The News Quiz

For very many years, The News Quiz has regularly filled the Friday 18:30 comedy slot on BBC Radio 4. The show takes a satirical look at the week’s news. It still maintains the quiz format that it started out with, though nowadays the competition element is not really relevant. It’s just a vehicle for a tongue-in-cheek look at the events and the people in the news that week.

The panellists’ observations are always amusing and good for at least a chuckle or two, but the real belly laughs often come from the cuttings that listeners send in, read by a variety of BBC continuity announcers. These usually open and close every show and precede each round.

The shows were topical at the time of transmission – sometimes too topical, with it being a running joke that the shows are recorded on a Thursday and transmitted on a Friday. This can be especially pertinent during elections as the show is being recorded while people are still voting, while the results are known by the time it’s transmitted. Further opportunities for confusion over timing are offered by whether one is listening to the original broadcast, or the repeat. One of my favourite examples of this was a comment by Alan Coren:

… this was six hundred million years ago.
Or, if you’re listening to the Saturday repeat, six hundred million years and a day.

Although the subjects and people discussed are ‘of the moment’ the humour stands the test of time, with shows from the 70s and 80s being as funny now as when they first aired.

Cuttings

The UK’s first bus powered by human waste will go into service in Bristol at the end of the month. The bus will operate between Stockwell and Cribbs Causeway along the number two route.

Bond girls make fleeting appearances early in the films and usually end up in bed with 007. Their amorous exploits all too often lead them to a sticky end.

A gang is being hunted after it burgled a Lincolnshire bookmaker’s and made off with its safe. A number of men were seen loading the safe into a car near the Coral bookmaker’s in Bourne in the early hours of Thursday. The safe is described as large and metal, with a dial on the front.

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