Andy Zaltzman

Andy Zaltzman

An Oxford classics graduate, Andy Zaltzman emerged on to the stand-up scene in 1999, when he was a finalist in the So You Think You're Funny? talent contest.

The following year he was chosen to take part in the well-regarded Comedy Zone showcase at Edinburgh, and also made the finals of the Daily Telegraph Open Mic award. His solo Edinburgh debut, Andy Zaltzman versus The Dog Of Doom, was nominated for the Perrier Best Newcomer award in 2001.

Zaltzman has worked extensively with John Oliver. In 2004, they launched a satire night in London and Edinburgh, called Political Animal, which transferred to Radio 4, and since 2007 have hosted The Bugle, a topical podcast for Times Online. They also wrote and starred in three series of The Department, again for Radio 4.

He performed at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for the first time in April 2007, where he won the coveted Piece of Wood Award for the comedians' comedian.

Zaltzman has also written for several series of Bremner, Bird and Fortune, and in November 2008 his first book, entitled Does Anything Eat Bankers? And 53 Other Indispensable Questions For The Credit Crunched, was published.

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News Quiz announces THREE new hosts

Comics take one series of the Radio 4 panel show each

The search for a permanent new presenter of The News Quiz is starting to look like a knockout tournament – as Radio 4 announced a trio of hosts for the long-running topical quiz.

Nish Kumar, Angela Barnes and Andy Zaltzman will each host a series of the much-loved programme next year, the BBC has announced.

All three were guest presenters in the last series alongside  Phil WangKiri Pritchard-McLeanZoe LyonsPatrick Kielty, and Andrew Maxwell after Miles Jupp stood down.

Mash Report host Kumar – who recently hit the headlines after his political material did not land well with those attending a Lords Taverners charity inner  – will be first in the chair, for the series starting on  January 3.

He said: ‘I look forward to unpacking the country’s continued descent into a Mad Max style dystopia/Britain’s glorious rise from the ashes into a bold new tomorrow (delete as applicable). I look forward to sharing this honour with two of my dearest show business friends, Angela and Andy.’

Barnes – who won the BBC New Comedy Award in 2011 and has previously hosted Newsjack on 4 Extra – said: ‘To say that I'm chuffed to be asked to be one of the new chairs of The News Quiz on Radio 4 is an obscene understatement, it's literally the job of my dreams, though I'm hoping that when I do it for real the audience and I will remain fully clothed. 

‘It's such an exciting and daunting prospect to follow in the substantial footsteps of Took, Hoggart, Toksvig, Jupp et al, so I'm delighted that I'll be doing it alongside Nish and Andy.

‘I hope between us we can guide the listeners through whatever nonsense 2020 throws our way, while introducing exciting new voices and some of the best hair in topical comedy."

Zaltzman first featured on the panel show in 2006 and has hosed Radio 4  such as  Empire-ical Evidence as well as his own podcast The Bugle. He will take the reins from September.

He said: ‘Over the course of the year, I hope we will be able to quiz the news so hard that it grows up and starts behaving its age.  There has been more news than average over the last 100 to 120 years, so, assuming that trend continues, we should hopefully have plenty of news to address.’

Sioned Wiliam, commissioning editor for Comedy at BBC Radio 4, said: ‘I’m really excited to have three incredible comedians hosting The News Quiz, each with their own unique sharp, satirical style. 

‘It’s been wonderful to have Angela, Nish and Andy on Radio 4 over the years and I’m delighted they’re now joining one of our flagship programmes which attracts millions of listeners on air as well as to the chart-topping podcast.’

The News Quiz was created by John Lloyd in 1977 with Barry Norman as chairman. It has now run to 100 series with previous hosts comprising Sandi Toksvig, Simon Hoggart, Barry Took, Barry Norman and most recently, Miles Jupp.

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Published: 17 Dec 2019

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Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2003

Edinburgh and Beyond

Edinburgh Fringe 2016

Andy Zaltzman: Plan Z


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