We Need Answers

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We Need Answers
Created by Mark Watson
Tim Key
Alex Horne
Directed by Steve Smith
Presented by Mark Watson
Tim Key
Alex Horne
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 16 (List of episodes)
Producer(s) Simon London
Editor(s) Graham Barker
Location(s) Stephen Street Studios
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) BBC
Original channel BBC Four
Original run 12 February 2009 (2009-02-12) – 23 February 2010 (2010-02-23)
External links

We Need Answers is a British television panel game presented by comedians Mark Watson, Tim Key and Alex Horne. The show features a pair of celebrities answering questions which have previously been texted in by the public, or the audience, to 63336, a text message service.[1]


In We Need Answers, Watson acts as the main host, Key as the question master, and Horne as the studio expert, as well as the man responsible for the computer graphics and sound effects used in the show.

During the show, correct answers score two points, wrong answers score nothing, and one point is given to an answer which is "Quite right", which means the answer is partly correct. Recurring themes in the series include "Sad Questions", relating to morbid topics and are accompanied by sad music.

The quiz is split into the following rounds:

  • Burning Issues and Fiddly Questions: Key asks questions to each contestant in turn, some of which are based around a general theme covering the episode.
  • You or Him/Her: The contestant can each answer a question about themselves, or try and score double points by answering questions about their opponent. In the first series this round always features Horne explaining what doubling is.
  • The Physical Challenge: The contestants take part in a physical challenge based on a question texted to them.
  • Quick fire Meltdown Round: A round of quick fire questions on buzzers, with all the questions scoring double points. It is a timed round with a time on the bottom of the TV screen depicting the faces of the contestants. The round ends when the face hit each other. At the end of this round, the contestant with the lowest score loses and must leave the studio wearing "The clogs of defeat. The winner gets a certificate.
  • Big Money/House Prize Showdown: The winner can choose to answer a special question for a small cash prize or, in the second series, an item from one of the hosts' houses.


"We Need Answers" first saw the light as a late night comedy show at the Canal Cafe Theatre in London.[2] After a year's development it was taken to Edinburgh Fringe for two years running, sponsored by 63336. The contestants in Edinburgh were exclusively standup comedians, who were at the festival with their own shows.

In its inaugural year at the fringe, 2007, the competition featured the likes of Daniel Kitson, Simon Amstell, Henning Wehn, Brendon Burns & Lucy Porter taking part in the quiz, which took the format of a traditional sporting tournament over the month; heats leading to quarter & semi finals. The grand final was between Josie Long & Paul Sinha, with Sinha proving to be the ultimate winner.

Its second year, 2008, saw a final between Josie Long & Kristen Schaal. This year, Long emerged victorious.

In late 2008 the BBC produced a pilot at Ginglik, London,[3] before launching Series 1 on BBC4 early 2009.


Series 1[edit]

Episode Air date Theme Contestants
1 12 February 2009 Reading Germaine Greer and Michael Rosen
2 19 February 2009 Motoring Julia Bradbury and Robert Llewellyn
3 26 February 2009 Wine Jilly Goolden and Jay Rayner

Series 2[edit]

Episode Air date Theme Contestants
1 1 December 2009 Women (and Steven Gerrard) Jenni Murray and Martin Offiah
2 8 December 2009 Love (and sleeping around) Vanessa Feltz and Simon Bird
3 15 December 2009 Poetry, God, Politics and Geography Miranda Hart and Ian McMillan
4 22 December 2009 Christmas Kirsten O'Brien and Neil Innes[4]
5 29 December 2009 Language Tracy-Ann Oberman and Jake Arnott[5]
6 5 January 2010 The Sun and Vegetables Sophie Grigson and Kelvin MacKenzie[6]
7 12 January 2010 Celebrities Camilla Dallerup and Terry Christian[7]
8 19 January 2010 Medicine Sue Perkins and Phil Hammond[8]
9 26 January 2010 Youth and Kings and Queens Jennie Bond and Rick Edwards[9]
10 2 February 2010 Media and Eating Esther Rantzen and John Inverdale[10]
11 9 February 2010 Nature [feat. Giraffes] Aggie MacKenzie and Peter Tatchell[11]
12 16 February 2010 Music and Fauna and Smut Rowan Pelling and DJ Nihal[12]
13 23 February 2010 Exploring Ireland Sharon Horgan and Benedict Allen[13]

No More Women[edit]

No More Women is an oral game invented in 2001 by the comedians Mark Watson, and Tim Key. The show is web-exclusive on the BBC Comedy website as a spin-off from We Need Answers.[14]

The game is typically played in the car or on public transport. It should be played in a relaxed and respectful way. It is possible to play the game without equipment. Each player in turn declares the name of a famous person and a category into which that person falls, to which no subsequent answer may belong (e.g. "Marie Curie - no more women"). The game ends when a player names somebody who falls into one of the previously chosen categories, or is unable to come up with a name at all.

Watson, Key and Horne once played the game live on stage one Sunday afternoon at London's Canal Cafe Theatre in 2006.

The game was played on the Radio 4 show It's Your Round in March 2011 when Key was one of the panellists and his competitors were Bridget Christie, Micky Flanagan and Nick Hancock.



External links[edit]