Harpenden author pens Would I Lie to You tie-in book

Saul Wordsworth is co-author of "The 100 Most Popular Lies of All Time" based on the Would I Lie To

Saul Wordsworth is co-author of "The 100 Most Popular Lies of All Time" based on the Would I Lie To You show - Credit: Photo supplied

When it comes to deception, it would appear that a wordsmith who hails from Harpenden has a gift for duping people.

So much so that Saul Wordsworth – ‘Wordy’ to his friends – is part of a trio of writers behind the book The 100 Most Popular Lies Of All Time which zoomed up the book-selling chart in the lead-up to Christmas.

The author entertains his 13,200 followers on Twitter via a ‘vaguely’ popular alter ego, named “Alan Stoob, Britain’s Premier Nazi Hunter” (@nazihunteralan) which he turned into a novel last year.

Among his legions of fans - including comics, writers, journalists and media types - is the producer of the BBC programme “Would I Lie to You”, (WILTY) a comedy panel show where contestants bluff about their deepest secrets, and the opposing team has to find out which ones are true.

Saul wrote to the producer, asking if he could write or help out, or, cheekily, “take over from [panellist] Lee Mack”.

With a book based on the popular show in the works, the producer helped Saul hook up with Peter Holmes, creator of WILTY, and head of the production company behind it, Zeppotron.

Saul explained: “They had already started the book. I came onboard and helped bring them up to the 100 mark. In the end, three of us wrote the entries, me, Peter Holmes and Ben Caudell, head of comedy at Channel Four – in other words, highly esteemed company.

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“There were also interjections from David Mitchell, Lee Mack and Rob Brydon.”

The Herts Advertiser wrote about Saul in 2014, after a Hollywood production company approached him to buy the rights to his comedic novel “Alan Stoob – Nazi Hunter”.

Saul said that it was “exciting to have a second book published, though this is far from a solo venture. I am, however, proud of our combined efforts. When I read some of the entries written by Ben and Peter, I nearly wet myself – though crucially I didn’t!

“When working on the book I had to come up with as many modern day lies as possible. To achieve this, I went for a combination of looking deep inside my soul, and Googling.

“As for the question of why people lie, it’s a case of protecting or promoting ourselves, or protecting the feelings of others. That said, I sometimes lie just for the hell of it.”