Category: My Writing

Newsjack Series 18 Episode 1 – Analysis

Series  18 Episode 1 – Analysis

I didn’t get anything in this week’s show. A-Boo! I hear you say. I think I should have submitted the Samsung Chips joke. Never mind there is always next week.

As you may be aware, I did some review of a couple of previous episodes and seeing as I was [s]bitter[/s] having a bit of spare time I thought I’d do this episode.

Newsjack Summary

Newsjack is a weekly topical news comedy show which accepts user submissions for oneliner jokes and sketches. The BBC do pay for all broadcast user submissions.

Analysis

I’ve listened to the broadcast and I have tried to categorise the jokes broadcast against their guidelines for what they want people to submission.

First of all, I do not include Angela’s monologue in the stats as this isn’t something that members of the public can submit to.

Secondly, there is no released details on who has written what, but occasionally they do tweet out who wrote what. If I had to guess, these are staff writers/invited writers who are paid to write for Newsjack rather than people who have, that week, submitted 6 one liners and 2 sketches.

Thirdly, this is my analysis. The assumptions I make are mine, as are the conclusions I come to. Newsjack have confirmed they don’t agree with all the conclusions…interesting use of ‘all’ there ;).

Breakdown

There we have it. About 21 minutes of the 28 minute show can be submitted by members of the public. Much better stats than some of the previous shows I’ve looked at – there has been an increase of about 30 seconds to both Breaking News and Number Crunching. The Sketches have also increased by nearly 2 minutes! Great news to the writers.

Breaking News continued to have 3 sections in the show and there remains only 1 Number Crunching. I predicted we’d see a strong lean to Politics (Trump and May) but really we saw only 4 oneliners/sketches in the politics bracket. Perhaps the last series used up all the trump jokes. I think it probably has been affected by The Mash Report but I guess we’ll find out.

World News was the largest section with 12 items. Its like WN and Politics have switched places! 😀 Apart from Science & Technology, the others are all pretty similar.

Sketches

I think sketches are the hardest to write. A topical sketch based on a news article within 1 week of the submission date? Hard work indeed! Add in that most of the sketches are 2 minutes or more, not an easy thing to write. So the ‘man on the street’ has to find a news story and write something very funny and the advice is ‘make it a recent event’. Everyone I know who submits does so with some news story within 48 hours of the submission deadline. Submission was Monday 5th so I’d think that people would search for stories from Saturday at the earliest. Saturday is the 3rd.

Labour music festival – https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5483870/labour-to-hold-glastonbury-style-socialist-music-festival-to-celebrate-jeremy-corbyn-this-summer/ – 2nd Feb
Update Exams – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2018/02/01/school-textbooks-will-updated-include-sex-couples-textbooks/ – 1st Feb
Markle to give speach at wedding – https://www.hellomagazine.com/royalty/2018013045874/meghan-markle-give-wedding-speech/ – 30th Jan
Ghost Towers – https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/feb/04/anger-over-glut-of-posh-ghost-towers-london – 4th Feb
Slang Weather Forecast – https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/met-office-forecasters-may-start-using-regional-slang-in-weather-bulletins-a3755121.html – 1st Feb
Kim Yung-un moves military parade  – I can’t find any links to this happening? Anyone got another about it being moved, not just ‘happening’?
Video Refs – https://news.sky.com/story/video-assistant-referees-to-be-used-at-world-cup-in-russia-11218645 – 22nd Jan
Kardashians – As about the baby but really just a call back to KYU.
Product Placement in Corrie – https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/jan/30/coronation-street-product-placement-deal-co-op-costa-coffee – 30th Jan

The oldest article I can find is the 22nd January – 2 weeks before the submission date! Then there are two from the 30th and two from the 1st of Feb. I don’t think the producers/script collators would accept user submissions 2 weeks old, and I’m not sure they’d even take items based on Thursday 1st as these would be a week old by the time it is broadcast. I don’t even think they’d accept something based on events from Friday 2nd. Based on this, and the dates I can find (strange I find nothing about the movement of the military parade), 6 out of the 9 sketches are from news events that happen well before people submitting would choose to write about.

The first episode of Newsjack probably wants some strong sketches so I think most (if not all) of the 6 would have been written by staff/invited writers and not submitters. I’d love to know from the production team whether my calculations are close.

Breaking News

Three sections on this show. A good amount of time for one-liners. A mainsplaining joke is a bit old-hat, in my opinion. And referencing Lewis Hamiliton’s dress wearing nephew in a joke pushes the boundaries of a recent reference. But it does up the ‘sport’ category for jokes so there is that.

Talking about how old some of the jokes were, Disney buying Fox was from DECEMBER 2017. I really don’t think thats topical anymore. I also struggled finding a link to the Hummus story but the one I did find was from 28th of January. Is that topical? Probably close enough but I feel that anything NOT within the last 3 days before the submisison deadline probably was written by ‘staff/invited’ writers.

I think maybe the FTSE joke was written last week, but luckily the market is collapsing so it was still topical!  😀

The breakdown of topics for Breaking News is as follows;

A healthy number of one-liners for Breaking news. No science & tech this time (although maybe the Samsung joke could be moved there from world news). Not lots of trump jokes but a cool reference to the Mash Report’s cartoon.

Number Crunching

There were 7 number crunchers in this episode. The Bitcoin joke was a good one – better than the one I wrote! I’m just annoyed I didn’t write it! Some of the topics were a bit rubbish – Dry January, best sex at 65, and £20 valentines Maccy D’s meal. I wonder if this means there can be no valentine’s day jokes in the 2nd episode?

I still think that Number Crunching is a section that doesn’t have long to live. Back when it was ‘vox pox’ there were two sections in the show, but Number Crunching still only has one. The 300 stray dogs story has recently resurfaced but I think this is something that has been around for a while. The rest were fairly recent stories so I think they were submissions from the public.

No political NC or Sports NC – Which when you consider the Superbowl was on, I’d have thought they’d have had something on that. I’d have thought there was also something in Politics that could have been pick up but they decided against it. By having more than 1 Number Crunch section they could probably fit in 10 during the shows.

In Summary

I think at least half of the Sketches were written by staff/invited writers. I think most of the Number Crunchers were from submissions – based on there being less of these and the staff/invited writers being happy to not do these. Finally I think the one-liners are probably mostly submitted but a few of them, based on the story dates, weren’t.

It will be really interesting to see what episode 2 is like. I doubt there will be any jokes based on 2 week old (or older!) stories.

What are your thoughts on the first episode of the new series of Newsjack? Let me know in the comments? Did you write some of the jokes? I’d be interested to know which ones 🙂

*please note that I realise that I spelt ‘Markle’ wrong in some of my tables. I just couldn’t be bothered to fix them!

 

Submission 15 – NewsJack – One-Liners

My Brain farts weren’t working.

I have submitted my submission for this week. Hopefully they do ok. I am a bit annoyed that I forget to check my brainfart I uploaded earlier in the week as I really liked the Samsung chip joke. I probably should have submitted that but I didn’t

Breaking News!

  1. Stagecoach East Coast rail franchise to end early. Passengers kicked off at Newark and to get bus replacement service.

Something which felt like the start of a joke but certainly not the end of the joke. I think this is where having a comedy writing partner probably helps. But I don’t have one and so I have to make do with me. And I’m an arsehole. The set-up is sound, but the punchline is lacking.

  1. Inspirational quotes are being shared at underground stations by tube worker. Unfortunately none of them are ‘your train will arrive on time’

This one was a struggle. Just a news story on the beeb about ‘feelgood quotes’ and I felt I needed to crush any feeling of goodness and remind people the tube is shit. Another acceptable feedline but dreadful punchline.

  1. Silvio Berlusconi to deport 600,000 illegal immigrants from Italy. He said he will allow 61 to stay….sorry, that reads ‘Sexy Ones’ to stay

Who’d have thought we get the oppertunity to make Silvio Berlusconi jokes in 2018? It was a shame that I struggled to find breaking news. Also that I didn’t submit my samsung joke as I think thats the best of all 6 I wrote! What a twazzock.

Number Crunching!

Still, the Newsjack team are keeping with this format. I wonder if it really does have legs?

  1. £500,000 – My current personal holdings of Bitcoins.
    £1,000,000 – My current Lloyds Credit card statement after I bought them before the price collapsed.

A bitcoin joke. The market is tumbling and if I had to guess I think there will be a breaking news joke about Bitcoin (or even a sketch), I doubt they’ll waste a NC joke on bitcoin. But I guess we will see.

  1. 9 Months – Length of time Kylie Jenner hid her pregnancy from the public.
    9 Months – Length of time you could search and still not find my interest in it.

This is just for me. I have no interest in the this story so I thought I’d put a joke about it. So I did.

  1. 6 Nations – One of the greatest sporting competitions of the year.
    1 Nation – Most disappointing sporting competition once we’ve left Europe.

I do like a brexit joke, good or otherwise. I imagine that NJ is going to be chok-a-block with Brexit & Trump jokes so I have joined in. I didn’t do a Trump joke. I watched ‘The Mash Report’ the other day and it looks like they will have the monopoly on Trump/Brexit jokes for the series.

I think I tweeted online about The Mash Report being ‘Newsjack with pictures’ and I stand by that comment. It isn’t a slight on TMR or NJ – but with Nish fronting it, it certainly feels like NewsJack episodes of time gone by.

There are plans afoot for this series of NewsJack for me…I wonder if I can get broadcast this series?

Brain Firing Session 1 – NewsJack 2018 New Series

BREAKING NEWS:

  1. Samsung Enters the Crypto-currency chip business. Experts think this will cause an increase in Phishing leading to a tasty Friday supper.
  2. Librarian jailed after selling stolen books on eBay. She was sentenced to 8 months and her borrowing card will be held onto until the books are returned.
  3. Roy Orbison to return as a Hologram for a new UK tour. Although it was technically difficult, the IT team involved said, “Anything you want, you got it”
  4. Birds Eye Fish Finger advert banned over concerns from safety groups after showing kids jump off a boat into the sea. Wow! It wasn’t due to old bearded men using food to tempt children into a boat.

 

NUMBER CRUNCHING

  1. 14.8 Million : The number of Nintendo Switch console that has now outsold the Wii U
    14.8 Million : The number of Nintendo Switch consoles that wont be turned on in 3 month’s time.
  2. £205 : What some unique £1 coins are worth.
    £205 : what all £1 coins might be worth soon after Brexit
  3. $3Billion : Amazon’s 2017 Pre-Tax Profits
    $3Billion : Amazon’s 2017 Post-Tax Profits

NewsJack is back (again!)

NewsJack is Back

I’m looking forward to submitting more stuff for the show. There was a good Q&A session on Twitter today for people to get more information about the show and what needs to be included.

Something I’m going to try to do is write a page of submissions each day. They may not be good. They may even be bad. But hopefully it will get my brain going.

Lets see how it works.

Theresa May-Bot on Twitter

I enjoy a good twitter bot. I follow a couple but recently one of the guys from B3ta created a Theresa May-Bot.

I had quite a good chat with her and some of her replies, especially the one about John Barrowman, came out quite well. It got retweeted a couple of times and so I thought I’d put it on here.

 

I really enjoyed that chat. I might have to go find other bots on twitter to talk to!

All My Sketches In One Place

I thought I’d do a quick post putting all my sketches in one place for ease of reading.

21/09/15 – Explaining Stonehenge Purchase to Wife
07/03/16 – Syrian Business Process Improvement (BPI)
12/09/16 – Oh Glorious Nation of North Korea
12/09/16 – NHS Outta Time
31/01/17 – Baby FitBit
31/01/17 – Donald Petition
07/02/17- The Pop-Up Pop-Up
07/02/17 – Break Up Means Break Up
13/02/17 – Tescxit
13/02/17 – What a Hunt!
20/02/17 – Welcome to Brexit King

I will keep this updated and add stuff to it as I write.

Submission 14 – NewsJack – One-Liners

Its that time of the week again. I need to write some one-liners for a radio show that I wont appear on and they wont use. It seems like a waste of time really, but I still do it. I think I’d have given up ages ago if they’d not actually paid me for one of them.

BREAKING NEWS:

  1. SEARCH ENGINES ARE TO DEMOTE PIRATE SITES IN THEIR DISPLAYED RESULTS. RETAILERS ARE OUTRAGED DUE TO A DROP IN SALES OF WOODEN LEGS, EYE PATCHES AND PARROTS.
  2. JEREMY HUNT HAS EXPLAINED THAT HOSPITAL CUTS PLANNED IN MOST OF ENGLAND ARE NO CAUSE FOR CONCERN AS THAT’S HOW THEY START ALL SURGERIES.
  3. HEATHROW AIRPORT OFFICIALS DENY DETAINING LINDSEY LOHAN FOR 2 HOURS DUE TO RACIAL PROFILING, WHILE WEARING A HEADSCARF. THE PUT OUT A STATEMENT SAYING, “DID YOU SEE ‘I KNOW WHO KILLED ME?’ THAT’S TWO HOURS OF OUR LIVES WE’LL NEVER GET BACK AND FELT MS LOHAN SHOULD HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE SAME EXPERIENCE.

As always a mixed bag from me. I struggled to find articles however I did think this morning that I’d not be submitting anything today and this week would just be the single sketch I submitted yesterday. However, due to a number of meetings being cancelled last minute I was able to throw together 3 ‘Breaking News’ jokes. The first one was after seeing a Pirate based headline. How could you not want to write a joke with a media Pirate/high seas Pirate punchline? So I did. The second BN was changed at the last minute as originally it started with ‘MPs have explained’ but just before I submitted I re-read them and felt it needed to be Jeremy Hunt. So it was. I do like including Jeremy in my submissions. The total Hunt.

I nearly didn’t have a 3rd BN however I saw the Linsay Lohan was ‘racially profiled’ at heathrow due to wearing a headscalf. I expanded this out to being ‘detained’ to help make the joke work. It is also very long for a one-liner but, as I always say, Fuck the Police.

NUMBER CRUNCHING:

  1. 24 HOURS: NEW TUBE STRIKE THIS WEEK.
    24 MINUTES: AMOUNT OF WORK PEOPLE WILL DO DURING THEIR NEW DAY OF ‘WORKING FROM HOME’.
  2. 470,000: NUMBER OF CARS IN THE UK THAT VOLKSWAGEN HAVE ‘FIXED’ DUE TO EMISSIONS SCANDAL.
    200,000: NUMBER OF CARS INDEPENDENTLY VERIFIED AS BEING FIXED.
  3. 4 YEARS: AMOUNT THE EU WANT THE UK TO STILL CONTRIBUTE FUNDS AFTER BREXIT.
    FOR YEARS: HOW LONG BREXIT VOTERS WILL WHINGE ON ABOUT HOW THE REMAINERS AREN’T SUPPORTING THEIR SHIT-STORM OF AN IDEA.

Number Crunching was a real grind this week. All written 10 minutes before the deadline. There is a strike in London on the tubes and the headline was ’24 hour strike’ which was one of the few number based headlines I saw. Expand this out to the impact on workers and lots more people will be working from home. Lets pretend they only actually work for 24 minutes when they work from home. Its certainly not true for me. I work ace at home (*waves to boss*) but also I walk to work so tube strikes don’t affect me even though I live in that London.

The 2nd NC was another volkswagen headline. Not my strongest work and I find jokes about the emmision scandal don’t tend to appear in the show. Correctly so as it isn’t really head-line news anymore. But as sure as night follows day I’ll shoe-horn in a joke if I need to.

The final NC was a great joke…but I felt the wording just wasn’t nailed on. 4 years/For years needs an inflection for people to recognise them as different things otherwise its just 4 years/4 years which, although true, isn’t the joke I’m trying to make.

So the full number of one-liners this week submitted on time. Lets see if any are funny enough to make the performance OR the broadcast.

Welcome to Brexit King – NewsJack Sketch Submission

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/feb/20/divide-and-rule-tactics-could-leave-uk-without-deal-say-eu-politicians

EU Brexit Dealings Could Lead to UK not getting the Deal it wants

Title – Welcome to Brexit King

(Teresa May & Boris Johnson are in a car going to order food from a drive-thru)

 

Brexit Burger:            Welcome to Brexit King. Can I take your order please?

Teresa:                       Errrr.. I never feel comfortable with these things.

Brexit Burger:            Hi! Welcome to Brexit King. Can I take your order please?

Teresa:                       I’d like a Hard Brexit please,with an extra side of financial institution HQs. (whispers) Boris what do you want?

Boris   :                       I’ll have the same please, but make sure you hold the refugees.

Teresa:                       So that’s two Hard Brexits, with the HQ Sides but ONE with no refugees….actually better make them both like that.

Brexit Burger:            And what would you like to drink?

Teresa:                       I’d love a Chablis!

Brexit Burger:            Sorry, that’s no longer included when you order a hard Brexit.

Teresa:                       Champagne?

Brexit Burger:            Sorry, that’s no longer included when you order a hard Brexit.

Boris   :                       (from back of the car) How about some Sangria!

Teresa:                       Ok, I’ll ask. Can we get two Sangrias?

Brexit Burger:            I’m sorry, that also is no longer included when you order a hard Brexit.

Teresa:                       What if we swap them for a Red, White and Blue Brexit?

Brexit Burger:            So you want to swap your 2 Hard Brexits for 2 French Brexits?

Teresa:                       No! No! No! I mean a ‘Best of British Brexit’.

Brexit Burger:            There is no such thing as that.

Teresa:                       Lets stay with the two Hard Brexits, with sides of Financial Insitution HQ’s and hold the refugees. What drinks can we have with them?

Brexit Burger:            If you order the meal deal you can have anything drink from the Full Hard Brexit Meal Deal.

Teresa:                       And what options are those?

Brexit Burger:            You can have a warm pint of Newcastle Brown Ale, a London Gin, or we can offer you some Irn Bru.

Boris:                          Iru Bru! Irn Bru! (Scottish Accent) Its made frum Gurders!

Teresa:                       Two Iru Bru then.

Brexit Burger:            Oh! I’m sorry. I’ve just seen that Iru Bru is no longer planning to be part of the Full Hard Brexit meal deal.

Teresa:                       Two gins then. Can we get one with coke and one with orange juice.

Brexit Burger:            The gins on the Full hard Brexit Meal Deal don’t come with mixers – we can’t allow anything to dilute the taste of a full hard Brexit.

Teresa:                       We’ll take them straight. We don’t mind a bit of tough medicine.

Brexit Burger:            Let me confirm your orders. I’ve got two Full Hard Brexit Meal Deals, with sides of Financial Institution HQs, both with no refugees but with some straight Gin. Now do you want a desert?

Teresa:                       Yes. We’d like to both have our cake and eat it.

Brexit Burger:            I’m not sure that’s possible with the Full Hard Brexit Meal Deals. I will need to check with my manager. Oi! Monsieur Barnier! Monsieur Barnier!

Michel Barnier:         Oui?

Brexit Burger:            Ils veulent avoir leur gâteau et le manger. C’est possible avec le Full Hard Brexit Meal Deal?

Michel Barnier:         HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA

Brexit Burger:            Monsuier Barnier?

Michel Barnier:         hahahaha (stops laughing) – Non. Les imbéciles.

Brexit Burger:            Sorry. The Full Hard Brexit Meal Deal isn’t available with a ‘Eat Cake and Have it’ dessert. We have got some humble pie you could have?

Teresa:                       Do you recommend that?

Brexit Burger:            Not really, it tends to leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Teresa:                       Ok. Lets just stick with what we have.

Brexit Burger:            So the total comes to £66 billion.

Teresa:                       Boris, can you pass me that £350 million a week we’ve been saving.

Boris:                          Gosh! I didn’t expect you to actually want it.

Teresa:                       Have you spent it?

Boris:                          I can’t lie to you Teresa, it never really existed.

Teresa:                       But I’ve promised people a full hard Brexit! How will I pay for it?

Trump:                        Hello pretty lady, do you need a hand? It’s a full sized adult hand and certainly not small like a tiny child’s.

Teresa:                       Not where you are thinking, Donald, I’m not that kinda girl!

 

END

Submission 14 – NewsJack – Sketches

Here we go again. Another week and nothing written until 2 hours before the deadline. Nothing I’ve written so far (as a sketch) has got anywhere near broadcast so I’ve lost a little a faith in the process.

Trawling the news websites today nothing really jumped out so I had a think about some of the other sketches that have been broadcast and they all seem to follow a similar pattern and only 1 or 2 of them actually could be said to be about a unique news story. For this reason I decided to just write a Brexit sketch (What? Another one of them with the millions of other submissions they will receieve) and I would then find a  Brexit news article to shoe-horn it against.

The theme of the sketch was to be ‘Brexit as a Burger King request’ with an idea of ‘have it your way, with BK’ structure. As usual it contains Teresa May and Boris Johnson. There is a guest appearance from Michel Barnier to mix it up a little. I decided to make him speak french. I thought it was a good touch and something to make the french speakers chuckle and people who don’t speak french will still get the joke.

Finally, another crappy ending to sketch. The NewsJack editorial team always suggest having your ended sorted first and then build to it but I never do and as such my sketches don’t finish well. Maybe it will impress someone in the writers team? Who knows? Who cares?

With no further ado (sorry for all the additional ‘ado’ I’ve prefaced this with).

Welcome To Brexit King

Submission 13 – NewsJack – One-liners

This week was a hard week. I really felt I’d lost my mojo. I went to see Mr. B The Gentleman Rhymer last week and it put me in a good mood.

I don’t know what caused the funk to surround me but neither the sketches or the one-liners really felt like they hit home.

ONELINERS

BREAKING NEWS:

  1. DUREX BUYS A BABY-FOOD COMPANY. A SPLIT IN THE COMPANY DURING THIS BIG SPURT HAS BEEN EXPECTED BUT THE TRUE RESULTS MAY ONLY BE SEEN IN 9 MONTHS TIME.
  2. SHOCKING NEWS AS CHARLES BRONSON PROPOSES TO HIS SOAPSTAR ACTRESS GIRLFRIEND AND SHE SAID …(EASTENDERS DUM DUMS SOUND FX)
  3. UK SKILL SHORTAGE LEADS TO DYSON BEING PUSHED TO ASIA. MANY DOUBT THE CORDLESS VACUUM CLEANER WILL GET FURTHER THAN FRANCE BEFORE REQUIRING EMPTYING AND CHARGING.

NUMBER CRUNCHING:

  1. £4.6 BILLION: ROLLS ROYCE’S LARGEST EVER REPORTED LOSS

£30: UNAPPROVED OVERDRAFT CHARGE MADE BY THEIR BANK

  1. £20: HOW MUCH BETTER OFF PENSIONERS ARE A WEEK THAN WORKING

£20: EXACT INCREASE IN COST OF ELECTRIC BAR HEATERS AND WERTHERS ORIGINALS

  1. 100: PEOPLE INVOLVED IN MASS BRAWL INSIDE A WEATHERSPOONS

100: PEOPLE WHO MIS-UNDERSTOOD THAT IT WAS THE MEAL DEAL FREE DRINKS MENU THAT NOW INCLUDED A PUNCH.

 

The durex joke started forming when I was looking for sketches. It did have a couple re-writes but I’m still not happy with the final product. The 2nd Breaking News joke isn’t right as his girlfriend was a Coronation Street actress but the ‘Wah Wahs’ aren’t as well known as the ‘Enders ‘Dum Dums’. Breaking News number 3 was the last one written. I saw a little story about Dyson which said, ‘Skills Shortage Pushes Dyson to Asia’ and figured there would be a joke in there. I ended up with the above but I still feel the joke could be made punchier.

Number Crunching was much harder this week.

NC#1 – Its the same joke I’ve sent in before. the late payment/unapproved OD/etc appeared before but I thought I’d try it for Rolls Royce. Who knows, they might like it this time?!

NC#2 – this was more of me trying to find a joke about a popular number that was in the news. The £20 better offer being a pension was in the news and is something people would recognise. Electric bar heaters and wethers for old people is a little hack but who cares, they aren’t going to use it anyway.

NC#3 – another new article using numbers – 100 people involved in a punch up. Really couldn’t get this written correctly and I wasn’t happy with the final draft although it was better than earlier ones.

Not much really to report this week. Fire and Forget. Roll on next week’s submission and hopefully things will improve.