You Can't Ask That

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Available: 6 x Series

You Can't Ask That




You Can’t Ask That is an innovative, original format offering audiences an intimate, very personal glimpse into the lives of people we rarely get to hear from.

Featuring participants from all walks of life, each episode focuses on a minority or sub-cultural group (including people of short stature, Muslims, sex workers, transgender people, suicide attempt survivors, former cult members, recent war veterans, ex-reality TV stars and more), and asks some very frank and often confronting questions, sourced from the public.

By offering insight into the lives of minority or the marginalised, You Can’t Ask That breaks down stereotypes by answering the questions people are afraid to ask. Creating a safe space for its participants, the series forgoes the typical TV trope of relying on celebrities, social commentators, experts and academics to speak on the show’s chosen subject areas. Instead, You Can’t Ask That goes straight to the source – giving only those with lived experiences the opportunity to talk to the camera.

One of the most interesting and diverse programs on Australian television, and having the ability to work successfully for both linear broadcast and digital first strategies, You Can’t Ask That has extended its audience depth and reach with each new series.

With Series 6 recently airing in Australia, the heartfelt and innovative You Can’t Ask That continues its winning trajectory overseas. The 35-plus seasons delivered across 11 international productions in 9 languages (as well as current options in 16 additional territories) is a testament to the power and flexibility of the format, now the ABC’s most successful ever.

S1 10 x 30' (format); 10 x 10-30' (series)
S2 12 x 30' (format and series)
S3 8 x 30' (format and series)
S4 8 x 30' (format and series)
S5 8 x 30' (format and series)
S6 8 x 30' (format and series)


Kirk Docker and Aaron Smith
Lou Porter
Kirk Docker and Aaron Smith
Jess CohenScott Mitchell and Josh Schmidt
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Awards / Reviews


AACTA Awards 2020: Nomination Best Factual Entertainment Program

Australian Broadcasting Union 2020: Best Entertainment Autism Spectrum

Television Business International – Content Innovation Awards 2019: Nomination for Entertainment Format of The Year

Media Diversity Australia Walkley Award 2019: Winner

AACTA Awards 2019: Winner Best Factual Entertainment Program

AACTA Awards 2018: Nomination Best Factual Program/Best Direction in Non-Fiction Television

Logie Awards 2018: Nomination Most Outstanding Factual or Documentary Program


Golden Screen Awards 2021 (Norway): Winner Best Lifestyle Series

Israeli Television Academy Awards 2021: Nomination Best Factual Series (Arabic)

Golden Screen Awards 2020 (Norway): Nomination Best Lifestyle Series

Ondas Awards 2020 (Spain): Winner Best Broadcast Program for TeleMadrid

Israeli Television Academy Awards 2019: Winner Best Factual Series

Iris Awards 2018 (Spain): ‘Best Program’ Jury Award for TeleMadrid

Rose d'Or 2017: Winner Reality & Factual Entertainment