Saturday 21 July 2018

Everyone's a critic!

Listeners to BBC Radio 4 this week won't have failed to hear the endless adverts for a new Friday night comedy panel show with the 'edgy' title Where’s the F in News?
I think there is a feeling in certain quarters now that women are everywhere, that we've become rather uppity, what with our demands not be groped at work and whingeing on just because there are more men called Dave in boardrooms than there are women. We're out of control. Well those people had better brace themselves for a brand new topical comedy show which is all female but - and this is the extraordinary thing - it is still going to be funny.
Well, on the last point there it's time to quote Evelyn Waugh and say "Up to a point Lord Copper". The social media reaction to it has been overwhelmingly uniform. Here's a flavour of it:
Tim Footman: I was never under the misapprehension that women aren’t funny. Until a few minutes ago.
SwaziRodgers: It was dire, wasn’t it? I’m handing back my feminism in protest.
Tim Footman: Zoe Lyons can be bloody hilarious in the right context. Here, it was tumbleweed city.
SwaziRodgers: It was so disappointing after all the hype they put behind it
ρhαετhøṉ: I got to the 13 minute mark, a full 12½ minutes after I first thought 'Delivery is awful...". The kind of voice & cadence you use to read out the nutritional information on a pack of bran flakes.
Sue: Really not sure about BBC Radio 4 new 6:30pm Friday comedy slot "Where's the 'F' in news?". What do you reckon?
Moira Walton: Synopsis : shite.
and_the_like: It's worth trying but the test of success can only be "is it funny?", and in my view it failed that test.
Graham Bolton: Still waiting for the political balance. No doubt the cast and producers were too busy blowing up baby Trump balloons. 
Bev: This is appalling. All the reasons why all female line ups do not work. There’s nothing new in this programme that isn’t on other, progs which include women panellists. Switched off. 
Mrs Trellis: I don’t know who the woman yelling about avocados is on BBC Radio 4 is right now but she needs to shut the F up. 
Andrew Booton: I've endured 9 minutes of this all-female tosh that's supposed to be comedy but even by BBC Radio 4's low and still-falling standards, it is dire. Ooh they're all so edgy and incisive and... so predictably London middle class Grauniad. Wake up Radio 4 and get a grip of this shit. I think almost everything trumps quality on the BBC now, especially on Radio4. The comedy is so edgy, they've actually taken the funny bits out to make it even more profound. Damn, I'd forgotten #c4news was on. This is even funnier than BBC Radio 4 comedies. That's not hard.
Tosh: They're making a great point about why they should not be given their own show.  
Ms Person: Getting really tired of this Radio 4 programme. Is it all going to be about Donald Trump? Is it all going to be this smug?  
Ed ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°): BBC Radio 4, can you get this anti-Trump bullshit off the radio? It isn't even at the point where its funny anymore. Give it up. It's absolute trash, not informative, not entertaining and definitely not factual. Absolute joke.
kmj: BBC Radio 4, what is this rubbish on at the moment? How about a bit of balance? The centre of your crass humour is a democratically-elected president. I’m seriously thinking about skipping my tv licence. Shite radio.
Les Busson: BBC Radio 4 'comedy' show consisting of 20 min of anti-Trump rants. Where's the effing comedy? How about impartiality rules?
Ellen Le Brun: If this is the best of all female comedy please bring back the men! Despite the mediocrity of many recent so called comedy programmes we could always rely on the BBC Radio 4 Friday 6.30 slot...Not any more!
titter an' bwisted: Where's The F In News? New 'comedy' described as: 'An energetic, intelligent female-anchored show with a female panel'. More like shouty women shouting shoutily at each other.
FLATTLINER: Checked out new BBC Radio 4 “comedy” tonight - Where’s The F In News? Didn’t even smile once. Once again, they’ve managed to sacrifice humour on the altar of political correctness. Reminds me of when The Now Show became more representative…and less funny.
Ian: I’m sorry but this is shite.
George Cook: I'm trying to enjoy it..  It's not well written. I really like Zoe Lyons tho. Lol.. I'm sure she neither knows not cares...
Ian: I really wanted this to work. The trailer was brill. By minute 3 I knew it was a sham. There’s already so much of this crap format on R4.
George Cook: I concur. Maybe it'll evolve.... I think comedy on radio has to be about quality writing. Sitting and chatting shit/trying to be clever doesn't work.. it's a TV thing.
Still at least someone (who works for the BBC) liked it:
Anita Rani: Love this new all woman panel show. 


  1. In the 1960s/70s there was a successful radio programme with an all female panel and chairwoman (in those days "chair" meant something you sat on). It was called The Petticoat Line and was frequently very funny.

    1. Anona Winn chaired (!) it. Amazing that you can chair / piece of furniture a panel programme or a meeting. Twenty Questions was another good one she chaired. Panellists asked up to 20 questions to guess an object known to the audience via a mystery voice. Is it animal, vegetable or mineral?

  2. It was deeply unpleasant as well. There was a reference to Melania receiving a bottle of perfume as a gift on her visit, and this was connected to the Novichok nerve agent attack and the discovery that a perfum bottle was used...I can't quite recall the exact wording but it was clearly a wish for the Trumps to die a horrible death from Novichok. A few weeks ago we had Frankie Boyle arguing for gen ocidal euthanasia for old people.

    It seems the BBC hate hate speech unless it's their own hate speech.

    1. Even the title is unpleasant isn't it. What has happened to rBBC?

  3. That last sentence is an excellent point MB. Hate towards those who don’t agree with them permeates through the BBC.

    1. Indeed, and the great thing about "comedy" is that it allows them to express that hate openly and with full emotional colouring. Similarly with "arts" programmes, people are able to express their hate of certain people or ideas through art more openly.

  4. Hi Craig, as i read your post above R4 was on in the background ... Kate McCann hosted TWIW, followed by Kate Adey hosting FOOC followed by a plug for the Reith Lectures delivered by Margaret McMillan ... why is the BBC becoming all female?


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