Category: My Writing

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.

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.


  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.


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.


  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.



  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!


  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.


  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



  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.


  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



  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.


  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 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.


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 ;).


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.


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 – – 2nd Feb
Update Exams – – 1st Feb
Markle to give speach at wedding – – 30th Jan
Ghost Towers – – 4th Feb
Slang Weather Forecast – – 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 – – 22nd Jan
Kardashians – As about the baby but really just a call back to KYU.
Product Placement in Corrie – – 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


  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.



  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.

NewsJack Submission 12-9-17

I found this on my computer.

uploading it but not sure which episode it was for.



  1. Monkey selfie court case reaches settlement. There was lots of ‘oooos’ and ‘aaaaaaaah’ from the public gallery as the Macaque family members celebrated.
  2. 130 tonne ‘fatberg’ found in London sewer. I did think we’ve not seen or heard from the President of the United States recently
  3. Boris Johnson is flying to the Caribbean after the devastation of Hurricane Irma.  Locals have questioned this decision saying they have already suffered enough.


  1. 10. Number of years since the original iPhone was released.
    10. Number of meters away from a power socket iPhone owners will risk going before hurrying back to charge them.
  2. 100. The number of people arrested at London arms fair this week.
    Zero. The number of arms dealers arrested at London arms fair this week.
  3. 8. Record number of organs donated by one girl.
    Zero. Number of donations Nigel Farage can make as he has no back-bone, no heart and no brain.