DMs Are Open – Series 1 – Episode 1 Analysis

Series 1 Episode 1 – Analysis

I attempted to get 2 sketches, 2 one-liners and 1 voice note into the show. I didn’t get anything in this week’s show. Never Mind!

Start how you mean to go on – so I thought I’d do some in-depth analysis of the first episode of DMs Are Open.

DMs Are Open Summary

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


You may have seen my analysis of NewsJack episodes so I’ve tried to keep to broadly that structure. Things are a little different as DMs Are Open isn’t a ‘Topical News Satire’ show, but is a topical news show. Its also ‘new’ so I think the producers are also looking to find their own way on how this goes forward.

I’ve listened to the broadcast and I’ve tried to analysis what content makes the show.

First of all, I do not include the opening dialogue 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 DMs are Open rather than people who have, that week, submitted 2 one-liners, 1 Voice Note and 3 sketches.

Thirdly, this is my analysis. The assumptions I make are mine, as are the conclusions I come to.


Count Time
Sketch 9 (11?) 15m56
Oneliners 11 2m15
VNs 5 1m15

There we have it. About 19 and a half minutes of the show can be submitted by members of the public. This is about 2 minutes less than a submission to NewsJack. I will stop the NJ comparisons as more episodes of this are released.

The structure of the show was 6 sketches, then all 11 One-liners, then another 4 sketches, then we had the 5 Voice Notes before the final sketch. I’ve included the ‘headspace’ sketches separately as they appeared separately in the show. If you take them as just one sketch, there were 9 sketches in total.


Topic Time
Mental Health Awareness Week 1m30 Sketch
Wagatha Christie 2m30 Sketch
Small Murder Mystery 2m15 Sketch
Disney ++ 1m50 Sketch
Headspace for Nihlists 50s Sketch
Highway Code Novels 1m55 Sketch
Headspace for Pagans 20s Sketch
Elon Musk submissions 50s Sketch
Russian Eurovision 2m22 Sketch
Headspace for Scientogists 4s Sketch
Milleniam Care Home 1m30 Sketch

I hate writing sketches – I’m forever moaning about it. I occasionally do it (I submitted 2 sketches this week) as its important to do the things you hate. Previously, for NewsJack analysis I would search for the news stories to see when they were ‘topical’. For the first episode I think thats a bit too much, but also, most ‘seem’ current. MHAW, Eurovision, Wagatha Christie, are definately ‘current’ enough. I couldn’t find anything on Headspace, and Disney ++ didn’t seem topical at all – but the producers liked it enough to include it.

The golden rule would be to ‘write funny’ and not worry so much about the ‘topical-ness’ of a subject.

One thing I’ve found strange is that no-one on Twitter (obviously the ONLY social network!) has tweeted about having a sketch included in the first show. Seems very strange when most people do shout about getting stuff included.


These were bunched together in the middle of the show. I also noticed they had a laughter-track added to them, where-as the sketches didn’t. Again with the NewsJack comparison but I think recording in front of a live audience (with the ‘occasional’ improvement to the laughter) really added to the character of the show. Without them, DMs Are Open felt a little dry.

The topics of the one-liners were as follows;-

Drug Stations
Shit on Sofa
Ketchup containers
Moulin Rouge
Neil Parish
Married Cat
Elizabeth Line
Madonna NFT
Vogue Cornwall
McDonalds Russian

I didn’t time the individual jokes here, I’m not some sort of stat-loving saddo!  But the whole section was 2 minutes and 15 seconds of the show.

Voice Notes

5 Voice Notes were broadcast. The iPod one was by far the longest, but it hit the 20 second max time that the producers asked for.

James Corden return
Dr Who Name
Jason Mamoa
Wembley Catering Lasagne

All Up-To-Date from what I could see…except the Wembley Lasagne one. Searches suggested this was from 2020 but that can’t be right! The producers loved it so the golden rule applies again 🙂

In Summary

I enjoyed flexing my writing brain again. NewsJack left a big hole and hopefully DMs Are Open can fill it. Please don’t take any of this summary as a criticism of any of the writers OR the people involved in the show. Its just looking at what they broadcast, both the topics and the times, what they appear to be looking for and things I think I can do to improve my chances of getting stuff broadcast*.

I think that they could lose 1 sketch and include another load of one-liners. Hopefully this balance will improve through the series. I’m also not sure how many Voice Notes they get so it might improve your chances of getting stuff broadcast if you do a Voice Note as you’ll have less competition. Its important you focus on the Golden Rule (Write Funny) and then worry about other things.

Hopefully the team over at DMs Are Open will share some stats on submissions. Another thing I noticed is that the Voice Note contributors get a separate acknowledgement (I’m guessing as ‘Voice Actors’) so we know who wrote the sketches/one-liners, even if we don’t know who wrote which individual ones.

My final note to the team making DMs Are Open is PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE….can you rename it for the 2nd series? Seriously people, did you not search the hashtag before deciding on a name? Even adding ‘BBC’ to the end doesn’t much improve the tweets that are brought back. This is ‘getting sacked from work’ levels of content so I am glad I’m not trying to search the hashtags from my work computer/phone (like I could with NewsJack).

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