HEADLINE-GUFFAWING weekly satire-lite hoedown. That HIGNFY-inspiring format in full: competing panel of ‘witty intellectuals’ of a journalistic (Bill Deedes, Ian Hislop, Francis Wheen) or comedic (Jeremy Hardy, Armando Iannucci, Andy Hamilton) bent are challenged to spot newsworthy happenings of the past seven days courtesy of a series of very awful puns indeed, with ‘points’ taking second billing to gags and rounds interspersed by sub-That’s Life! ‘humorous’ cuttings sent in by listeners, and all of it framed by Leroy Anderson’s The Typewriter (ie that thing that goes “diddleiddleiddleiddleiddleiddleiddlei diddleiddleiddleiddleiddleiddlei TING!”). Hosts have included Barry Norman, Barry Took, Simon Hoggart and Sandi Toksvig, while for years the show also acted as an unofficial “there’s only one way to find out – FIIIIGHT!” running battle of the satire rags between Punch and Private Eye courtesy of competing regulars Alan Coren and Richard Ingrams.Read More
Posts Tagged With 'Barry Took'
“DEAR BBC, I am quite frankly staggered. Yours, quite frankly staggered.” Endless have-your-say soapbox shoutathon keeping voiceover artistes in work for over four decades and helping fill awkward 10-minute schedule slots historically just before the 9pm news. First in the chrome chair was ROBERT “WOULD THAT IT WERE” ROBINSON, establishing a precedent for ubiquitous surname supremacy later supported by KENNETH ROBINSON, ANNE ROBINSON and, erm, TONY ROBINSON. Early years majored in senior common room-style mutterings thanks to Robert’s penchant for pedantry and obscure literary gags. After long hiatus in the 70s, however, the show evolved into the more mass market, mass hysteria beast it remains. BARRY TOOK takes the blame here, pushing jocularity and funny voices well to the fore, topped off with whimsical calliope adaptation of “When I’m 64” as theme tune (in turn prompting a letter every six months wondering “Why have you got ‘When I’m 64’ as your theme tune?”) and having the correspondence unceremoniously torn into bite-size portions and glued to pieces of brown sugar paper, to be comically interrupted at will (“What’s that, Mrs Chateris?” “Surely not!” “Anything else to add?!”). These were the imperial years, continued by Anne with her “them upstairs” routine and shifty winking-to-camera goodnights. Formula got diluted throughout the 90s thanks to ever-changing roster of boring guest hosts, until ultimately it got bumped to Sunday afternoons (bad) and taken over by SIR TERENCE OF WOGAN (good).Read More
MIDDLE OF the road panel game. Guests came on with “secret” (either heroic – “I saved fifty horses from the great Northampton flood” or ‘amusing’ – “I urinated on Princess Margaret”), which celebs had to guess, WHAT’S MY LINE?-style. Hosts BARRY TOOK and TOM O’CONNOR respectively.Read More