Jumping Jack (News)Flash

Newsflash!  Newsjack is returning – nay, at the time of going to press, has already returned – to Radio 4 Extra.  Yes, that cross between Weekending and The Now Show, the nursery slopes for would-be satirical sketch-writers, is back and looking for contributors.  Say no more: I immediately pulled out my pad and began scribbling.  I have often thought, when listening to The Now Show or The News Quiz, ‘giz a job – I can do that’ – but needless to say the ideas that occur to you as spin-offs need more than a little honing before they are fit to stand up by themselves and take part in a radio show.

My first efforts were, alas, out of date since the news stories bumping around in my head were not the latest.  But it’s all good practice and in the end I sent in a sketch where two journalists try to make sense of Theresa May’s current leadership strategy.  If it doesn’t get on I’ll reproduce it here; if it does, you can listen next Thursday evening.

Here are the jokes I rejected.  Like the fish John West reject, I’m hoping they make my fish the best *

‘Reports are coming in that the divorce bill between soap star Brit Anya and her former lover Hugh Rope has risen to between £55 and 75 billion.  Both sides disupte the figures; meanwhile their offspring have all been repealed, resulting in another Great Bill which will be divided among fans of the star.  Jeremy Corbyn the Leader of the Opposition has offered to give some of the offspring a home, though it is not clear now many as a Party is still going on in his House.’

‘Meanwhile there are reports that leading Liberal Democrats have spent the summer on Dover Beach trying to push back the tide, to the accompaniment of a Green chorus singing what about us? and this is a Green tragedy.’

‘Rupert Murdoch was last night sent to bed without any supper because he had had a full-blown tantrum after learning that he couldn’t put the Sky into his toy box.  His mother Theresa said he had too many toys already.  Commentators believe that the 86-year-old is afraid he will never earn any money or amount to anything.’

I’ll keep you posted.

Kirk out

*though all my gags are of course 100% vegetarian

The Funney Programme?

I’ve been saying for a long time that the 6.30 slot on radio 4 has lost its way, and here’s the proof.  These days apart from the two programmes which bookend the week – ‘Just a Minute’/’The Unbelievable Truth’/’I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue’ on Mondays, and ‘The Now Show’ or something similar on Fridays – there’s very little that is actually funny.  I guess Cabin Pressure is OK but I don’t find it hilarious; Issy Sutty is sort of all right but not very funny, and the rest is a sort of mish-mash that doesn’t quite know what or where it is.  The latest offering in this area is ‘Simon Evans goes to Marketland.’  I have no idea who Simon Evans is or what his qualifications are for either comedy or finance, but at 6.30 the very last thing I want to hear about is the stock market, house prices and the relationship between land prices and farm income.  This programme was just NOT FUNNY!  I will go so far as to say that it’s even less funny than Count Arthur Strong, and that is the nadir of radio comedy in my opinion.


I will admit that I didn’t hear the whole programme, but the bits I did hear sounded very much like the Money programme trying to be light-hearted.  Even the write-up makes it sound like a documentary rather than comedy.  I guess it had its moments – there were a couple of good gags in there – but on the whole I thought nah!  I will try to listen to the whole programme next week, but to be honest the news that next week’s programme is about ‘grain commodities’ does not inspire an expectation of hilarity.  I think ‘The Now Show’ does this sort of thing a whole lot better.

So there we are.

And no ‘Feedback’ on which to vent my spleen either.


Kirk out