Sunday, October 25, 2020
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Inside the BBC Comedy Factory

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AS part of the BBC series Inside the FactoryGregg Wallace went inside the corporation to see how its radio comedy is created.

Gregg: I’ve come to Radio 4 to see how satirical programmes like 

The News QuizThe Now Show and Newsjack are made.

Josh Cole is the head of commissioning for BBC Comedy, but my face doesn’t tick any diversity boxes, so he’s sent Posh Sibling, head of strategic comedy outcomes, to tell me which comedians he likes.

Posh, why do you like Bill Bailey? Does he make you laugh?

Sibling: So, the Guardian’s comedy critic said that Bill Bailey leaves the audience? With a delicately hanging cadence?

Gregg: Does he make you laugh?

Sibling: So, the Guardian comedy critic said comedy? Is not about laughter?

Gregg: Fan-tastic!  Tell us about this new stream of satire here.

Sibling: So, this is for The Mash Report?

Gregg: Are you asking me?

Sibling: So, no I’m not asking? But I like to end every sentence? With a rising inflection?

Gregg: Why?

Sibling: So, people think my accent, public school background and family contacts make the BBC? Look nepotistic? So, I’m adopting an air of fake humility? To hide my sense of entitlement?

Gregg: Amaaaayyy-zing! I heard Marcus Brigstocke say exactly the same thing to his brother in the lift just now.

Gregg: Shall we sample one of these delicious confections off The Mash Report’s conveyor belt?

Sibling: So, what do you think?

Gregg: Seems a bit bland – what is it?

Sibling: So, The Mash Report bases its satire on a feed from a think tank? Called Britain in a Changing Europe?

Gregg: Hil-arious!

Sibling: So, Nish Kumar reads out their reports? And it gets big laughs?

Gregg: Un-bel-ievable! Un-bloody-believable!

Sibling: So, are you impressed?

Gregg: He must be the hardest working man in showbusiness!

Sibling: Nish Kumar?

Gregg: No, the poor bastard who has to dub on the canned laughter. I mean, where do you bloody start?

Sibling: So, do you like working at the BBC, Gregg? So, do you think you’ll get the same sort of money anywhere else?

Gregg: And . . . we’re back! Luvverly stuff! The Mash Report really is biting satire – and it really is as diverse as the audience.

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Nick Booth
Nicholas Booth is the editor of OhThisBloodyComputer and a freelance technology writer

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