A backstage guide to the people and games.
Over the years I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue has featured many different games, from one off visual spectaculars to firm favorites, returning series after series.
84 Chicken Cross Road: the teams construct a lively correspondence between two famous characters, word by word.
Alien Theatre: famous dramatic moments interpreted by Extra Terrestrials.
Celebrity Misquotes: what the Famous never said.
Censored Songs: cleaned up versions of popular favourites.
Chat Up Lines: how to make special friends.
Complete Proverbs: learn what ancient Proverbs really meant to say.
Complete Quotes: how famous quotations ought to end.
Costcutters: cut-price versions of popular films, TV or radio programmes.
DIY drama: the players improvise a TV drama providing their own sound effects.
Film Club: the players provide Film Titles likely to appeal to a particular group.
Historical Headlines: great moments in history as reported by
In Their Own Words: the teams guess the missing sections from a day in the life of a well-known celebrity.
Jargon: what the ‘experts’ really mean.
Karaoke-Cokey: the audience serenades the teams, who must guess why.
Late Arrivals: the teams announce the unlikely names of the late arrivals at a special-interest group ball.
Misleading Advice: advice it is best not to take.
Missed Hits: shows that, for some reason, never quite made it.
Mornington Crescent: for rules, see Appendix xii.
Musical Chars: like ‘Musical Chairs’, but spelt differently.
Notes and Queries: the teams provide the answers to everything you ever wanted to know.
One Song To The Tune Of Another: a complicated concept that requires
Pick-up Song: the players sing along to tracks they can’t hear.
Quiz of Quizzes: the teams take the best elements of all the popular Quiz Shows and discard them.
Sound Charades: charades without the benefit of mime.
Sound Effects storytime: one team tells a story while the other team bring it to life with sound effects.
Spot the Ostrich: a new old game.
Stars In Their Ears: the players impersonate Stars as they sing
Swanee Kazoo: the ever popular musical duet.
Swankers: the teams attempt to out-do each other’s boasts.
Topical Nursery Rhymes: in which the teams adjust old Nursery Rhymes to fit our less innocent day and age.
Uxbridge English Dictionary: new meanings for old words.
Waiters: players assume the role of over-attentive waiters.
Word For Word: in which one team exchanges a series of words while the opposing team challenges if they detect a connection between any of these words.
For a comprehensive round list, please visit
The regular panellists for the show were Graeme Garden Barry Cryer and the late Willie Rushton and Tim Brooke Taylor. They have been joined over the years by numerous guest panellists, including:
- Bill Bailey
- Max Boyce
- Jo Brand
- Marcus Brigstocke
- Rob Brydon
- John Cleese
- Denise Coffey
- Jack Dee
- Kenny Everett
- Stephen Fry
- Rory Bremner
- Omid Djaili
- Andy Hamilton
- Mike Harding
- Jeremy Hardy
- Tony Hawks
- Harry Hill
- John Junkin
- Phill Jupitus
- Jo Kendall
- Jonathan Lynn
- Fred MacAulay
- Miles Jupp
- Pippa Evans
- Paul Merton
- David Mitchell
- Neil Mullarkey
- Ross Noble
- Bill Oddie
- Linda Smith
- Bill Tidy
- Sandi Toksvig
- Victoria Wood
- Susan Calman
- Richard Osman
In addition to guest panelists, the show has featured appearances from Dame Judi Dench, Sir Michael Gambon and Alan Titchmarsh, as well as the late Raymond Baxter as a one-time commentator on a round of Mornington Crescent.
Over the years the show has also benefited from contributions by a prolific letter writer, Mrs Trellis of North Wales.
Behind the scenes, the show has involved a number of different producers:
- David Hatch (Produced only the pilot episode in 1972)
- John Cassels (1972–1974)
- Simon Brett (1975–1977)
- Geoffrey Perkins (1978–1981)
- Paul Mayhew-Archer (1982–1986)
- Paul Spencer (1987–1989)
- Jon Magnusson (1990–1991)
- Jon Naismith (1991–present)
Iain Pattinson was the programme consultant from 1991 to 2020, and the show has featured written contributions from Peter Bradshaw, Debbie Barham (possibly add names of recent script contributors) and Steve Punt. Since Iain’s death in 2021 Robert Fraser Steele has been programme consultant, providing the chairman’s script.
Musical accompaniment is the backbone of many of the games. Before Colin Sell took over the role early episodes were accompanied by I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again pianist Dave Lee. Other pianists to have performed on the show include Neil Innes, Denis King, David Firman and Matthew Scott.
The lovely Samantha has been the show’s favourite scorer since 1985, aided at times by Sven, from Sweden and the lovely Monica.