The News Quiz, 1977

The News Quiz is a topical panel game that takes a light hearted look at the week’s news.  It is perhaps the longest running BBC Radio series having being first broadcast in 1977.

The series is filmed on a Thursday night at the BBC Radio Theatre.  It is then edited down to 28 minutes and broadcast on a Friday evening at 18.30.

News Quiz was created by writer John Lloyd whose writing credits include: Not The Nine O’ Clock News, Spitting Image and Blackadder.  The series is based on an idea by Nicholas Parsons.

To date (2019) there have been over one hundred series and a mammoth nine hundred and twenty two  episodes.

News Quiz was adapted for television in 1981 under the title Scoop, running for two series, and later inspired the television program Have I Got News For You.


Each week, four panellists appear on the show. They are usually either comedians or journalists, and occasionally politicians.

The idea of the quiz is to test contestants’ knowledge of the events of the previous week by asking questions which usually reference those events.

However the show has developed to more of a free-for-all where once the question has been answered panellists chip in with their own humorous and satirical remarks, frequently wandering off topic.

Once the question has been answered and the free for all ended the host summarises the events referred to in the question usually with a scripted comic punchline.

It’s quite common for the show to only get through two panel rounds before they get to the final section.

In the final section panellists read out statements from newspapers and other media which they find amusing.  In closing the host reads out the largely symbolic scores.






Hosted By:

Barry Norman (1977 – 79)
Barry Took (1979 – 1981 & 1986 – 1995)
Simon Hoggart (1981 – 1985 & 1996 – 2006)
Sandi Toksvig (2006 – 2015)
Miles Jupp (2015 – 2019)
Guest Host (2019 – )


Channel: BBC Radio 4
Created By: John Lloyd
Presenter’s Script Written By: Various
Original Transmission Dates: 1977 – present

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