Dirty Rotten Cheater



Brian Conley


BBC One/Two, 15 October to 16 November 2007 (20 episodes in 1 series)

(Transferred to BBC Two for last 5 episodes - see Trivia below)


The BBC continue to "innovate", buying in this format that's essentially the same idea as one they dumped after one series in 2002 - namely, The Enemy Within.

Contestants answer Family Fortunes-style survey questions, such as "What do women do better than men?", with the cheater given the answers by the producers via a secret screen in their podium. The most obvious answer scores £100, up to £1000 for the most lateral. Each contestant is given a chance at answering once.

"It could be YOU!" - Brian Conley is your host.

Similar to Traitor, contestants are given the opportunity to vote off contestants who they suspect of cheating. A majority vote is needed. If they are correct, all well and good and the cheater leaves the set and joins the "Losers Lounge" (what is this, Celebrity Poker Showdown?) If they are wrong, the innocent player still leaves the game empty-handed and the money of the remaining players is halved. If they can't agree, everyone still loses half their money and the cheater gets to eliminate who he or she likes by pressing a secret button.

Repeat as above until three players are left. (If ever the cheater is found successfully, a new cheater is appointed.) For the next round, three different questions are asked in turn and the audience get the chance to identify the cheater. Before the vote, each player gets the opportunity to convince the audience. No money is lost if the audience guess wrongly, but whoever they vote for goes out of the game. One final question is played with the final two players, with two guesses each, and again the audience vote for the cheater after each contestant pleads to the audiences for 15 seconds and the losers in the Lounge are consulted on what they think.

Brian Conley with a wonga.

The DRC is then revealed. The contestants move forward to two columns containing their money. The cheater puts their hand in to grab the cash - if they fooled the audience, they can take it. If they didn't, the money falls through a trapdoor and the other remaining player can take whatever they took forward into this round. No mention is made of the percentage vote, sadly.

Like Identity, the format is fair - although the later rounds are too short and could do with more iterations around the block - but the technical execution is poor. The huge text scrolling across the back of the set is jerky and looks horribly pixellated in medium shots. The musical stings and lighting changes look badly planned and add no atmosphere other than that of amateurism. The theme music uses lots of annoying, unconvincing, parpy trumpet noises. The reveals are done in a very eggy way. There's just a lot of small mistakes adding up to a rather large molehill.


Based on the US show format created by Jonathan Goodson Productions and supplied by Distraction Formats.

Theme music

Grant Buckerfield


The show originally aired in a 2.35pm slot on BBC One for the first 15 episodes from 15 October to 2 November before it was moved to a 2pm slot on BBC Two for the last 5 episodes from 12 to 16 November.

Web links

BBC programme page

See also

The Enemy Within

Weaver's Week, 26 April 2003 for a description of the original US format, and of the UK version


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