Balderdash & Piffle, BBC2

by | Jan 2, 2006 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

It would be easy to say this series on the derivation of words lived down to its title, but, despite some flaws, it looks like being an interesting series, full of the sort of facts that get Stephen Fry excited on QI

What was good about it?

• Victoria Coren is a good presenter – not too serious, not too worthy – but she reminds us a little of Abi Titmuss which is a bad thing.

• Fascinating facts: eg there are 15,190 words beginning with P

• The sprinkling of My Favourite Word inserts from the likes of Ian Hislop, Bettany Hughes, Rory McGrath and Jerry Hall


• Concentrating on words beginning with one letter per show – P in this opener – was just like Sesame Street.

What was bad about it?

• We’ve never taken to double-barrelled celeb experts Adam Hart-Davis and Clarissa Dixon-Wright so we didn’t really enjoy their insights into pear-shaped and pigs.

• The Great Word Hunt, the bid to get three stern boffins from the Oxford English Dictionary to accept new evidence about the origin of words, was a bit of a bore, even if they did acknowledge that Ploughman’s Lunches were consumed before 1970.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


Follow us:

Our Latest Posts:

Borgen proves TV revivals can work.

Borgen proves TV revivals can work.

Borgen is the best political series on television. It's not an area television drama dabbles in that often. There's the original House of Cards and the Netflix version...

The BBC confirm second series of Sherwood.

The BBC confirm second series of Sherwood.

As the critically acclaimed Sherwood finishes its much talked about run on the BBC tonight (28 June) it has been confirmed that it will return for a second series with...


Submit a Comment