Paul Henry to swap current affairs for comedy

Forget half an hour of current affairs – instead a new comedy show, to be hosted by Paul Henry, is planned for Sunday nights on TV3. Henry will host Would I Lie To You?, a comedy panel show featuring two teams and guest celebrities.

Team members read statements about themselves which may or may not be true; the opposing team asks questions to determine which is the case. The show features a succession of unbelievable truths and semi-believable porkies.

It is a format that will allow Henry to juggle that and his new position as host of Channel Ten’s breakfast news show in Australia. Henry will be joining departing TVNZ’s news boss Anthony Flannery, who has been hired as Channel Ten’s head of news. Flannery was a big supporter of Henry’s at TVNZ.

But Henry’s current affairs show, originally planned for Sunday’s slot, has reportedly been scrapped altogether, with sources saying it would have been logistically too difficult to produce from Sydney. Filming of the first batch of episodes for the show is supposedly taking place on 17 and 18 December in Ponsonby. Once Henry moves to Australia in the New Year, he will return to Auckland regularly to record new episodes.

“This is a brilliant, brilliant television format, and the ideal show for Sunday evenings,” says Paul Henry.

“Half an hour of well-known Kiwis sharing outrageous lies and astonishing truths, coached and corralled by the talented Jesse and Jon, is my idea of great television.”

The two team captains are Jesse Mulligan and Jon Bridges. Celebrity guests (two per team), will include sports icons, actors, raconteurs, musicians and politicians.  The initial line-up is Bernice Mene, actors Jodi Rimmer, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, Tom Scott, Jon Toogood, Antonia Prebble and Robyn Malcolm.

Would I Lie To You? will screen on TV3 as part of the 2012 new season, at 7pm on Sunday.

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