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    The Chairman 

Humphrey Lyttelton

Chairman (1972 - 2007)

  • Dirty Old Man: In regards to his relationship with the scorers. Often these comments are played as innocuous Innocent Innuendo s.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Often, especially when dealing with a particularly stupid idea. Or Barry.
    Humphrey: I'm seventy-eight, for Christ's sake!
  • Metaphorgotten: His introductions for One Song to the Tune of Another are bizarre and nonsensical. Though they often end with an insult at Colin Sell's expense.
  • Not So Above It All: Some times a particular adlib will cause him to corpse. Quite badly.
  • Sleepyhead: Often claims to be sleeping through the show from boredom.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: A mild mannered Deadpan Snarker… who has to deliver some incredibly crass innuendos every single episode.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: He informs Jeremy Hardy he's contractually obligated to tell him it's his turn during a singing round.

Jack Dee

Chairman (2009 - present)note 

    The Teams 

Barry Cryer

Panellist (1973 - present)note 

  • The Alcoholic: His main persona on the show.
  • Big Word Shout: Every time he wins Mornington Crescent.
  • Running Gag: Whenever Humph slips up, Barry treats him like an elderly man at a retirement home.
  • Sore Loser: After complaining about the rules of Mornington Crescent. Humph occasionally agrees with him but refuses to start the game again due to his complaining. Occasionally he decides to make Barry lose purely on a whim.
  • Those Two Guys: Often on the same team as Graeme, and any game of Sound Charades with the two will have them being Hamish and Dougal.

Graeme Garden

Panellist (1972 - present)

  • Mad Libs Catch Phrase: "Bring me the (x) of Alfredo Garcia…".
    • During the balls at the close of the game, he frequently uses Mr. Bennett-"X", also known as "GORDON BENNET-X!" - prompting the audience to join in.
  • Morality Chain: Joking invoked by Jack Dee during one episode where Barry is more tetchy than usual, saying he's usually better behaved when Graeme (who isn't there) is around.
  • The Quiet One: Word of God says he is much more likely to stay quiet before seizing his opportunity with a particularly well-timed pun.

Tim Brooke-Taylor

Panellist (1972 - 2020)

  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Treated like a child by the rest of the team and generally given the highest-pitched or most feminine songs to sing in the musical rounds. Bullied even when he isn't there.
    • In any game of Mornington Crescent. Jack Dee picks on him specifically because he enjoys making Tim suffer.
  • Inopportune Voice Cracking: During musical rounds, he's often given songs he can't really sing.
  • The Load: Willie Rushton says he is this when playing Mornington Crescent.
  • Precision F-Strike: During one particular round of "Pick Up Song", he's asked to accompany Dusty Springfield singing "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me". The song immediately cuts off before getting to the lyrics, and between verses Tim lets off an irritated "bastards" before continuing.
  • Running Gag: References to him being a teacher are frequently made, using in terms of a Bait-and-Switch where he behaves like a child. Similar remarks are made about his relationship with his mother.
    • Frequently complains that The Goodies has never been rebroadcast.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: When playing "Spot the Intro", a game based on lying about what piece of music is playing, Tim is scolded by Jack for playing along. When a piece of music he definitely can recognise (the theme of The Goodies) is played, he tries buzzing in... and the game immediately ends.

Willie Rushton

Panellist (1974 - 1996)

    Notable Guests 

Stephen Fry

Guest panellist in 1986–87, 1989, 1997, 1999–2000, 2002, 2007, 2012 & 2019note 

  • Adorkable: Whenever he is called upon to sing, something which he is well known to be extremely nervous about. Later series had him do renditions of spoken word numbers such as Telly Savalas performing "If."
  • Country Matters: Notoriously inferred that "countryside" would be the act of killing Piers Morgan.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: On numerous occasions, notably in the case of the above example. Made better as he always delivers them innocently and politely.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: When asked to sing.

Jeremy Hardy

Guest panellist in 1995, 1998–2007, 2009–12 & 2015–18

  • Abhorrent Admirer: The female Sat-Nav, who is inexplicably aroused by his terrible singing voice.
  • Butt-Monkey: His terrible voice is even insulted when he is away.
  • Dreadful Musician: His singing voice is infamously bad. Naturally, Humph and Jack exploit this for all it's worth.
  • Sixth Ranger: Arguably the closest the show ever got to replacing Willie Rushton, quickly becoming the show's most regular guest and serving as a regular panellist on the live tour from its inception up until his death.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: On occasion, is given songs he can sing. Of course, Humph and Jack would follow up with merciless taunting, like the time he managed to sing one song (Madonna's "Hanky Panky" to the tune of "Land of Hope and Glory"), Humph tells him he could've sung to the tune.

Rory Bremner

  • Brief Accent Imitation: While singing John Lennon's "Imagine" to the tune of "The Muppets Show theme", he starts singing in a Kermit imitation. And still keeps in tune to the song.

Rob Brydon

Guest panellist in 2006–07, 2009, 2011–13, 2015 & 2018note 

  • Delayed Reaction: At one point, he gets snarky at Jack for mispronouncing a Welsh place name, several minutes after it happened without comment.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Whenever he sings a Tom Jones number (and sometimes when he doesn't), there are frequently references to pants being thrown at him, including Tim and Barry's.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Scolds Jack Dee for not pronouncing the name of the river Towy correctly. Then when one of the audience tries correcting Rob's correction, he shoots back "don't be so bloody pedantic".

Sandi Toksvig

Guest panellist in 1997–2003, 2005, 2010, 2015–16 & 2019

  • Hidden Depths: Has a surprisingly good singing voice.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Pretends to have never have heard of Pointless or Pointless Celebrities, which is pretty impressive given she's sitting across from Richard Osman... who co-hosts it.
  • One of the Boys: Fits easily in with the boys, so much so that she is one of most popular guest performers.
  • Straight Gay: Though after one of Rob's songs, she admits she is feeling a little attracted to him.

Tony Hawks

  • Motormouth: Often given very fast songs to sing along to.

Richard Osman

Susan Calman

  • Cloudcuckoolander: In one occasion, Richard Osman was being particularly weird, when Susan manages to out-weird him with an anecdote about tinfoil trousers.
  • Large Ham: She's clearly having some fun doing "One Song to the Tune of Another". In fairness, ham is a default for Gilbert and Sullivan...

David Mitchell

  • Dreadful Musician: His first attempt at performing "A Whiter Shade of Pale" has the others miss Jeremy Hardy.
  • Epic Fail: During a game of Mornington Crescent, he somehow manages to end up in Milton Keynes without even making a move, at least according to the Sat-Nav.

Miles Jupp

Guest panellist in 2013, 2015–17 & 2019

  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: With Jack Dee, on the subject of Miles standing down as host of The News Quiz.
    Jack: Finally, Pippa Evans, I would like you to sing the words of "The Laughing Policeman" to the tune of Tina Tur-ner's... to the tune of... can't see it!
    [The audience laughs, over which Miles can be heard laughing hysterically]
    Jack: To the tune of... you watch it, Jupp! [More audience laughter] Just 'cause you've left your quiz!
    [More audience laughter, accompanied by an "ooh"ing sound]
    Miles: I respect those who don't have the nerve to!

Victoria Wood

Rachel Parris

  • Large Ham: She gets very into doing Celine Dion's "All Coming Back to Me Now".



Colin Sell

Pianist (since 1975)

The show's regular pianist since 1975, endlessly abused by the host for his poor piano skills.

  • Butt-Monkey: Everytime he is introduced, he is the butt of a joke about his awful piano playing skills. Played for Laughs of course.
  • Dreadful Musician: Invoked but entirely averted.
  • Informed Flaw: Colin is actually a very accomplished musician.
  • The Voiceless: Averted on occasion, but as he does not have a microphone we only hear his voice very faintly. Which doesn't stop Humph telling him to shut up.


Scorer (since 1985)

The infamous buxom, blonde bombshell scorer and receiver of many a Double Entendre

  • Buxom Is Better: Many of the jokes around her refer to her impressive endowment.
  • The Ghost: As with the other scorers, Samantha doesn't actually exist. This didn't stop several letters being sent in complaining about the sexist comments made towards her.
  • Put on a Bus: Since the 2010s, she's "appeared" less and less.
  • Really Gets Around: Is often mentioned as doing a variety of interesting extra-curricular activities outside the studio.


Scorer (occasionally in the 80s)

The less prominent female scorer, she took over from Samantha several times in the Eighties.

  • The Ghost: As with the other scorers, Monica doesn't actually exist.
  • Hufflepuff House: Hasn't appeared nearly as often as Samantha, in fact she hasn't appeared since the 1980s.


Scorer (since 1991)
A muscle-bound Swede billed as being from Sweden's answer to the Chippendales Dancers

The Mystery Voice

The radio exclusive voice which provides the answers usually displayed to audiences on the "laser display board" (the producer holding up a cardboard sign).

The Sat-Nav

A satellite navigation system brought in for one game of Mornington Crescent.

  • Abhorrent Admirer: For Jeremy Hardy.
    Sat-Nav: I love you, Jeremy.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: It's supposed to help with Mornington Crescent, but instead decides to complain, sabotage the players, and demand Jeremy Hardy sing to it.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: It got into a vicious verbal catfight with a Welsh Sat-Nav in one game.
  • Commuting on a Bus: Makes rare reappearances every few years.


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