Good 4 comedy

BBC4 unveils new satires

BBC4 is ramping up its comedy content, with new late-night “intelligent” shows about the modern world.

The first of its new projects, Don’t Watch That Watch This manipulates topical and archive footage to satirise the news, such as imagining the idle chatter among news crews covering a real event.

The digital channel will also be broadcasting a new topical comedy from Armando Iannucci, pictured, called The Thick Of It.

He will direct an ensemble of comic actors who must improvise a political scenario, with a Minister trying to manage the news agenda.

Both this and Don’t Watch That Watch This , which was devised by Bremner, Bird And Fortune’s Geoff Anderson form part of BBC4’s newly-unveiled winter schedule for the new year.

Channel controller Janice Hadlow says she is looking for programmes that displayed the "same desire to connect with viewers" as Not the Nine O'Clock News.

"I think there's a space there for intelligent, clever comedy about the modern world. Something that's intelligent and also makes you laugh,” she told MediaGuardian."Radio 4 does this stuff really well - satirical, comedic takes on contemporary politics and the world. TV can find it harder to do."

Published: 15 Dec 2004

Today's comedy-on demand picks


This is the show that celebrated the launch of Nick Helm's album in 2016, and has previously been unseen by anyone who was not in the O2 Forum Kentish Town that night.

With typical hyperbole, the show is described thusly: 'Under-rehearsed, under-prepared and under pressure, Nick and his band somehow managed to pull together the greatest show in the last 27 years of living memory. That show went down as a thing of legend, often spoken about by weary travellers around campfires, but thought to have been lost to the sands of time forever.'

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... including Al Murray headlining a Just For Tonic gig and the launch of Free Festival's virtual comedy programming.

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