Harman Patil (Editor)

The News Quiz

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Panel game

United Kingdom

Home station
BBC Radio 4

Running time
28 minutes


Host: Miles Jupp A BBC Radio 4 newsreader Various guest panellists

The News Quiz is a British topical panel game broadcast on BBC Radio 4.



The News Quiz was first broadcast in 1977 with Barry Norman as chairman. Subsequently, it was chaired by Simon Hoggart, Barry Took (until 1995), and then again by Simon Hoggart until March 2006. Hoggart was replaced by Sandi Toksvig in September 2006, who in turn was replaced by Miles Jupp in September 2015. The series was created by John Lloyd based on an idea from Nicholas Parsons.

Originally Private Eye editor Richard Ingrams and Punch editor Alan Coren acted as team captains.

It was adapted for television in 1981 under the title Scoop, running for two series, and later inspired the television programme Have I Got News for You.

In 2012 the BBC piloted an American version hosted by Lewis Black.

On 28 June 2013, the News Quiz paid tribute to Radio 4 announcer Rory Morrison, who used to read the news cuttings on the programme.


The programme is usually recorded in front of an audience on Thursday evenings at the BBC Radio Theatre at Broadcasting House in central London. It is then edited and broadcast first on Friday evening at 18:30, then repeated on the Saturday lunchtime. The final 28 minute show is significantly shorter than the original recording. In 2012 the BBC began making an extended version for BBC Radio 4 Extra.

Each week, four panellists appear on the show. They are usually either comedians or journalists, and sometimes politicians. Journalists predominated in the early years. The ostensible purpose of the show is to test contestants' knowledge of the events of the previous week by asking questions which are usually oblique references to those events. However this has given way to a general free-for-all where panellists chime in with their own humorous and satirical remarks once the question has been answered. The participants frequently wander off topic. The host ends the discussion of each question with a summary of the events it refers to, usually with a scripted comic punchline, before asking the next question. It is not uncommon for the show to get through only two rounds of the panel before the final section is reached. Before the host announces the largely symbolic scores, the panellists read out statements from newspapers and other media which they find amusing.

Current host

  • Miles Jupp
  • Former hosts

  • Barry Norman
  • Simon Hoggart (chairman during two periods 1981–86 & 1996–2006)
  • Barry Took
  • Sandi Toksvig (2006–2015)
  • Current regular panellists

  • Jeremy Hardy
  • Andy Hamilton
  • Susan Calman
  • Fred MacAulay
  • Francis Wheen
  • Rebecca Front
  • Mark Steel
  • Hugo Rifkind
  • Samira Ahmed
  • Lucy Porter
  • Former regular panellists

  • Alan Coren
  • Armando Iannucci (also a former producer of the programme)
  • Barry Took (also a former presenter)
  • Ian Hislop
  • Linda Smith
  • Richard Ingrams
  • Jonathan King
  • Sandi Toksvig (later a presenter)
  • Simon Evans
  • Simon Hoggart (also a former presenter)
  • Sue Perkins
  • Carrie Quinlan
  • Guest panellists

    Includes panellists that have appeared on several occasions over many years, and those who have only appeared once.

    BBC newsreaders

    The News Quiz also features considerable comedic input from regular BBC newsreaders (or "hacks-neutral", as Alan Coren referred to them). The current regulars are:

  • Corrie Corfield
  • Caroline Nicholls
  • Susan Rae
  • Neil Sleat
  • Kathy Clugston
  • Zeb Soanes
  • Diana Speed
  • And former regulars include:

  • Chris Aldridge
  • Carolyn Brown
  • Harriet Cass
  • Peter Donaldson
  • Charlotte Green
  • Rory Morrison
  • Corrie Corfield appeared as a panellist once when Sandi Toksvig was unable to attend. As a current BBC newsreader she was bound by the BBC's code of practice for newsreaders, which prevented her from making any opinionated comments on-air (When asked, "What do you think of Bush, Corrie?", she responded, "He's an American.")

    Peter Donaldson also appeared as a guest, in an episode broadcast in September 1999.


  • Paul Sheehan
  • Richard Morris
  • Lyndsay Fenner
  • Sam Michell
  • Sam Bryant
  • Victoria Lloyd
  • Ed Morrish
  • Katie Tyrrell
  • Simon Nicholls
  • Lucy Armitage
  • Jon Rolph
  • Aled Evans
  • Harry Thompson
  • Armando Iannucci
  • John Lloyd
  • Louise Coats
  • Scriptwriters

    Each week, the chair's script is written by three main writers, with material contributed by one or two additional writers. Current regular writers include:

  • Simon Littlefield
  • Rhodri Crooks
  • Lucy Clarke
  • Gareth Gwynn
  • John-Luke Roberts
  • Jon Hunter
  • James Kettle
  • Benjamin Partridge
  • Andy Wolton
  • Former regular writers include:

  • James Sherwood
  • Stephen Carlin
  • George Poles
  • Paul McKenzie
  • Dave Cohen
  • Tom Jamieson
  • Nev Fountain
  • Debbie Barham
  • Iain Pattinson (1990s)
  • Music

    The opening title music is an arrangement of The Typewriter, by Leroy Anderson played by The James Shepherd Versatile Brass. For the programme the original recording (on Decca records SB 314) has been increased in speed and pitch by about 33%.


    As of 28 September 2007, The News Quiz became downloadable as part of the "Friday Night Comedy" podcast feed for Radio 4. The podcast switches between The News Quiz and The Now Show, depending on which show is being transmitted.


    The News Quiz Wikipedia