BBC Radio Comedy

The News Quiz: Vintage Treasures
  • The News Quiz: Vintage Treasures

  • A brand new collection of previously unpublished episodes taken from the programme's first four decades.

    The News Quiz began on Radio 4 in 1977 and continues to be hugely popular to this day. The first host was Barry Norman, and subsequently Barry Took, Simon Hoggart, Sandi Toksvig, Miles Jupp, Nish Kumar, Angela Barnes and Andy Zaltzman have all take the chair. The show's guests have been drawn from the cream of British comedians, journalists and politicians: Alan Coren, Richard Ingrams, Ian Hislop, Peter Cook, Linda Smith, Jeremy Hardy, Clive Anderson, Jo Brand, William Hague, Boris Johnson, Edwina Currie, Matthew Parris and many more.

    In this vintage collection, hear the comedy guests trawl through news stories big and small to provide comedy, commentary, irony and irreverence - and an insight into how news events of the past were viewed at the time.

Paul Merton (Reader) Paul Merton was born in 1957, long before such things were fashionable. He spent his first eight years living within cheering distance of Fulham Football ground at Craven Cottage although he can’t remember any cheering. Upon leaving school with two ropey A Levels and a CSE Grade 5 Maths, Paul enlisted in the Civil Service where he survived for two and a half years. He made his stand-up debut at London’s Comedy Store in 1982 where his policeman on acid routine regularly stopped the show. In 1985 he joined the Comedy Store Players, an improvised comedy group which led, in 1988, to him appearing on Whose Line is it Anyway? for the first few series before he couldn’t stick it anymore. He has appeared on Have I Got News For You as a team captain since 1990 and is also proud of his other long running gig, Radio 4’s Just a Minute. Other TV highlights include his eponymous surreal sketch series from 1991-3; interviewing Spike Milligan in what was to be his last major television appearance as host of Room 101; and making several programmes about early cinema, including The Birth Of Hollywood which he co-wrote with his wife, Suki Webster. He still performs with the Comedy Stores Players every Sunday. Nicholas Parsons (Reader) Nicholas Parsons was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire, in 1923 and moved to London with his family at the age of eight. His career in entertainment spanned eight decades and, in 2004, he was awarded an OBE for his services to drama and broadcasting. He died in January 2020 after a short illness.

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