Russell Howard's Good News

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Russell Howard's Good News
Russell Howard's Good News title.png
Also known as Russell Howard's Good News Extra (extended version)
Genre Topical Comedy stand-up, satire
Created by Russell Howard
Presented by Russell Howard
Theme music composer Kasabian – "Fast Fuse" (instrumental)
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 9
No. of episodes 87
Production
Producer(s) Mark Iddon
Robyn O'Brien
David Howarth
Location(s) Riverside Studios (Series 1–8)
Shepperton Studios (Series 9–)
Running time 30 minutes
45 minutes (Good News Extra)
Production company(s) Avalon Television
Broadcast
Original channel BBC Three (2009–13)
BBC Two (2014–)
Picture format 576i (16:9 SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original run 22 October 2009 (2009-10-22) – present
External links
Website
Production website

Russell Howard's Good News is a British comedy and topical news show. Hosted by comedian Russell Howard, he offers his commentary on the news of the week using mostly stand-up, but including sketches and guest appearances from people who have been featured in the media recently. It is made by independent production company Avalon Television and produced by Mark Iddon, Robyn O'Brien and David Howarth. Repeats of earlier episodes are also broadcast on Comedy Central and Dave. The show also made an appearance on Children in Need 2011 and Red Nose Day 2013, featuring a number of sketches from recent episodes, as well as a new segment of "It's Not All Doom and Gloom". In February 2013, users of Digital Spy voted Good News as the Best Show Ever on BBC Three in the run up to the channel's tenth anniversary.[1]

On 9 June 2014 it was revealed that Good News will move from BBC Three to BBC Two and the ninth series will be shown on it later in the year.[2] The ninth series started on 23 October 2014.[3]

Topic Segments[edit]

The show's format consists primarily of sketches, gags (some of which are recurring throughout a series), clips taken from the internet and stand-up from Howard on various topics of news that had featured in the week that each episode is broadcast in; the comedy is either derived from the story itself, or the subject it is dealing with. These topics include:

  • Big News (begins regular show, following the early series)
  • Sports
  • Celebrity
  • Society
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Politics (UK, World, and Weird)
  • Art and Culture
  • Animals
  • Religion
  • Kids
  • Health
  • I Did Not Know That
  • Technology
  • Mystery Guest (Series 1-8)
  • Guest (Series 9)
  • What Were They Thinking?
  • Stand Up (Good News Extra only)
  • Royal Wedding (Series 4 only)
  • People's Podium (Christmas Special and Series 5/6 only)
  • Headliners (Series 7 Christmas Special only)
  • It's Not All Doom and Gloom (ends regular show and isn't comedy based )

Of these, the most common ones used are "Mystery Guest" ("Guest", beginning Series 9), and "It's Not All Doom and Gloom", while the other segments are often interchanged with others, depending on what news stories the comedian looks in to that week. [4]

"Mystery Guest" is an unrehearsed segment, in which Howard has to guess why his guest was in the news, based on clues their guest provides along with props the crew arrange. Howard is never told what this segment involves, but often interviews the guest after learning of their story, whether it featured in a national story, or a regional/local one. In these segments, Howard is also involved in learning something with his guest, which has seen him do cooking, emergency training, dancing, and martial arts, among others. This segment, in later series, also included a VIP guest towards the series finale; the guest is always someone involved in either TV, Film, or Sports, and like most others, Howard often has to guess who they are. Beginning with Series 9, the segment, renamed to "Guest", is mostly an interview between Howard and his guest, who is often someone who has made a great achievement that is picked out by the news.

"It's Not All Doom and Gloom", is used to end the show. This segment involves no comedy at all, as it focuses on a heart-warming story of someone who has endured hardships in life, troubles in their homeland, disabilities and such to accomplish good things, or someone who has done charity work to aid those less fortunate.

Recurring Gag[edit]

Throughout the show's history, Howard often uses a recurring gag. While some gags reoccur in a small capacity for the episode it featured in, some are reused after being featured in the beginning episode or in a later episode of the series, and are often from something that Russell had discussed about; most gags have used clips taken from YouTube with some clips sometimes edited to create the gag, with almost all prompted by the comedian by a line or action. In more recent series, the gag is not a clip but something the comedian has parodied from something featured in the news.

Some of the most notable gags featured, included: -

  • A clip of a pastor who did not like Barack Obama, because of the nickname he gave the US President ('Mr. Long-Legged Mac Daddy'). Howard prompted the clip whenever he mentioned Obama in the initial series, by apologizing almost immediately with the word "Sorry...", and later featured it in a number of later episodes. When Nick Clegg became popular following the first UK Election Debate on TV, Howard spoofed the clip in the second series, when news stories nicknamed Clegg as the "British Barrack Obama," with him prompting his parody (the comedian pretending to be the pastor himself) in the same manner, with his own nickname to the politician ('Mr. Long-Legged Cleggy-Weggy').
  • Two clips of cats - one who appeared shocked, prompted by the comedian appearing shocked and wide-mouthed by a news story he is discussing about in Series 3, the other appearing as to say no, prompted by the comedian shaking his head in disapproval of a story he talked about or of its subject in Series 5; the latter one was parodied in the episode it first appeared.
  • A clip of a guy who gave a creepy smile, prompted by Howard saying "What kind of creepy weirdo..." followed by whatever subject a story was talking about that had all essence of creepiness to it, in Series 3.
  • A clip of a baby who appears to jump in shock (in reality, a reaction to a noise made by a parent), prompted by the comedian acting shocked and startled to any news story that was connected to babies and was shocking in a way, such as Baby Yoga, in Series 4.
  • Two clips of dogs - one who appeared to quack when its owner touched its belly, though was not prompted but was often used throughout Seires 5 by the comedian; the clip was parodied in the first episode it appeared. The other one, featured in Series 6, had another clip of a dog who appeared to scream in horror, and occurred for any story that, while amusing, was quite shocking or horrible (this clip has not been shown since in repeats); the latter clip was parodied by the comedian.
  • Two clips of lambs - one of a lamb who appeared to say "Yeah..." and was prompted by Howard in a manner such as, "That was a good joke. Right, Lamb?" during Series 6, the other of a lamb who appeared to be screaming, prompted by the comedian screaming in fright because of a story he discussed on a subject that was unsettling and shocking, during Series 7. Both clips were parodied by the comedian.
  • Following a news story featuring a woman with an extraordinary and humorous interview after a house fire in the US, the line she gave - "Ain't nobody got time for that!" - was reused as a reoccurring gag in Series 6, parodied in the same series, and reused in a number of later episodes.
  • London Mayor, Boris Johnson, was featured on the show after a story about him was discussed, including a clip of him giving a speech about his meeting with Jamaicans. His notable line - "Very nice." - was used for comedic fun in a few stories during series 7.
  • A clip of a woman saying the name of a stink bomb - 'Liquid Ass' - was reused throughout Series 8, following a news story about the item being used in a school. The re-use of the line was due to the fact on the way it was pronounced, usually when describing the end result of a sex act.
  • A notable gag in Series 8, in the latter half, came from a story that Howard made fun of, about an American who outsourced his job to China. After a part of the story was shown, when it cut back to the studio, the presenter had been replaced by a Chinese man who commented that he (Russell Howard) would "never do such a thing." The Chinese performer featured throughout the remainder of the series either in sketches or in the place of the comedian, and often wore similar clothes to whatever Russell was wearing in the episode of the latter half when he appeared. In the final episode, he and Russell paired together to discuss what they did on the day marked as "Most Joyous" by the news (at the time).[5]

Series Five Injury[edit]

During filming of the fourth episode of Series 5, Howard injured himself while filming the episode's "Mystery Guest" segment. As these segments are planned by the show's crew but never revealed to the comedian, he was unaware of the set-up towards the end of the segment that he would be doing, which for this episode had him with his guest, who was revealed to be a stunt performer involved in a number of major hits, perform a series of stunts for a mock-up of a bar brawl between the guest and Howard. While preparing himself to do the stunt scene before his audience, the comedian attempted to do some press-ups on a collapsible, prop stool as a warm-up, unaware of what the prop was designed for or that it was unwise to put weight on it. The moment it collapsed upon pressing down upon it, the comedian fell hard upon his left hand, injuring it as a result. The segment was not removed from the show's broadcast, despite this incident, as Howard, after being checked out by the crew (with the audience being unaware of what occurred as such), finishing off the stunt scene with his guest, with great care for his injured hand. It was confirmed by medical staff at A&E, shortly after he had finished filming and was taken away for medical assistance, that he had broken his left hand as a result of the accident.

Although injured and having his left hand placed in a cast, Howard managed to return to work and continue filming the rest of the series. Furthermore, in the next episode, it was revealed that the 'Big Story' segment for that week was centred entirely on himself and the accident, poking fun at what he had done to himself and stating, as an admittance to what he had done, that he should have never done "press-ups on a collapsible stool". The resulting injury did, however, mean that for the rest of the series he had to do less strenuous sketches and Mystery Guest segments until it had healed.[6]

Russell Howard's Good News Extra[edit]

Russell Howard's Good News Extra is an extended version of Good News, in the vein of Have I Got a Bit More News for You and QI XL. Usually broadcast on Saturday nights, Good News Extra episodes serve as extended, uncut counterparts to those of the regular show. Typically, the episodes last 45 minutes long and feature a guest stand-up comedy act. The repeats shown on Comedy Central and Dave are actually Good News Extra episodes, but are simply listed as Russell Howard's Good News. Series 8 was the last series for which there was a Good News Extra version.

Transmissions[edit]

Series Start date End date Episodes
1 22 October 2009 17 December 2009 9
2 25 March 2010 13 May 2010 8
3 21 October 2010 25 December 2010 9
4 24 March 2011 12 May 2011 8
5 27 October 2011 15 December 2011 8
6 12 April 2012 28 June 2012 12
7 27 September 2012 13 December 2012 12
8 25 April 2013 11 July 2013 12
9 23 October 2014 8 January 2015 9
10 2015 2015 TBC

Viewing figures[edit]

Episode viewing figures from BARB.[7] They do not include views on BBC HD.

Series 1[edit]

Episode
no.
Airdate Viewers
(millions)
BBC Three
weekly ranking
Multichannels
rank
Good News Extra
stand-up comic
1 22 October 2009 N/A N/A N/A Steve Hall
2 29 October 2009 N/A N/A N/A Wil Hodgson
3 5 November 2009 0.82 3 15 Craig Campbell
4 12 November 2009 0.60 10 N/A Tom Wrigglesworth
5 19 November 2009 0.66 7 N/A Phil Kay
6 26 November 2009 0.85 4 15 Carl Donnelly
7 3 December 2009 0.65 7 N/A Sarah Kendall
8 10 December 2009 0.70 6 19 No stand-up
9 17 December 2009 0.87 3 6 Colin Holt (as Len Parker)

Series 2[edit]

Episode
no.
Airdate Viewers
(millions)
BBC Three
weekly ranking
Multichannels
rank
Good News Extra
stand-up comic
1 25 March 2010 0.86 3 13 Al Pitcher
2 1 April 2010 1.07 4 11 Ray Peacock
3 8 April 2010 1.11 1 2 Lloyd Langford
4 15 April 2010 1.02 2 8 Wendy Wason
(not broadcast)
5 22 April 2010 0.91 4 17 Arnab Chanda
6 29 April 2010 0.88 5 12 Seann Walsh
7 6 May 2010 N/A N/A N/A Chris Ramsey
8 13 May 2010 0.70 8 N/A Russell Kane

Series 3[edit]

Episode
no.
Airdate Viewers
(millions)
BBC Three
weekly ranking
Multichannels
rank
Good News Extra
stand-up comic
1 21 October 2010 0.96 3 10 Jimmy McGhie
2 28 October 2010 0.96 4 14 Pete Johansson
3 4 November 2010 1.28 2 6 Elis James
4 11 November 2010 0.82 6 18 Roisin Conaty
5 18 November 2010 1.02 3 11 Ed Gamble
6 25 November 2010 0.87 3 23 Joe Wilkinson
7 2 December 2010 0.98 2 19 Nick Helm
8 9 December 2010 0.95 3 12 Matthew Osborn
9 25 December 2010 N/A N/A N/A Richard Herring

Series 4[edit]

Episode
no.
Airdate Viewers
(millions)
BBC Three
weekly ranking
Multichannels
rank
Good News Extra
stand-up comic
1 24 March 2011 0.78 8 17 Dan Atkinson
2 31 March 2011 0.90 4 17 Hari Kondabolu
3 7 April 2011 0.85 6 16 Tony Law
4 14 April 2011 1.06 4 12 Joel Dommett
5 21 April 2011 0.98 8 18 James Acaster
6 28 April 2011 1.04 7 17 Andy Zaltzman
7 5 May 2011 1.12 5 14 Gareth Richards
8 12 May 2011 N/A N/A N/A Jason Cook

Series 5[edit]

Episode
no.
Airdate Viewers
(millions)
BBC Three
weekly ranking
Multichannels
rank
Good News Extra
stand-up comic
1 27 October 2011 0.95 2 15 Steve Williams
2 3 November 2011 N/A N/A N/A Henry Paker
3 10 November 2011 0.89 3 17 John Robins
4 17 November 2011 0.99 3 10 Alun Cochrane
5 24 November 2011 1.21 2 4 Naz Osmanoglu
6 1 December 2011 1.07 2 15 Peacock
Gamble
7 8 December 2011 0.99 4 13 Celia Pacquola
8 15 December 2011 1.00 2 12 James Dowdeswell

Series 6[edit]

Episode
no.
Airdate Viewers
(millions)
BBC Three
weekly ranking
Multichannels
rank
Good News Extra
stand-up comic
1 12 April 2012 0.95 5 16 Doc Brown
2 19 April 2012 0.86 5 29 Paul McCaffrey
3 26 April 2012 0.78 4 30 Dana Alexander
4 3 May 2012 1.02 1 11 Daniel Simonsen
5 10 May 2012 0.93 5 18 Paul Foot
6 17 May 2012 1.07 6 15 Hannibal Buress
7 24 May 2012 1.04 4 9 Iain Stirling
8 31 May 2012 0.94 5 13 Nina Conti
9 7 June 2012 1.07 3 6 Jarlath Regan
10 14 June 2012 N/A N/A N/A Angela Barnes
11 21 June 2012 N/A N/A N/A Tom Craine
12 28 June 2012 N/A N/A N/A Compilation special

Series 7[edit]

Episode
no.
Airdate Viewers
(millions)
BBC Three
weekly ranking
Multichannels
rank
Good News Extra
stand-up comic
1 27 September 2012 1.08 3 7 Felicity Ward
2 4 October 2012 0.75 5 27 Glenn Wool
3 11 October 2012 0.73 5 23 Daniel Sloss
4 18 October 2012 0.91 2 14 Mae Martin
5 25 October 2012 0.82 3 19 Andrew Ryan
6 1 November 2012 1.07 1 10 Marcel Lucont
7 8 November 2012 0.79 1 21 Nathan Caton
8 15 November 2012 0.73 4 N/A Adam Bloom
9 22 November 2012 0.87 1 25 Reggie Watts
10 29 November 2012 0.85 3 26 Mark Smith
11 6 December 2012 0.70 4 N/A Compilation special
12 13 December 2012 0.84 3 20 Francesca Martinez

Series 8[edit]

Episode
no.
Airdate Viewers
(millions)
BBC Three
weekly ranking
Multichannels
rank
Good News Extra
stand-up comic
1 25 April 2013 0.98 2 9 Eugene Mirman
2 2 May 2013 0.98 1 11 Aisling Bea
3 9 May 2013 0.89 1 11 Lou Sanders
4 16 May 2013 0.88 1 15 Bobby Mair
5 23 May 2013 1.09 1 5 Romesh Ranganathan
6 30 May 2013 1.09 1 3 Mark Cooper-Jones
7 6 June 2013 0.98 2 7 Matt Forde
8 13 June 2013 0.84 5 19 Liam Williams
9 20 June 2013 1.20 6 9 Jarred Christmas
10 27 June 2013 0.73 N/A 28 Ginger and Black
11 4 July 2013 N/A N/A N/A Luke Toulson
12 11 July 2013 N/A N/A N/A Compilation special

Series 9[edit]

Episode
no.
Airdate Viewers
(millions)
BBC Two
weekly ranking
1 23 October 2014 1.55 19
2 30 October 2014 1.37 26
3 6 November 2014 1.72 21
4 13 November 2014 1.30 26
5 20 November 2014 1.39 24
6 27 November 2014 1.37 25
7 4 December 2014 1.42 20
8 11 December 2014 1.35 25
9 8 January 2015 N/A N/A

Series 10[edit]

It was confirmed on the Good News Twitter account, that the tenth series will begin later in 2015.

DVD releases[edit]

A DVD was released on 15 November 2010 entitled Best of Series 1.[8]

A DVD of the Best of Series 2 was released on 24 September 2012.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Taylor, Frances (9 February 2013). "'Russell Howard's Good News' voted BBC Three's best ever show". Digital Spy. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Russell Howard's Good News moves to BBC Two". BBC. 9 June 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Good News Team on Twitter: Good news! Russell Howard's Good News is back and now on BBCTwo from Thursday 23 October at 10pm."". Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "'Good News' Topic Segments for Each Episode". tv.com. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Russell Howard's Good News series
  6. ^ "'Good News' Host Russell Howard Breaks Hand On Set". huffingtonpost.co.uk. Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  7. ^ "Top 10 Programmes". BARB. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "Russell Howard's Good News – Best of Series 1". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  9. ^ "Russell Howard's Good News – Best of Series 2". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 

External links[edit]