Here Isn't The News is a television program in Georgeland. Loosely based on the British show Have I Got News For You, Here Isn't the News is a weekly panel show where news topics are discussed and various 'games' played, between two teams of two guests each. While points are awarded, there is little value to them, and they are awarded on an arbitrary basis. The topical discussion is usually secondary to the humour and banter between guests and host. The program is broadcast weekly, airing at 8:30 pm on Friday nights. The program is broadcast by GBC Television. The program debuted in October 2005, and ran continuously until February 2014. For the first two series, the program was anchored by comedian Robin Edmonds, and from 2008 to 2014 by newsreader Julia Moffatt. In 2014, HITN it was cancelled as part of a review of GBC programming. A public outcry resulted and the subject was even raised in Parliament. In May 2018, the GBC announced the program would return by popular demand, beginning in October of that year. The revived program's first season was hosted by Hussein Aziz, who has remained as the host for future series. For most of the original show's run, the team captains were comedian Neil Hobbes and journalist Kevin Teal. Each team features its captain plus one (occasionally more) guest, usually a comedian or entertainer but frequently a politician, journalist or newsmaker. The revived series team captains are Peter Khan and Juliet Markey. HITN is shot on Wednesday nights before a live audience. While predominantly shot in the GBC's Santa Christina studio, from time to time it has been recorded in other locations. Most editions run for 30 minutes, with about twice that amount recorded. Outtakes and unseen footage are usually edited into special editions of the program for airing in off-season or when a live recording is impossible.
HITN is a panel game/quiz show. The host poses questions and challenges for each team or contestant who are then required to respond. The host then awards points for answers. Under Edmonds, the points were arbitrary and frequently were not added at all or awarded in vast quantities. Moffatt was more restrained and generally awards points 'correctly', though she was quick to point out that the points are meaningless and that there were no prizes. Aziz continued Moffatt's tradition.
The program is always introduced the same way. After the title sequence, the host always says "Good evening, I'm [name], and here isn't the news for the week ending Friday..." followed by the date. The introduction mirrors those of 'real' news programs, including those Moffatt formerly anchored. The introduction is always followed by a series of jokes (similar to a monologue in which news events of the past week are referred to and made light of. Photographs and news footage related to the stories are shown as well with the host making commentary on them.
Following the monologue, the host introduces the panellists for that week. The introduction for Kevin Teal was always an exaggeration of Teal's achievements, such as recently returned from the Amazon or, on one occasion, escaped from an Austrian basement. The introduction to Hobbes was always a comment relating to the comedian's supposedly enormous ego, such as he's been described as the greatest comedian who ever lived. You'll find that description on every page of his diary. Hussein Aziz has adopted a different model for introducing his team captains, frequently referring to current events while introducing them and their guests.
The team then play a series of rounds relating to the news, each introduced by the host. Each game relates (usually) to a news story from the week. Following each round, or sometimes within it, the host will make more news-related jokes in a style similar to the monologue.
The 'rules' of the games, such as they are, are not stuck to rigidly and teams frequently answer each others' questions or ignore the game entirely.
The first round of the show is invariably Newsmakers, in which a series of general questions about a figure from the news of the week, usually a politician, are asked and discussion ensues. Following this several more rounds are played.
Name That Pratt, where a political figure or other celebrity is shown in a photograph doing something silly or hunmourous, but with the face blanked out, and panellists must guess the subject of the photo.
Missing Words, lifted straight from the British version, where panellists fill in the blanks from headlines seen during the week. For example, in the edition broadcast on November 25, the headline read "PARKER TO SINGAPORE: DON'T _________ AUSTRALIAN", to which Hobbes wittily suggested the missing word was 'miss'.
Captions, where a photograph is provided and panellists are asked to provide a caption.
Buzz Off, a quick-fire buzzer round where panellists buzz in to answer news-related questions posed by Edmonds. Correct answers are rarely given. Example: In the November 18 edition, Edmonds asked the question "For what crime was Gary Glitter under investigation this week in Vietnam", and panellist Leroy Hunt responded 'His Music'.
Mastermind: One player from each team (usually the captain), 'quizzes' the other member of his team on a bizarre and obscure topic, sometimes but not always relating to a news story. Neither team member has access to the answers to the questions, and so the game usually descends into a series of quick jokes about a subject.
The first three series were anchored by Robin Edmonds, and the fourth through fifteenth by Julia Moffatt . Hussein Aziz began hosting for the revived series in 2018. Edmonds' delivery was more animated and traditionally comic, while Moffatt's became famous for her deadpan delivery and clipped, formal manner of speech, often contrasting with the irreverent subject matter. Aziz has returned to a more traditional TV host style. For the entire original run of the show, the two team captains were Neil Hobbes and Kevin Teal. Teal was a journalist rather than a comedian, but his comedic skills became more advanced over time. In the revived series, team captains Peter Khan and Juliet Markey are both professional actors, comedians and comedy writers.
Robin Edmonds (2005-2007)
- "Prime Minister Zoe Parker is flying off to Malta for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. That's C.H.O.G.M., which also stands for Classy Holiday On Government Money"
- "Mrs. Parker met with the new German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. Merkel is described as Germany's Margaret Thatcher. Only without the penis."
- "France is in flames, with thousands of French people rioting against the French government. A French government spokesman says he doesn't understand why people are being destructive to others. Here's an idea: it's because they're FRENCH!"
Julia Moffatt (2008-)
- "A British police officer has been dismissed from the force after he was discovered to have had sex with a prostitute in a brothel, when he was sent to check if the brothel was...a brothel. Well, I guess he found out. But the question I'm asking is 'Does this count as "on the job" training?'"
- "Germany is now operating an all-nude airline. But in most respects it's just like a normal airline - for instance, it's just as difficult to get into the nuts...and everybody has their tray in the upright position."
- "A genetics professor says the children taken from the YFZ ranch will be difficult to test genetically. He said that there was no group of people anywhere in the world with such questionable parentage. He's obviously never been to the House of Commons."
- "People across the globe have turned out their lights for Earth Hour. Organisers hope the event will inspire people across the globe to act on climate change. Because nothing inspires people more than sitting in a darkened room, alone."
- "Italian businessman Silvio Berlusconi has returned to power in Italy after voters elected him Prime Minister for a third time. Italy's like that. They've elected to power for a third time a raving egomaniac who is excessively vain and self-aggrandising, who exercises flawless, crypto-Orwellian control over the media and who has transformed the country into his own personal plaything. What a country. Thank God it could never happen here..."
- "The Vietnamese government have banned pet hamsters, saying they might spread disease. Plus they're very hard to extract without special tongs."
- "In Germany a man has survived a plunge down a lift shaft when he landed on top of a woman who had fallen down the shaft the previous day. See...why would I want to read the news when I could be reading that? You can't make that up!"
- "Cult leader Charles Manson has released an album under a free content license. The album, which is available on CD, will also be legally downloadable from all good psychotic murderer websites. Such as that of the Chinese government. The first single from the album will be a cover of a Talking Heads song. (sings) "Psycho killer, ques ca ce..."
- (referring to the Josef Fritzl case)
"All of Austria is asking how Frinkl managed to get away with it for twenty-four years without anybody noticing. All I'm asking is: what is it with Austrians and bunkers?"
- (first show for 2009)
- "Two months ago today, the United States recieved its first ever black President. He's cool, he's hip, he's smart, he's funny...in short, this will be our last show."
- "Pope Benedict XVI says that condoms actually increase the risk of HIV and AIDS. The Pope will presumably be happy when teenagers stop using them and increase the teenage pregnancy rate. Because if there's one thing the Catholic Church wants more than anything else, it's unprotected shagging.
- "A United States merchant captain is being held captive by Somali pirates.
- "A spokesman for the pirates said 'aaaaaaaaarrrrrr'"
- "Israel's new Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised a hard line on all Palestinian insurgents. Because it's worked so well in the past."
- "Sweden's Parliament has legalised same sex marriage. Now, you don't have to choose between hot, uninhibited, DD-chested Swedish blondes and hot Swedish masseurs called Sven with enormous packages. You can have both! Are you excited! Or...is it just...me...?"
- "North Korea has tested a missile that defence experts say could potentially reach Georgeland. Prime Minister Luke Macaulay, speaking from the moon, says there is nothing to worry about.
- "A town in Missouri, United States, has re-elected a mayor who has been dead for over a month. Apparently his administration will make sure the streets are safe, the schools are well-funded and that there are lots of tasty brains for all eligible taxpayers."
- "Everybody in the world is now dead as a result of Swine Flu."
- "South Africa has sworn in a new President, Jacob Zuma, who has been accused of corruption. A corrupt African President? Who would have thought it?"
- "U.S. President Barack Obama says military trials for the inmates of Guantanamo Bay will go ahead, despite previously criticising the military trial process. Obama's supporters are already crying foul, sayingg the President broke a campaign promise. Apparently no President has ever done that before."
- "In the United Kingdom vast numbers of MPs are under investigation for the misuse of taxpayer funds and the claiming of fraudlent parliamentary expenses. Among the things claimed as expenses are...this is true...a nanny, mortage payments, hiring a plumber, mock tudor timber beams, nappies, a massage chair and...this is my favourite...cleaning the moat around a stately mansion in the country! The expenses scandal has rocked British politics and threatens to totally undermine British confidence in their own elected officials. Because it was so high to begin with. But these expenses are totally justified. Politicians need these things. They need nannies to look after their children during long hours. They need massage chairs because their jobs are very stressful. And they need to have their moat cleaned because...um...you know what, I've got nothing."
- Edmonds: Does anybody remember when politicians used to be interested in social change and the betterment of their society?
Hobbes:You just made that up!
Teal:A politician interested in betterment of society? You are full of it, aren't you, Rob?
Hobbes:He's just bitter because he can't get Maddy to sleep with him.
Madeline Woods:Hey, I resent the implication that he's the best I could do!
(later in the same show)
Teal:I'm really sorry Zoe Parker got divorced, but politicians don't need personal lives! They can get free sex whenever they want it...
Madeline Woods: Someone tell Robin that! He'll run for office!
Hobbes: Yeah, Maddy, but he might end up in the office next to yours...
Teal: Drilling holes in the wall...
- Teal: You've got two politicians on your side; one good, one evil.
Campbell Rhodes: Which of us is the evil one?
Madeline Woods: I think he was referring to you there.
Campbell Rhodes: Well, I'll take that. But if Edmonds tries to get it on with me the way he tries it on with you, someone's getting hurt.
Hobbes: If he wanted to get it on with you he'd need drug testing.
Campbell Rhodes: As opposed to anybody wanting to get it on with you, who need electro-shock therapy.
Hobbes:Yeah, that's fair.