Oh noooooooooooo! I just heard the first few seconds of The Archers omnibus today and it went something like this:
Ruth: Oh Deh-vid! Than’ god! Are yew all reit?
David: Yes, we’re all fine!
Ruth: And the boiys?
David: Fine, all fine. But Freda’s in hospital.
Ruth: Oah noah!
At which point I turned it off. It just proves my point from yesterday, that soaps have to keep inventing more and more disasters to retain people’s interest; unfortunately I no longer cared what calamity had caused Ruth and David to have this conversation. Turns out it was a flood.
But is it news? This is the question I’ve been asking myself today – not about the Archers, but about various comedy programmes which generally Take the Piss out of the news. The best of these on offer right now is Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe, which as far as I’m concerned, er – wipes the floor with Have I Got News for You and its radio counterpart, The News Quiz. I think HIGNFY has got predictable these days; a bit formulaic. We more or less know which news items are going to come up and what they are going to say about them. Much sharper was The Day Today, a very clever programme which took the mickey out of the style of news programmes rather than their content: the whizzy graphics, the kind of language the newscasters use (‘news-speak’?) and so on:
It was very funny but it’s in the nature of these things to have a limited shelf-life and so it only ran for one series. Alan Partridge’s career as sports reporter began on The Day Today.
But astonishingly that was 20 years ago – and now comes Charlie Brooker with his brand of humour which is not so much irreverent as downright blasphemous. Charlie Brooker – like Jeremy Clarkson, now that I come to think of it – doesn’t give a toss. He doesn’t mince words or try to avoid offending anyone; for example he describes Fifty Shades of Grey’s Christian Grey as a ‘sort of lego Colin Firth who initially seems like any other besuited piss-hat but it transpires he has predilections as appears when he turns up at Anastasia’s DIY store in what closely resembles a Two Ronnies tribute.’
That is just about two seconds of the tightly-packed wit that bursts forth from this programme. You have to listen carefully to get it all, and I just laugh through each of its 28 minutes. There’s a ‘Day-Today’ type bit in the middle of this episode when they talk about how numbers are taking over everywhere – but then it goes kinda weird. We are both sure (hubby and I, that is) that we’ve seen the item about ISIS before. And I think what happened was that they had a spot lined up all about Clarkson and they were told to pull it out at the last minute (fnarr, fnarr!) because the whole ‘did-he-or-didn’t-he-punch-a-producer-oh-wait-he’s-sort-of-admitted-it-in-an-I-don’t-give-a-toss-way) fiasco.
Or farrago. Or something.
So we reckon he had to replace said Clarkson item by a previously-broadcast bit on ISIS.
Anyway, here’s the latest programme: