|Running time||28 minutes|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Home station||BBC Radio 4|
|Starring||Hosts: Nish Kumar, Angela Barnes & Andy Zaltzman (on rotation) |
A BBC Radio 4 newsreader
Various guest panellists
|Created by||John Lloyd|
|Produced by||Victoria Lloyd|
|Recording studio||BBC Radio Theatre|
|Original release||1977 - present|
|No. of series||101|
|No. of episodes||922 (Up to Series 100)|
|Opening theme||The Typewriter by Leroy Anderson|
|Podcast||Friday Night comedy podcast|
The News Quiz was first broadcast in 1977 with Barry Norman as chairman. Subsequently, it was chaired by Simon Hoggart, Barry Took (until 1995), and then again by Simon Hoggart until March 2006. Hoggart was replaced by Sandi Toksvig in September 2006, who in turn was replaced by Miles Jupp in September 2015. The series was created by John Lloyd based on an idea from Nicholas Parsons.
It was adapted for television in 1981 under the title Scoop, running for two series, and later inspired the television programme Have I Got News for You.
During series 97, running from August to October 2018, Jupp was absent due to filming commitments overseas, so show regulars Simon Evans, Susan Calman, Fred MacAulay, Bridget Christie, Jo Brand and Lucy Porter took turns in the host's seat. Jupp himself chaired the first and last episodes of the series.
In May 2019 it was announced that Jupp would leave the show at the end of the 99th series at the end of the month. Series 100 had several hosts: Nish Kumar, Angela Barnes, Andy Zaltzman, Phil Wang, Kiri Pritchard-McLean, Zoe Lyons, Patrick Kielty and Andrew Maxwell. The hosts for 2020 are Nish Kumar, Angela Barnes and Andy Zaltzman.
The programme is usually recorded in front of an audience on Thursday evenings at the BBC Radio Theatre at Broadcasting House in central London. It is then edited and broadcast first on Friday evening at 18:30, then repeated on the Saturday lunchtime. The final 28 minute show is significantly shorter than the original recording. In 2012 the BBC began making an extended version for BBC Radio 4 Extra.
Each week, four panellists appear on the show. They are usually either comedians or journalists, and sometimes politicians. Journalists predominated in the early years. The ostensible purpose of the show is to test contestants' knowledge of the events of the previous week by asking questions which are usually oblique references to those events. However this has given way to a general free-for-all where panellists chime in with their own humorous and satirical remarks once the question has been answered. The participants frequently wander off topic. The host ends the discussion of each question with a summary of the events it refers to, usually with a scripted comic punchline, before asking the next question. It is not uncommon for the show to get through only two rounds of the panel before the final section is reached. Before the host announces the largely symbolic scores, the panellists read out statements from newspapers and other media which they find amusing.
Includes panellists that have appeared on several occasions over many years, and those who have only appeared once.
The News Quiz also features considerable comedic input from regular BBC newsreaders (or "hacks-neutral", as Alan Coren referred to them). The current regulars are:
And former regulars include:
Corrie Corfield appeared as a panellist once when Sandi Toksvig was unable to attend. As a current BBC newsreader she was bound by the BBC's code of practice for newsreaders, which prevented her from making any opinionated comments on-air (When asked, "What do you think of Bush, Corrie?", she responded, "He's an American.")
Peter Donaldson also appeared as a guest, in an episode broadcast in September 1999.
Each week, the chair's script is written by three main writers, with material contributed by one or two additional writers. Current regular writers include:
Former regular writers include:
The opening title music is an arrangement of The Typewriter, by Leroy Anderson played by The James Shepherd Versatile Brass. For the programme the original recording (on Decca records SB 314) has been increased in speed and pitch by about 33%.
BBC MindGames Magazine regularly featured several BBC-linked puzzles, including The News Quiz, a series of questions about the last month's more unlikely news. Issue 5 (November 2006) also included an interview with Sandi Toksvig.
Entire series from series 87 onwards have been released on audio CD and made available for download. The following compilations have also been released by BBC Audio.
As of 28 September 2007, The News Quiz became downloadable as part of the "Friday Night Comedy" podcast feed for Radio 4. The podcast switches between The News Quiz and The Now Show, depending on which show is being transmitted. During Miles Jupp's tenure, an extended version of the show entitled The News Quiz Extra featuring an additional 10-15 minutes of material was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra in the week following the standard Radio 4 broadcast. This version was also made available as a podcast.