Genius (radio series)

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Genius cover.jpg
The cover of Genius Series 1
Genre Comedy game show
Running time 30 minutes
Country of origin United Kingdom
Language(s) English
Home station BBC Radio 4
Syndicates BBC Radio 4 Extra
TV adaptations Genius
Starring Dave Gorman
Created by Ali Crockatt
David Scott
Produced by Simon Nicholls
Original release 27 October 2005 (2005-10-27) – 22 December 2008 (2008-12-22)
No. of series 3 (plus 1 special)
No. of episodes 18
Opening theme The Aquabats - Lobster Bucket!
Website Genius homepage (BBC)

Genius is a BBC Radio 4 comedy gameshow presented by comedian Dave Gorman. Listeners send in 'genius' ideas which are considered by Gorman and a guest before a studio audience, with a different guest for each show. One series of five episodes was broadcast between 27 October and 24 November 2005, with a second series of six episodes broadcast between 7 September and 12 October 2006 and a third series between 1 October and 5 November 2007. A Christmas special was broadcast on 22 December 2008. An unbroadcast television pilot was made in November 2007,[1] with a full series recorded for BBC Two in September 2008.[2]

The series was created by Ali Crockatt and David Scott, and is produced by Simon Nicholls.


People send their ideas to Genius and, if chosen, travel to a recording of the show to put forward their idea to the audience. Superficially, the idea must have some quality by which it will improve the standard of living either for the individual or society at large, although in reality, it is more important that the idea has comedic value. An early addition to the rules was that evil genius should count. Most ideas are created by one person, however it is possible for an idea to be made by more than one person. There are normally five different ideas on every episode, but this has been known to differ.

The idea can be anything, such as an invention, a law or a government policy. The idea does not have to be very expensive, or even ethical. Some ideas are constructed or otherwise trialled in real life, and the consequences are played out to their extremes, with the host usually attempting to identify a flaw in each idea. The guest then decides if the idea is "Genius or not".

Once all the ideas have been put forward, the guest then picks his/her two favourites. The winner out of these two is chosen by the audience, by applauding for their choice. The one with the loudest applause wins the "coveted" Genius trophy. Since series two, the winner also reads the end credits.

However, one of the winning ideas at the end of the third series was to change the voting system of the show. A person complained that the second idea had an unfair advantage because they knew how much louder they needed to clap. In the following episode, the Christmas Special, the winning idea was instead decided by the guest judge within a 10-second time limit.


Series 1 (2005)[edit]

Episode Co-host Winning idea
Episode 1 Paul Daniels Just A Minute in the Houses of Parliament
Episode 2 Richard Madeley Miniature elephants as pets
Episode 3 John Fortune Very old scientists on space missions
Episode 4 Neil Innes Helium-filled Bubble Wrap (to save money on postage and packing)
Episode 5 Stewart Lee CD Microwave oven

Series 2 (2006)[edit]

Episode Co-host Winning idea
Episode 1 Johnny Vegas Using dogs as metal detectors
Episode 2 Carol Vorderman Parking meters as fruit machines
Episode 3 Brian Sewell Putting the clocks back every night
Episode 4 Chris Addison Socks in trios
Episode 5 Sid Waddell Perforated bread
Episode 6 Armando Iannucci Tetris: The Movie

Series 3 (2007)[edit]

Episode Co-host Winning idea
Episode 1 Rob Newman The hitchhiker assurance scheme
Episode 2 Germaine Greer Lego prisons
Episode 3 Simon Munnery The Vacuum loom
Episode 4 Gyles Brandreth Royal Family Leasing
Episode 5 Matthew Wright Undad: Renting children so divorced men can fulfil roles as fathers.
Episode 6 Charlie Brooker The two-year dog/Changing the way the top Genius is judged

Christmas Special (2008)[edit]

Episode Co-host Winning idea
Special Lee Mack Putting lonely hearts on the back of Christmas ready meals for one.

TV series (2009)[edit]

A television series of Genius was recorded and the first season started broadcast on BBC Two on 20 March 2009.[3] A second season started recording on 23 May 2010 and was broadcast later that year.

See also[edit]

  •, a site covering "The science of opposites", an idea which appeared in series two.


  1. ^ Wolf, Ian (2007-09-19). "A Genius TV programme". British Sitcom Guide. Retrieved 2007-09-20. 
  2. ^ Dowell, Ben (2008-04-28). "Gorman's Genius set for BBC2". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-04-28. 
  3. ^ BBC 'Genius' TV series website "Genius" Retrieved 2009-03-11.

External links[edit]