Category: Writing

NewsJack Series 24 Episode 4

Last chance saloon. I hope I can take these seriously! (I wont, but I am at least trying!)

BREAKING NEWS:

  1. Greggs makes it first loss in 36 years – 14 million pounds. It turns out they haven’t been making the dough they expected.
  2. Piers Morgan brands Jedward ‘Talentless Clowns’. Failing to make a mark on a talent show, no longer on TV, and desperate for attention – Piers Morgan still continues to give his opinion on Twitter.
  3. Man loses £400k to bitcoin scam. To find out the rest of this story please email your bank account number, sort code and pin to the team here at NewsJack

I don’t know whether they like puns or not. But I love a pun so BN1 was going in! I also thought they’d be happy with a Piers Morgan joke but they were not. The Bitcoin scam joke is obvious but it was back in the news again. So I submitted (again).

GOOD WEEK/BAD WEEK:
1. Its been a good week for Prince Philip who is now back home after spending a month in hospital after a heart procedure. Its been a bad week for bookies who now regret taking ‘those’ bets….
2. Its been a bad week for women, who are having to protest and march to have their voices heard by government. Its been a good week for statues as the police are making sure they are all kept safe.
3. Its been a bad week for The Mash Report after it is axed by the BBC.Its been a good week for NewsJack as although it is has been on for a 24 series, that is over 140 in dog years, the BBC has said that tomorrow it is taking it to its favourite beach, then it will have a big juicy steak for lunch, then in the afternoon it will be taken to go for what it is being told is a ‘lovely long sleep’ – where it will meet all its old friends ‘They Think Its All Over’, ‘Never Mind The Buzzcocks’, ‘Big Train’ and ‘The 99p Challenge’ – but most importantly, it wont be in pain any more. Sounds Ace! I can’t wait!

Never, in the complete history of time, would they use GWBW1. But its the last week so what the hell. 2 Might have been ignored due to the sensitivity of the situation, and I understand but I know a lot of people have been making jokes about statues now having more rights that women.

GWBW3 was a beauty! I loved writing it but see I had a grammar mistake early on. Damn me for not paying proper attention. With The Mash Report being axed AND it being the last show of the series I thought this would be a great joke to end on. Instead they went for this.

“Its been a good week for actor and activist Riz Ahmed who has been nominated for a best actor Oscar. Its been a bad week for British Right-Wingers who are worried about the prospect of another woke lefty getting their hands on a statue.”

Not only do I think my joke would have been better to end the show and the series, but also my joke would have been better to end the show and the series. 😀

NewsJack Series 24 Episode 3

I’m struggling and it isn’t helping knowing I only have two epsiodes left to submit.

BREAKING NEWS:

  1. Amazon opens Till-less shop in London where you pick up the items you want then just walk out the door. You can do the same at Asda, Tesco, and Waitrose as long as you can run faster than the security guards.
  2. A 9 year old boy passes his maths GCSE 7 years early, after homeschooling with his dad. His Dad hopes to pass them next year.
  3. Government ministers debate Full-Fibre broadband expansion. Home-owners are looking for a smooth deployment with little mess left behind.

Till-less shops were back in the news but I think this was a topic for jokes a few years ago. I went with this punchline. I liked joke 2 because it was silly and joke 3 because it is about pooooooo and I’m 14 years old. I didn’t think Joke 2 or 3 would have a chance. Joke 1 was a bit obvious but I went for it anyway.

GOOD WEEK / BAD WEEK:
1. Its been a bad week for a millionaire dad after courts rule he should pay £150,000 a month for his 4 year old daughter to have designer clothes. Its been a good week for his ex who was able to buy the complete school uniform from Asda and now has £149,980 left to spend on herself.
2. Its been a good week for a woman in New York who discovered a complete apartment hidden behind her mirror. Its been a bad week for her neighbour who wants to know why she broke into her flat.
3. Its been a good week for vaccinated people in the US as they can now meet without masks. Its been a bad week for vaccinated people in the US as they risk being confused with Anti-Maskers

GWBW1 has a joke somewhere. I didn’t feel I got to it but I wrote it anyway. It had a number of re-writes (rare for me) but nothing hit the mark. #2 I felt was a joke but the badweek punchline didn’t hit either. It was there, and funny, but was certainly lacking something. I never thought Newsjack would do this joke but I wrote it anyway. Gangsta4lif!

NewsJack Series 24 Episode 2

Its a short series this time with only 4 episodes.


BREAKING NEWS:

1. Rishi Sunak is set to announce a £400 million budget for boosting the arts sector. This should be enough to pay for a pair of front row tickets to Hamilton
2. New coal mine plan could damage PMs reputation. Known for the dirt they dig up, ruining the english countryside and toxic emissions - the Prime Minister doesn’t worry about his reputation.
3. £1.6 Billion has been added to the Covid Vaccination program to support additional doses. After the deduction of introduction fees, bonus payments, referral fees, service costs and donations to the Conservative party, doctors are looking forward to being able to offer the vaccine to 10’s of additional people.

Joke one would be lost on anyone who doesn’t know that Hamilton was the hot ticket. And with everything closed, probably not worth wasting a oneliner on. Joke 2 I really struggled with as there is a much better punchline in there somewhere. I wont ever find it but it is there. I loved joke 3 and I think I’ve written jokes like this for Newsjack before – they never use them but it is the kind of joke you would hear on HIGNFY.

GOOD WEEK/BAD WEEK:I
Its been a bad week for Londoners as the ‘affordable housing plan’ has been scaled back. Its been a good week for fans of seeing huge tower blocks empty as foreign investment companies are still buying!
Its been a good week for a woman who found £185k of whale vomit while at the beach. Its been a bad week for my dry cleaners as the vomit on my jacket is pretty much worthless.
Its been a good week for the company behind the ‘Zoom’ software as it predicts continued growth for 2021. Its been a bad week for Gillette with losses due to the continued growth of beards.

GWBW 1 is probably too ‘London’ and I’m not sure if the punchline is that punchy. Always the way with me. #2 is autobiographical having vomited up a new jacket’s sleeve. Needs a shorter punchline. I liked number 3 and thought I was in with a shot. Reader, I was not in with a shot!

NewsJack Series 24 Episode 1

Its on again. I was in twitter purgatory after replying to one of my chums who was getting the CV Jab that his 5G signal will improve.

Anyway, here are my submissions. None made it through

BREAKING NEWS:
1. A Vicar is ‘Gaming for God’ by streaming sessions on Twitch. Viewers have been disappointed to find he was ‘Call of Deity’.
2. 17,000-year-old Kangaroo is Australia’s oldest rock art. Who knew Kangaroos even lived that long?
3. Facebook has reversed its ban on news in Australia. There were 5 key reasons for the change – number 4 will SHOCK you!

Quick analysis of these. Joke 1 I didn’t even get the punchline written correctly. What a THAT!!! I really struggled with finding a punchline for this. I didn’t think it would be for the Radio 4 extra audience but I submitted it anyway. Joke 2 was ace and I thought it was silly enough to make it through, but they disagreed. Joke 3 is a lazy lazy joke but they often do make it into a broadcast so I through my hat into the ring with it.

GOOD WEEK/BAD WEEK:
Its been a good week for voice over artists as The Simpsons agree to stop using white actors to voice non-white character. Its been a bad week for …. lets ask ‘Nelson Mandela’ why its been a bad week. (white cast member says ‘errrrrrr.’)
Its been a good week for NASA who streamed the Mars entry to millions of people. Its been a bad week for Marianne Faithful who regrettably pops up in google searches again.
Its been a bad week for Businesses who have been throwing in the towel over Covid. Its been a good week for my sun-lounger-reserving business which remains unaffected.

GWBW 1 was touch and go whether it would be an instant reject or not. I felt that it might get through as it isn’t racists, but relates the issue of racism that The Simpsons now recognise. I do like to challenge them sometimes on what they might or might not include. GWBW2 was never going in. Does anyone who listens to Newsjack even get the Marianne Faithful reference? I doubt it but it made me chuckle so I went for it. GWBW3 definately had a good joke in there, but that wasn’t it.

As usual, I tend to start writing about an hour before the deadline and I also have a full time job so occasionally I only get minutes but I do try to submit something.

I also shared this with my chums that I saw after the deadline.

Its a good week for Japan as they appoint a ‘Minister of Loneliness’ to fight the issue of isolation.
Its a bad week for the UK as Government Ministers doesn’t believe Loneliness or Isolation are a bad thing.

If my twitter account wasn’t shut, I’d have tweeted it out.

NewsJack Series 20 Episode 4 Update

I was at Mark Watson’s Comedy Marathon when this email came in. I’d not attended the whole show but knew it ended at midnight so I’d not hear the Newsjack episode. I did schedule it to Download on my phone and would listen to it on my commute to work.

Chatting to my comedy chums they felt it was probably the F1 joke.

I thought it was going to be the ‘No-gotiating’ joke.

Turned out we were all wrong.

It was the Ed Milliband sandwich joke.

Listen to the episode here.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0002r85

Newsjack Series 20 Episode 4

Another week, another Newsjack submission.

I’m chatting with some of the guys from the last comedy course I did and sharing my writings with them. I’ve been doing it to help encourage them to write and show them what I’m writing.

Here are my submissions this week.

ONELINERS
BREAKING NEWS:

  1. A police detective faces the sack after farting in front of colleagues. She denies the accusation saying, “It’s a load of old guff”.
  2. Housebuilders Persimmon’s annual profit has topped £1billion. Or £800million if you pay cash and we ignore the VAT.
  3. Lewis Hamilton is on Day 5 of the F1 testing. Soon he hopes to test the other function keys

I thought these were quite fun. My comedy-writing group chums felt that the F1 joke was a good one. My concern was I’m certainly not the first person to do an ‘F1/F1’ joke but I thought I’d give it a go for Newsjack. The housebuilder one was a bit lazy but I liked the headline it was from .

The fart joke – there had to be one. Finding that news article was a godsend. I liked the joke.


NEWSJACKIPEDIA:

No-gotiating – Presenting the same deal back to the EU and asking them for more concessions knowing that they will refuse.

a Cheeky Nandos – a photo opportunity to pretend that you and your new friends are just like normal members of the public.

Katie Price – The financial cost of drink driving.

I really liked the ‘No-gotiating’. The rest were a bit rushed as I struggle with these.

GOOD WEEK/BAD WEEK:

  1. Its been a bad week for The Independent Group as people analyse the group dinner they had in a Nandos.
    But it’s been a good week for Ed Milliband as everyone has now forgotten about his bacon sandwich face.
  2. Its been a bad week for Kepa Arrizabalaga who refused to be substituted in the Cup Final.
    Its a good week for me at work as I’m about to try refusing anything my boss asks me to do. Wish me luck!
  3. Its been a bad week for black cab drivers as they lose their court battle to cancel Uber’s licence in London.
    But it’s been a good week for Prius car salesmen, phone-mount manufacturers and people who make plastic seat covers.

Struggled with the good week/bad week as well. The Uber joke – I had the link to the black cab drivers but couldn’t think of the opposite to make it a joke. What I ended up with was rushed and didn’t feel right.

What am I doing making a joke about Kepa Arrizabalaga? I know nothing about football. I liked the concept for this joke but, once again, I didn’t feel it ended correctly.

NewsJack Series 20 Episode 3

This week I sent in some good week/bad weeks.

ONELINERS

BREAKING NEWS:

  1. Network Rail have asked for £80 Million to protect the train track from the sea at Dawlish or otherwise travellers will have to use the congested roads. A company spokesman has said, “Its my way, or the highway.”
  2. The artist Ai Weiwei has hit out at being censored in his latest project. A Chinese Censorship Official has said, “Its my way, or the Ai Weiwei.”
  3. The US government wants to ban the use Huawei in their IT infrastructure, instead using their own US brand electronics. A US Government Official has said that America has two options, “Its my way, or the Huawei.”

I wrote 2 & 3 and then decided that i’d have to find something else to make a trio of ‘my way or the high way’ jokes. I didn’t think the NewsJack team would use them. They would have had to have used all 3 or none and I doubted they’d use all 3. I was right!

I did write a 3rd joke that wasn’t in the theme.

“The UK’s only manufacturer of display fireworks has gone into administration. It was thought it would go out with a band, but turned out to be a damp squib.”

Much more a NewsJack joke. But they’ll never use it now I’ve not sent it in!

NEWSJACKIPEDIA:

  1. A Funny Tinge – The shade you go after using inappropriate words to describe people of colour.
  2. Border Walling – The excuse you make to your partner so they let you go out drinking with friends. A made up state of emergency.
  3. Hondaring – To pretend you don’t want to leave a situation when secretly you’ve wanted to go for ages.

They must have got a million ‘Funny Tinge’ jokes and I didn’t want to be left out!

Another wall reference from Twon? Surely not.

Hondaring – I liked this. They didn’t. They were wrong!

and now for the good week/bad week.

GOOD WEEK/BAD WEEK:

  1. It’s been a bad week for Netflix Fans as neither Jessica Jones or The Punisher gets renewed. But it’s been a good week for everyone else who have two less series to pretend they will watch when their friends recommend them.
  2. It’s been a bad week for Wolves as they have been drawn against Manchester United in the FA Cup Quarter Round. But it’s been a good week for Wolves as all they had planned was running around in a pack and howling at the moon.
  3. It’s been a bad week for People of Colour as Angela Smith describes them as having ‘a funny tinge’. But it’s been a good week for Crayola as were just about to release a new crayon and weren’t sure what to call the colour.

I couldn’t find a way I was entirely happy to word the first one.

2. I liked because it is silly.

3. Fancied using ‘funny tinge’ again. So sue me.

Nothing got broadcast.


NewsJack Series 20 Episode 2

Another Week. Another NJ Submission

ONELINERS

BREAKING NEWS:

  1. Taxi Drivers to face criminal record checks. Concerns have been raised that police will find copies of Milli Vanilli’s “Girl You Know Its True” or Kajagoogoo’s “Too Shy”.
  2. The Government is being sued for rushing through a contract of £14 Million for Seabourne Freight to supply no ferries. They should have come to me, I’d have supplied them with no ferries for just £10 million.
  3. Roughly 1.8 million complaints to the council about unemptied bins in the last year. Roughly 1.8 million votes between leave and remain in the Brexit Referendum. Co-incidence? I think not.

Taxi Driver joke – I spent longer than I should have trying to decide on dodgy albums. Just before submission I swapped them round as I felt ‘Kajagoogoo’ needed to go last.

I’m sure I’ve submitted somethign like the 2nd joke before.

I liked the 3rd joke. I am embelishing the truth a little as I think it was 1.4 million more people voted ‘leave’. It felt like a NewsJack joke but there was a worry they might not want to do something that supported remain. Turns out they didnt.

NEWSJACKPEDIA:

  1. ‘Farage’ – Something you flush down the toilet and it disappears but sometime later it re-appears back in the bowl.
  2. ‘Maypole Dancing’ – distracting people with a carefully orchestrated dance where, when you finish it, you end up exactly where you started, but tied up in tape you can’t escape.
  3. ‘Walling’ –  An American act of self-harm designed to show the right-wing you mean business in keeping those foreigners out. (see also ‘Brexiting’)

Farage – funny.

Maypole Dancing. It was about her going back to europe to ‘renegotiate’. Only after I submitted I thought they might link it just to her dancing from last year.

Walling. I like this format (see also…) but Newsjack don’t. Their loss!

I’d not noticed the new section of goodweek/bad week. At least they have got rid of the numberjacks. Goodweek/bad week doesn’t work much better as a format (in my view).

NewsJack Series 20 Episode 1

A new series so I better get writing

I did struggle getting back into the swing of things but I will be submitting something for every episode of this series of NewsJack

ONELINERS

BREAKING NEWS:

  1. Tehran has banned driving in cars with dogs. Why don’t they just stop giving dogs driving licences?
  2. Super Bowl news! The Northern Saw-whet beat the Andaman Boobook for ‘Best Plumage’ in 2019! Sorry, that should have been Superb Owl news.
  3. Thieves used sewers to empty a bank vault. Eye-witnesses describe the gang of four as aged 13-19, genetically affected by radiation, versed in martial arts and, strangely, being turtles.

I wanted to submit a Super Bowl joke as I love the superbOwl joke. I also know that one of my superbowl jokes was in the script before but not broadcast so I put it back in.

The TMNT joke had a couple of re-writes and I ended up here. For some reason I removed the word ‘well’ from infront of ‘versed’ which makes the joke harder to read.

Next up was Newsjackpedia. A section I don’t enjoy as really its not clear what the team want. Do they want wordplay or do they just want silliness.

NEWSJACKPEDIA:

  1. ‘Churchilling – To remember the ‘good old days’ of World War 2 and blitz spirit without having lived through World War 2 or the blitz.
  2. ‘Maroon Fiveing’ – To disappoint everyone when you are given your biggest chance to impress everyone.
  3. ‘Morganing’ –  To present the moral high-ground on morning television when you presided over the hacking of phones and the publication of fake Prisoner-of-War pictures.

Churchilling I enjoyed

Maroon Fiving was trying to get more superbowl stuff in

Morganing got reworded a few times…I was trying to make sure I’d not be sued!

None of my jokes made the broadcast. I’m not suprised!

Newsjack Episode 2 – Behind the Scenes

Newsjack Episode 2 – Behind the Scenes

So you probably read my blog analysing episode two.

Newsjack Series 18 Episode 2 – Analysis

Well I’ve managed to get some ‘behind the scenes’ facts about this episode.

Total Submissions

There were 451 sketches submitted and 652 one liners submitted. Although they haven’t confirmed it, I’d guess it is more like 6 X 652 (3700-ish) one-liners. Personally I think its amazing there are still so many sketches being submitted. We have seen a drop by 150 in the number of sketches and about 50 lots of one-liners. The Newsjack production team have previously said that they see a reduction in submissions as the series progresses.

Sketches

8 broadcast sketches – 3 from writers room.

I had 8 in my analysis so I was correct on this.

Brexit – Could have been anytime!
Eliminate Bullying – 8th Feb (https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/08/pentagon-takes-on-bullying-offensive-jokes-in-new-harassment-policy.html)
Lent – Well it was pancake day…the day after the submissions
Ikea Cops – 8th Feb (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-42990341)
White Planet – This could have been any day – I couldn’t find a news article about it.
Emotional Support Animal – 8th Feb (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/08/spirit-airlines-emotional-support-hamster-flush-toilet-florida)
Heavy Falcon X Launch – 6th Feb (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/feb/06/falcon-heavy-spacex-rocket-florida-launch)
Norweigan Olympic Eggs – 8th Feb (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/08/norway-olympics-team-orders-15000-eggs-by-mistake-south-korea)

So….could you guess which 3 were written by the writers’ room? I can’t. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I guess that’s not for me to answer!

One-Liners

20 broadcast one liners and number crunchers – *all from non comm writers/0 from writers room.*

So my analysis of the submissions was correct…What excellent news that they were all from the Non-Comm writers. I guess the writers’ room was too busy with their extra sketch this week.

In House Writers / Writer’s Room

In the writers room twitter chat we used the phrase “In house writers” but this could be a bit clearer. Each Monday, we host a writers room which consists of 5 invited writers – these are members of the public who have submitted sketches regularly and successfully to the previous series. It’s a great way for us to meet the people who submit to the show and give them a real world experience of being in a writers room.

The writers room meets at 10am and ends at noon – this process is deliberately kept separate from the submissions we receive so that it’s a level playing field.

I’ve quoted this in full so you know I’ve not written it. Two things jump out at me.

1) 2 sketches of ‘Newsjack quality’ (whatever you believe this to be) are written by these people in the 2 hours they have for writing. Thats pretty good (in my opinion) that they can do stuff which is so full of jokes in just 120 minutes. Maybe it helps they have 4 other people to bounce stuff off of. I’d love to be a fly on the wall for one of these sessions. Mainly for my nosiness but also I love the process of writing jokes.

2) The invited writers submit sketches regularly. Thats where I fail. To me it suggests that to get into the writers room you have to submit plenty of sketches – those submitting one-liners wont get invited. I could be reading too much into it but that’s how I read that sentence.

Something this doesn’t tell us is what happens to the scripts and one-liners from Monday lunchtime on-wards. I do know a couple of script editors but I don’t know if they do it by themselves – I imagine they have an additional writers room to get the scripts thrashed out.

In Summary

Loads of submissions. All of the one-liners came from the public as did 5 of the 8 sketches. I only have the details on these two episodes but the person who gave it to me wanted me to share it with others as there has been a lot of queries over how the episodes are made.

If you have any questions or comments then please leave me a comment or drop me a tweet on twitter. 🙂