‘With no agenda other than to make viewers laugh, it was cartoonishly larger-than-life and infectiously funny’


We Wish You a Mandy Christmas, BBC2

“It feels stretched out yet crammed in, slight and overstuffed, with some scenes feeling as if they run on too long and others as if they needed more polishing. But that sense of being bent out of shape can add to the surreal cartoonishness of it – and it does continue the sense that Mandy is unlike anything else on TV. In fact, it has much in common with Tia Maria, Mandy’s choice of festive tipple. It is camp, retro and enjoyable for a glass or two, but you probably don’t need much more than that.”
Rebecca Nicholson, The Guardian

“A riotous riff on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol isn’t the most original idea under the tree. Bill Murray did it with Scrooged and the Muppets with The Muppet Christmas Carol. But We Wish You A Mandy Christmas nonetheless proves the ideal vehicle for writer and star Morgan, who serves up a bouncy batch of bah humbug topped off with a sprinkling of seasonal saccharine.”
Ed Power, The i

“Mandy, with her lopsided mouth always chewing the inside of one cheek, is funny because Morgan is funny. Not always in a laugh-out-loud way, but in the lugubrious, reductive, deadpan way that she sucks the joy out of everything, just as her character Liz does in Motherland. The woman behind Philomena Cunk must be halfway to national treasure status by now.”
Carol Midgley, The Times

“With no agenda other than to make viewers laugh, it was cartoonishly larger-than-life and infectiously funny. Best of all was scene-stealing pet pooch “Small Tim”, who wore a canine paper crown and high-fived Mandy with a paw when she gave him his present (a tin of ham). I noticed from the closing credits that he was played by Robert “Bovril” Morgan. Yes, he was the star’s own rescue dog. I’m not sure why I found this so touching but I did. Too much Tia Maria, perhaps.”
Michael Hogan, Telegraph

Would I Lie To You?, BBC1

“As ever, the game is worth watching just to marvel at the speed of Lee Mack’s ad libs. I suspect he can’t control them. No doubt he’s sometimes in trouble in real life, for blurting jokes out before he can stop himself. When Jim [Broadbent] announced that he’d walked in the Pyrenees, Lee flashed back, ‘I’ve walked with a pair of knees!’ Boom-boom!”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“It was chuckle-filled, inconsequential entertainment without the cruelty or one-upmanship too often a feature of panel shows. And if the seasonal special of Would I Lie To You? didn’t quite deliver Christmas with all the trimmings, the truth was that it was so much fun that, in the end, it didn’t matter.”
Ed Power, The i