Monday, March 15, 2010
The Day Today
‘The Day Today’ is a British parody of television news programmes. This sitcom is made up of six episodes which were broadcast between 19th January and 23rd February 1994 on BBC2. It is an adaptation of the radio programme ‘On the Hour’. Both display a similar concept: mocking the media and politicians among others. ‘The Day Today’ received many awards and its producer, Chris Morris, also received the 1994 British Comedy Award for Best Newcomer. Each episode is a combination of fictitious news items that the actors report in a pseudo-professional way. The humoristic effect is provided by different techniques: a lengthy jingle, the overuse of computer editing, the broadcasting of fake advertisements.
The newsreader Chris Morris often devotes too much time to one or two major stories. He is then forced to rush through the rest of the programme that he occasionally interrupts with other news that are deemed more important. His confrontational nature creates conflicts that he then tries to resolve only to make the situation worse. Peter O’Hanarah-Hanrahan (Patrick Marber) is the economic correspondent and by far the most incompetent reporter. Chris constantly ridicules him for his mistakes. Peter is a parody of former BBC newsreader Richard Whitmore. The sports correspondent Allan Partridge is played by Steve Coogan. Unlike Peter he usually succeeds in not making a fool of himself by means of highly complex metaphors, although he is far from being an expert. Barbara Wintergreen (Rebecca Front) reports from and about the United States of America and more specifically about the repeated executions of Chapman Baxter, a famous serial killer. Two of her features are dark humour and an exaggerated American accent. Collaterlie Sisters (Doon Mackichan) is ’The Day Today’’s business correspondent. She uses economic jargon, alluding to most of her colleagues, that is hardly understood by anyone. The other characters are the weatherman Sylvester Stuart (David Schneider), the environmental correspondent Rosie May (Rebecca Front), the travel correspondent Valerie Sinatra (Rebecca Front), a resident French commentator Jacques-Jacques Liverot (Patrick Marber), the physical cartoonist from the Daily Telegraph Brand (David Schneider).
Here are some of the most memorable passages: a fight between Queen Elizabeth and then Prime Minister John Major, Chris ridiculing his own reporter, who pretends he made an interview with a German Minister, whereas he actually does not speak German at all, or the IRA’s use of bombdogs.
Cécile Leclercq and Vinciane Pirard
Posted by Cécile at 3:21 PM