|Running time||30 minutes|
|Home station||BBC Radio 4 Extra|
|Recording studio||BBC Radio Theatre, London|
|Air dates||since 4 June 2009|
|No. of series||12 + pilot|
|No. of episodes||75|
Newsjack is a satirical sketch show hosted by Nish Kumar since February 2015, and previously by Romesh Ranganathan, Justin Edwards and Miles Jupp. It was first broadcast on BBC Radio 7 on 4 June 2009. The series is notable for having an "Open door" policy on writing, meaning that unsolicited writers without contract to the BBC can send in material. The show is designed to give new writers an opportunity to get material broadcast. It is hoped by the people behind the show that it may become a modern version of Week Ending, an earlier sketch show which also accepted material the same way.
Each episode of Newsjack begins with an introduction from the presenter before the main sketches. The host is joined by a different cast each week - a mixture of experienced sketch performers and new upcoming talent. Previous regular cast members include: Margaret Cabourn-Smith, Lewis MacLeod, Pippa Evans, Andi Osho and Jess Robinson; Philip Fox has also appeared in several episodes.
As well as standalone sketches, the show also features recurring segments, including:
- The Newsjack App: Mock answerphone messages. These are designed so that writers can create one-liners and other kinds of quick jokes.
- From the Archive: The show looks at a (fictional) programme from the past to see how news stories similar to those of today were covered in the past.
- Julia: a woman called Julia has been locked in a room, which symbolises the dark world of petty journalism, e.g.: reporting on the wedding of Zara Philips. As a result, she has become psychotic, longing to see sunlight; upon which the presenter shuts the door on her desperate pleas.
- Newsjack Films: Spoof movie trailers.
- Celebrity Diary: The cast impersonate a celebrity and see recent events from their viewpoint.
- Corrections: At the end of the programme, the cast read out made-up corrections relating to things from the previous episode.
- And Finally: A post-credits sequence where the show pretends the current episode is an old show and make jokes about how the world might have changed since the programme went out.
Writers wishing to submit material for Newsjack are invited to write material for these segments as well as their own sketches not related to them.
Newsjack, was always intended to be an "Open door" show in terms of writing. However, it first became known in early 2009 when it launched a competition to find new comedy writers for the show. The winners of this competition went on to a masterclass on comedy writing with David Mitchell on 9 March 2009. Although originally Gareth Edwards was intended to be producer for the show, the job of producer eventually went to Tilusha Ghelani and Sam Michell. The current producers are Simon Mayhew-Archer and Lyndsay Fenner.
The show was first broadcast as a pilot on 4 June 2009. This pilot was broadcast first so as to give a guide to new writers about the sort of material that the programme was looking for. The first deadline for new material was 15 June 2009 at noon. While the first series was originally intended to run for ten weeks, this was reduced to the pilot and six episodes, one per week. In total there have been twelve series of six episodes, and two compilation episodes: a review of the year episode, broadcast on New Year's Eve 2011, and shortly before series eight, a programme 'Newsjack Revisited' broadcast on Radio 4, featuring the best sketches from previous series seven. The episodes are also available to download as a podcast.
Transmission dates are as follows. The programme is normally broadcast on a Thursday evening on BBC Radio 4 Extra and repeated the following Sunday.
- Pilot: 4 June 2009
- Series 1: 18 June 2009 – 23 July 2009
- Series 2: 7 January 2010 – 11 February 2010
- Series 3: 17 June 2010 – 22 July 2010
- Series 4: 10 February 2011 – 17 March 2011
- Series 5: 15 September 2011 – 20 October 2011
- The Newsjack Review of the Year (compilation from series 5): 31 December 2011
- Series 6: 23 February 2012 – 29 March 2012
- Series 7: 20 September 2012 – 25 October 2012
- Newsjack Revisited (compilation from series 7, broadcast on BBC Radio 4): 13 February 2013
- Series 8: 14 February 2013 – 21 March 2013
- Series 9: 19 September 2013 – 24 October 2013
- Series 10: 6 March 2014 – 10 April 2014
- Series 11: 25 September 2014 - 30 October 2014
- Series 12: 26 February 2015 - 2nd April 2015
- "Newsjack - Production Details, Plus Regular Cast and Crew". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 4 June 2009.
- Kohli, Shajeev; Edwards, Gareth. "Sanjeev Kohli: 7 on 7 - 2". BBC Writers Room. Retrieved 4 June 2009.
- "7 on 7". BBC Writers Room. Retrieved 4 June 2009.
- "Newsjack". BBC Writers Room. Retrieved 4 June 2009.
- "Newsjack - Episode Guide". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
- Lavalie, John (11 June 2009). "Newsjack". Epguides. Retrieved 11 June 2009.
- "Newsjack - Topical Sketch Show". BBC. Retrieved 17 June 2009.