Russell Howard's Good News

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Russell Howard's Good News
Russell Howard's Good News title.png
Russell Howard's Good News titlescreen
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 10
No. of episodes 96
Production
Producer(s) Mark Iddon
Robyn O'Brien
David Howarth
Location(s) Riverside Studios (Series 1–8)
Shepperton Studios (Series 9)
The London Studios (Series 10–)
Running time 30 minutes
45 minutes (Good News Extra)
Production company(s) Avalon Television
Release
Original network BBC Three (2009–13)
BBC Two (2014–)
Picture format 576i (16:9 SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audio format Stereo
Original release 22 October 2009 (2009-10-22) – present
External links
Website

Russell Howard's Good News is a British comedy and topical news show. Hosted by comedian Russell Howard, it offers his commentary on the news of the week through mostly stand-up, along with sketches and humorous video clips, whilst also having 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, Dave and W. 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 would move from BBC Three to BBC Two following the broadcast of the eighth series.[2] The ninth series was aired on BBC Two in late October of the same year,[3] with the tenth series starting to air on 22 October 2015.

Show format[edit]

The show's format focuses primarily on looking into various news stories that have occurred during the week, from within Britain or across the world, whether the story was a major piece or a simple minor one. Howard often provides commentary on these stories, often through stand-up, but also through using sketches, recurring gags (either within an episode, or throughout a series), clips taken from the internet (the owners are credited by the show), to derive comedy from either the story itself, or the subject it is dealing with. These stories are usually catalogued into various topics, with each topic cutting in between segments with stop-motion animated titles. These topics have included:

  • 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
  • Children
  • 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 (Special episodes of Series 7 and 8)
  • It's Not All Doom and Gloom

Of these, both "Mystery Guest"/"Guest" and "It's Not All Doom and Gloom" are regular segments in the show, while topics for the other segments are determined by what news stories the comedian looks in to mostly for that week; some topics were mostly one-offs for a series, such as the Royal Wedding. [4]

Mystery Guest/Guest[edit]

From Series 2 to Series 8, the show featured an interview segment called "Mystery Guest", which was often always unrehearsed. In it, Howard was never told by his crew who he was meeting and interviewing, only that the guest he had was recently in the news during the week the episode was aired in; the story either featured in a national paper, a local/regional one, or a news website. As such, he had to guess what exactly they were in the news for, based upon clues provided by the guest and the crew, after which Howard would interview them, usually on their skills, hobbies, background, and why they performed something in the story they featured in. Often in most instances of this segment, his guest either did a demonstration of their abilities, or taught Howard something new, with the latter having seen him receive emergency rescue training, pick up new dance moves, play sports, and learn different fighting styles, amongst other things. In later series, a VIP guest was arranged by the crew for the series finale, who was famous in either TV, Film, or Sports and was someone Howard admired a lot; like other guests, Howard had to guess who they were thanks to clues given. Such guests were interviewed as always when identified, and some gave Howard something special to do with them; in one instance, a Star Wars actor performed a parody version of "Mastermind", asking Howard questions on the movie franchise.

Because these segments were unrehearsed, Howard was not often prepared for what would occur on stage, especially if he was to be taught something physical, and in some cases it led to issues. In an episode that was broadcast for Series 5, Howard had been taught how to do a series of simple stunts that he would use in a mocked fight scene with his guest. In order to prepare for this, he attempted to warm-up on a collapse-able stool, which broke easily under his weight and caused him to fall hard upon his hand and break it. Although he managed to complete the segment after being initially checked up by the crew, his hand had to be set in a cast after filming for the episode, meaning that the remaining episodes for the series and the selection of guests for them had to be arranged to be less physically demanding on the comedian. [5]

Beginning with Series 9, the segment was revised and changed, renamed to "Guest", and became primarily an interview between Howard and his special guest, who is often someone that has made a great achievement or important contribution to life, and that was picked out by the national news.

It's Not All Doom and Gloom[edit]

"It's Not All Doom and Gloom" is used to end the show, since the second series, on a feel good moment and to usually break away from the show's comedy. This segment involves no comedy at all, as it primarily focuses on a heart-warming story, either of someone who has endured hardships in their life, troubles in their homeland, or disabilities to accomplish amazing feats or extraordinary achievements (even wonderful animals), a person who has done something incredible in their life, or someone who has done charity work to aid those less fortunate. The only exception where this segment never ended the show was on the extended version, where stand-up comedy followed it.

Russell Howard's Good News Extra[edit]

Russell Howard's Good News Extra was 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 served as extended, uncut counterparts to those of the regular show. Typically, the episodes lasted 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 22 October 2015 17 December 2015 9

Viewing figures[edit]

Episode viewing figures from BARB.[6] 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 and 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 28
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
(compilation special)
N/A N/A

Series 10[edit]

Episode
no.
Airdate Viewers
(millions)
BBC Two
weekly ranking
1 22 October 2015 1.45 25[7]
2 29 October 2015 1.34 22
3 5 November 2015 1.33 25
4 12 November 2015 1.45 22
5 19 November 2015
6 26 November 2015 1.46 26
7 3 December 2015 1.48 18
8 10 December 2015
9 17 December 2015
(compilation special)

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. ^ "'Good News' Host Russell Howard Breaks Hand On Set". huffingtonpost.co.uk. Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  6. ^ "Top 10 Programmes". BARB. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  7. ^ http://www.barb.co.uk/whats-new/weekly-top-30?
  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]