Monday, July 22, 2024
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Value Signalton presents – the future of BBC comedy


THE BBC and ITV are to launch their own streaming service, Britbox, to challenge the all-conquering American contender Netflix.

I’m saddened by this. The traditional crafts of programme-making and broadcasting will soon go the way of dodos, dinosaurs and democracy. These days it’s all about content. Which makes it sound as if they are churning out bland commodity products. Mind you, the BBC has been going that way for some time. I call it Breaking Baddiel, where they descend into making tedious Left-wing crap for people who are addicted to dudgeon.

Here’s an extract from a pilot show – sorry content – for the comedy category intended for the channel that’s already been dubbed Netflops.


Host: Hello and welcome to Whataboutery – the new panel show brought to you by the House of Comedy, the BBC’s politicised comedy department.

My name is Value Signalton and I’m delighted to be hosting this brand new topical news spin show.

As the theme tune fades it is my huge pleasure to welcome an aggrievance of comics from the Herd Left. Some comics are naturally Left-leaning. Some become Left-wing to get work. And some have myopia thrust upon them.

But they are all here to play Whataboutery, where the mask of a supposedly open satirical news quiz is used to hide Left-wing obfuscation, deviation and obviation.

Each week we’ll assemble a mediocrity of identical Left-wing comics from the ‘talent’ agency that monopolises their supply. Each comic must use their limited skill and ingenuity to come up with a Left-wing spin on every topical news item. If they succeed, they get Brown Nose Points. If they fail to distract the audience, they won’t be getting much work on the BBC again.

So let’s get straight on with the game.

Lucy Porter, I’ll start with you. I’m going to mention a news item about a Labour politician jailed for fraud. Can you turn this around into an attack on the Tories?

Porter: Yes, I can’t help feeling this story would be completely different if a Tory MP had been involved. Will that do?

Signalton: It’s a bit obvious. But I’ll give you one point for myopia and another point for avoiding any attempt at humour. But there’s a desperate identity politics angle that you’re missing.

Porter: Is it because she’s . . .

Signalton: We know what you’re going to say. Three points to Lucy!


Signalton: Tim Shipman, are you ready to play Whataboutery?

Shipman: I certainly am! I’ll say anything to get on the BBC!

Signalton: Good good, because if you aren’t there are thousands of malleable mockneys to take your place. Now, for three points, I’m going to introduce a news item about Venezuela. I want you to prove how little thought you’ve given to this subject.

Shipman: I’m going to tell a 50-year-old joke about communism, which ends in a punchline so predictable that the audience will have completely switched off by the time I reach it.

Signalton: Well done, Tim. You’ve proved that you are so oblivious to the failings of totalitarianism that you’ve failed to make a single original observation. I’m going to give you three points for that! And, since the BBC is a totalitarian regime, I’ll give you an extra point for sycophancy and not mentioning Jeremy Corbyn.

Lucy Porter: Can I get a point for turning the whole Venezuela issue into an attack on America?

Signalton: You certainly can. And there will be bonus points for anyone with a conspiracy theory.

Sandy Toxic: Isn’t this all about oil?

Signalton: Indeed it is, Sandy. Three points to you. And a bonus point for turning the subject into yet another tedious and unimaginative attack on Donald Trump.

Porter: Donald Trump was in bed with the Kremlin.

Signalton: That story was a load of old Goebbels. Still, the Big Lie tactic is working for us now, so I’m going to give you a bonus point for being Alt.Reich. And another one for sheer schadenfraudulence.

Well, I’m afraid that’s all we’ve got time for here on Whataboutery. Next week we’ll have another raft of news stories and some even tamer comics with even narrower outlooks.



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Nick Booth
Nick Booth
Nick Booth is a freelance writer.

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