Brand new satire coming to BBC Radio 4 with six Friday Night Comedy specials

Brand new satire coming to BBC Radio 4 with six Friday Night Comedy specials

Radio 4 today announces six topical comedy specials to air in its Friday Night Comedy slot this summer, bringing listeners the very best of established talent and rising stars

This fresh take on the satirical comedy slot will feature new programmes from the likes of Rachel Parris, who will kick off the series with a range of comic characters including digital stars Rosie Holt and Michael Spicer; Dom Joly, who will take a mischievous approach to investigating the week’s biggest stories; Ria Lina, bringing a global perspective to the news with comedians from around the world sharing news from their countries; Catherine Bohart, who will take a deep dive into the roots of a news story; Rhys James, bringing his trademark quick wit to interrogate the news; and Andrew Hunter Murray hosts the latest creation from The Skewer’s Jon Holmes, which takes aim at the way the news is packaged and presented.

The specials will be broadcast in Radio 4’s popular Friday Night Comedy slot this summer, between series of Dead Ringers and The News Quiz. Friday Night Comedy is also hugely popular on BBC Sounds – last quarter, it was among the top ten on demand radio programmes and top twenty most-downloaded programmes globally. Each special will be available after broadcast, first on BBC Sounds and on RSS soon after.

Julia McKenzie, Radio 4 Commissioning Editor for Comedy, said, ‘I’m hugely proud of the much-loved programmes in Radio 4’s Friday Night Comedy slot, which are so popular with listeners. This summer, I’m excited to add to the Friday Night Comedy roster by introducing six new one-off programmes, where we’ll hear fresh takes on topics from each week’s news from some of the best satirists around.’

Full list of Friday Night Comedy specials

The Newsmakers

28 July, 6.30pm – 7pm, repeated 29 July, 12.30pm – 1pm. A Lead Mojo production for BBC Radio 4

Rachel Parris (Late Night Mash) hosts this spoof interview show, speaking with the people at the centre of the week’s stories. This one-off will feature Bilal Zafar, Emily Lloyd-Saini, Sam Pamphilon and social media stars Rosie Holt MP and Michael Spicer.

What Are You Talking About?

4 August, 6.30pm – 7pm, repeated 5 August, 12.30pm – 1pm. A BBC Studios production for Radio 4.

Hosted by Rhys James (Mock The Week, The Now Show), ‘What Are You Talking About?’ investigates the major issues of the week before solving them perfectly forever. Rhys will be joined by a gaggle of comedy’s fastest rising stars, including Alasdair Beckett-King and Celya AB, to look at the news and ask ‘Why?’, ‘How come?’ And ‘Why though?’

Dom Joly Breaks the News

11 August, 6.30pm – 7pm, repeated 12 August, 12.30pm – 1pm. A Yada Yada production for BBC Radio 4

A surreally mischievous take on the week’s news stories by the inimitable Dom Joly, best known for Trigger Happy TV, which reinvented the hidden camera format. In a mash-up of prank calls, interviews and features, Dom Joly Breaks the News attempts to get to the bottom of the biggest stories of the week. Dom’s serious about tackling the actual news of the week. He just wonders whether approaching it from a slightly different angle might give us a more interesting answer.

The United Nations of News

18 August, 6.30pm – 7pm, repeated 19 August, 12.30pm – 1pm. A BBC Scotland production for Radio 4

Ria Lina (Live at the Apollo, Have I Got News for You) heads up a crack team of comics from around the globe including Daliso Chaponda (Malawi), Ignacio Lopez (Spain) and Heidi Regan (Australia) to discuss the UK’s biggest stories before looking at what’s hitting the headlines in their homelands. We show them ours, so they show us theirs. This is The United Nations of News: proof that comedy really is universal.

Catherine Bohart – TL;DR

25 August, 6.30pm – 7pm, repeated 26 August, 12.30pm – 1pm. A Mighty Bunny production for BBC Radio 4

Columns. Analysis. The Guardian’s Long Read. Who has time? Catherine Bohart (8 Out of 10 Cats), that’s who, and she and the TL;DR team will be digging deep into one big story that’s making the news this week to fill you in on how we got here.

The Naked Week

1 September, 6.30pm – 7pm, repeated 2 September, 12.30pm – 1pm. An Unusual production for BBC Radio 4.

From The Skewer’s Jon Holmes comes The Naked Week, a fresh way of dressing the week’s news parading it around for everyone to point and laugh at. Host Andrew Hunter Murray (No Such Thing As a Fish, QI Elf, Private Eye) will strip away the flimsy covering and jeer at not only the big stories, but also at the way in which the news itself is packaged and presented. From award-winning writers and a crack team of contemporary satirists – and recorded in front of a live audience – The Naked Week delivers a (consensual) topical news-nude straight to your ears.

BBC Radio 4

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