Jonathan Ross
Team Captains
Julian Clary (Entire Run)
Jack Dee (First Series)
Phil Jupitus (Rest of Run)
BBC One: 3 June 1999 – 23 August 2002

It's Only TV... But I Like It was a comedy panel game show where celebrities answered questions about television.


Two teams, each consisting of one of the team captains and two guests, competed to answer television-based questions. There were a variety of games used throughout the run.

  • TV Trivia – Each team was shown a series of three clips which had a tenuous link to a moment in television history, and then attempted to decipher the link.
  • Bad News (Are You Sitting Down? in later series) – The teams were shown a clip from a television programme with a piece of bad news delivered in it. The clip would stop before the bad news, and the teams had to guess what it was. The programmes used in this round came from a variety of genres.
  • Here's One I Made Earlier – This round was inspired by the long-running BBC children's series Blue Peter (the longest running children's programme in the world). In this round, the teams were given ingredients to a real Blue Peter "make," and had to figure out what the presenter made out of them.
  • Channel Hopping – In this round the guests would make their way into the television screen (in reality, this was an elevated section of the stage behind Jonathan), and the team captains would don special earmuffs to block out any noise. The captains also had a remote control to choose one of five programmes, which the guests had to mime along to the theme tune in order for their captain to guess the programme. This game was only played in half the episodes of the first series, but from the second series, this game was played in every episode. Beginning in the third series, each captain would have a pair of earmuffs decorated to look like a certain television programme.
  • Opportunity Knockers – The teams were shown three clips of performers on talent shows. These included New Faces and Opportunity Knocks, to name a few. Their job was to guess which of the three acts was still performing as of that episode's recording.
  • Granny Knows Best – The teams were shown a montage of elderly people describing a television programme in an obtuse way, and their job was to guess what programme they were talking about. If they could guess it correctly from the first montage, they were awarded five points; if they didn't, however, then they were shown a second montage where the clues become easier, but the point value would decrease as more clues were given.
  • Masks – In this round, the team would don blindfolds and the opposing captain would apply masks to the blindfolds of the opposite team, all of whom were faces from the same TV programme. The team would then have to ask questions to the opposing side to guess who they were wearing masks of, mainly using yes-or-no questions.
  • Aliens – In this round, the teams were shown three aliens, one of which appeared in Doctor Who (the longest running science-fiction television series in the world). The teams would then ask the aliens questions as to their identities before voting on which of them was the real alien. Teams who guessed correctly would score points.
  • Wine Tasting – The teams were given a wine to taste (which had appeared on Food and Drink, a BBC programme that was about eating and drinking without cookery or recipe demonstrations) and were asked to guess what the presenters said about the wine. Points were awarded for each correct description. In one variant of this round the contestants were asked to taste a beer instead of a wine, making this round Beer Tasting; in this case, the beer in question was Weihenstephaner.
  • Let's Laugh At Foreigners – The teams were shown three acts performing at a Eurovision Song Contest (which has been held every year since 1956), and had to guess which act got the lowest number of points.
  • Are You Being Serviced? – The teams were shown a clip from a sitcom, usually the long-running Are You Being Served?, after which the round was named. The clip would paused before the punchline was delivered, and the teams had to guess the punchline.
  • Charley Says – This round was based on the series of public information films of the same name. The teams were shown a public information film which was paused before the message was delivered, afterwhich the teams had to guess the film's message.

At the end of the programme, the teams would play a quickfire round on the buzzer. Three quickfire rounds were used throughout the programme's run.

  • Catchphrase (First Series) – The teams simply had to complete the unfinished catchphrases read out by Jonathan.
  • Who Said That? (Second and Third Series) – Jonathan would read out a line of dialogue from a TV programme and the teams had to guess the character or person who said it.
  • Quickfire Trivia (Final Series) – This was a straightforward round of quickfire trivia questions, also incorporating catchphrases and identifying two TV personalities morphed together into one picture.

At the end of the game, the team with the most points was the winner; if the game ended in a tie, neither team won.

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