"We present Long-running BBC
The News Quiz, with your host Sandi Toksvig."
Radio 4 Panel Game
, The News Quiz
is comedy programme in which "contestants" make fun of news stories over the last week. The show began broadcast in 1977 with Barry Norman as host, it was later hosted by Barry Took and Simon Hoggart; Sandi Toksvig, the current host, has occupied the seat since September 2006. It is known for having actual BBC newsreaders who read out funny news stories in the show.
Usually broadcast every Friday in the late afternoon, note
and has a set of pages on the BBC website
The American equivalent is Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me
- Blatant Lies: A documentary about the show had Linda Smith claiming that she had been a maid cleaning the studio, who was made a panellist as part of a Pygmalion Plot by Alan Coren — and that there had been several Alan Corens since the start of the show.
- British Accents: Being a British comedy show, many.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Susan Calman is not a little outlandish. From one episode, while discussing thoughts...
Susan: I was genuinely thinking of Jeremy—this is absolutely true—and wondered what soup would go well with you.
Susan: Well, I mean...
Sandi: Did you say soup?
Susan: What I mean is, if Jeremy was in a large bowl...I was thinking this! And I was going to put soup in the bowl, to eat it...
Susan: What soup would fit him best?
Susan: I was thinking Heinz Tomato...but the point is, people listen to me on The News Quiz and they think "oh, her head must be filled with brilliant political analysis", and I'm going "would croutons suit him...?"
- Crossover: A special show in early 2013, "The News Now Quiz Show", pitted Sandi and Jeremy against Hugh Dennis and Steve Punt from The Now Show (with Rory Bremner as host).
- Double Entendre: Frequently, especially in the news cuttings.
"Police reveal that a woman arrested for shoplifting had a whole salami in her knickers. When asked why, she said it was because she was missing her Italian boyfriend."
- A classic, from a cutting about a group of drunken students on a naked rowing expedition: "The eight rowers and the cox were seen late last night."
- The Eeyore: Jeremy Hardy comes off this way, as he often talks about how the world is naturally depressing and his tone of voice almost never changes from a disappointed drone. When Sandi once asked the panel if they were a "glass half-empty or half-full", Jeremy replied "I'm an empty beaker with a turd in it".
- Eskimos Aren't Real: One of Jeremy Hardy's surreal rants:
Jeremy: America isn't a real place. Think of all the Americans you've heard of: John Wayne, Demi Moore; they're all actors!
- Hey, It's That Voice!: News clippings are read by BBC radio continuity and news announcers, who are also called in to rescue Sandi when she is required to read a complicated or foreign-language word. Lampshaded when Charlotte Green (a Radio 4 continuity announcer and news reader known for her attractive voice) is asked to read the dirtiest Double Entendre cuttings.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: At least once a month. The story of North Korea's 2009 nuclear test unlocked a Hurricane of Puns:
"The North wants to invade the South and make a Korea (career) of it."
"We should worry about the situation careering out of control."
- On the subject of a member of the church resigning due to the 'Occupy London' protests;
Hugo Rifkind: The canon has fired himself.
- Lohengrin and Mendelssohn: Played when Susan Calman was coaxed into the revelation that she was getting married on the weekend following the show.
- Not in Front of the Parrot: One classic clipping involved a parrot who captured and related the details of its owner's extramarital affair.
- Running Gag:
- Sandi Toksvig and Andy Hamilton's short height.
- Sandi Toksvig being one of those "foreigners, comin' over here, taking our jobs"; she's Danish.
- Something Completely Different: The 30 December 2011 episode was an all-star Radio 4 Panto, with Sandi and Andy rescuing the Greenwich Pips from Radio 4 Island and returning them to Broadcasting House, thereby foiling the evil plot of Nigel Pargetter from The Archers.
- Standard Snippet: Some public figures are seen as such a gift to the show that they are given their own leitmotifs. Any and all mentions of Sarah Palin elicit a single Hallelujah chorus, while the mention of Michael Gove's name is accompanied by an excerpt from Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Reed Flutes".
- Stupid Statement Dance Mix: One was made with Sandi's Pronunciation of "Eyjafjallajökull".