to sneak these facts through and for the panel to attempt to detect them.

The show had its genesis on BBC Radio. The popular radio version of The Unbelievable Truth was created by comedy mastermind Graeme Garden, of The Goodies fame, alongside radio comedian Jon Naismith, who form Random Productions. The hit show has been running since 2006.

Garden also co-produced the show's transmission on to Australian TV screens with the three Chaser stars and was present for the recording. Morrow says the Scottish comedy king's involvement was a huge drawcard.

"All of us have idolised The Goodies from day one so it was a great opportunity," Morrow says over the phone between filming The Hamster Wheel.

"It certainly made it easy to get guests on the show. I would ring people up and say 'There are two ways to ask this question. One would be to say, would you like to come on our new comedy panel game show on Channel 7? The other is, would you like to meet Graeme Garden?' And they were like 'yes'."

Like so many Australians growing up in the 1970s and early 80s, Morrow and co watched cult British TV series The Goodies. The lawyer-turned- comedian/producer says Hansen in particular is a massive fan. Hansen managed to score the gig of emceeing The Goodies' live talking tour a couple of years ago, casually suggesting to Garden The Unbelievable Truth would make a great Aussie TV show.

The idea was pursued, then realised and ready to roll out 18 months later.

The fun game show marks a lighthearted change from the trio's usual political satire. Morrow says this was mainly because it was filmed so early they had to steer away from it being too topical.

Comedian guests include Stephen K Amos, Kitty Flanagan, Shane Jacobson, Akmal Saleh and Sam Simmons, not to mention Garden. The series is also dotted with random cameos by singer Kamahl.

Morrow says adding the visual element to the mix helped to heighten the humour. The sketches, graphics and props brought proceedings to a new level.

"TV is a great opportunity to do silly things that you would never otherwise be able to do," he says.

"We took a horse down to a shoot, Andrew had a koala on set and Sam had a dog on set.

"That's the kind of dress-ups and silliness that we love."

The Unbelievable Truth premieres tomorrow, October 11 at 9.30pm on Seven/GWN7.

The West Australian

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