Monday, 22 June 2009

BBC Writing Opportunties

via the Newsjack Website

Newsjack is BBC Radio 7's new topical sketch show, which seeks to comically scrutinise the news, views and issues of the day.

It is a showcase for new comedy writing.

It looks to be irreverent and satirical, a kind of younger brother to the more "grown up" Radio 4 topical shows like The Now Show and The News Quiz.

The Pilot of Newsjack was broadcast on BBC Radio 7 on 4th June and will be available on iPlayer and Listen Again until Sunday 14th June.

If you are planning to write for Newsjack please listen to the pilot.

Don't feel you have to make all your sketches about the main news story or Westminster politics.

As well as the main news, you might have a great sketch about Advertising, Glastonbury or The Wire, things that people are aware of culturally but don't necessarily make for "hard news".

We'd love to include these zeitgeisty topics in the show too. They're all fair game.

Who's in the show?

Miles Jupp is the anchorman. The regular cast of Newsjack are: Jess Robinson, Lewis MacLeod and Andi Osho. Other actors may join them for certain episodes.

They are all terrifically versatile. Jess and Lewis are impressionists so feel free to write sketches featuring celebrities.

Series dates

Newsjack records every Wednesday from 17th June. The last recording is on Wednesday 22nd July.

Newsjack is broadcast on BBC Radio 7 on Thursday nights at 23.00 and repeated on Sunday nights at 23.00.

If you would like to attend a recording, you can see if there are tickets available at:

Regular Features - Part One

We will include stand-alone sketches but are also looking to establish some recurring features, which you can write for:

Your Voice
These Vox Pops (in which we pretend to ask the great British public what they think) are a great opportunity for one-liners or quick jokes.
In the pilot we chose to theme them around MP's Expenses. In the series we have decided they can be about any prominent news issue. These vox pops will be heard throughout the show.

From the Archive
Every week we delve through the archives and find out how a fictional show from the past covered topical events of their day.

Miles answers listeners' letters and emails. These could be topical or just silly, long or short.

Regular Features - Part Two

Celebrity Diary
Try writing a "sneak peak" into the inner thoughts of someone who's been in the news recently.

A nice opportunity for our cast to do an impressions. e.g. Michelle Obama or Peter Andre's diary, Joanna Lumley's blog.

Miles Undercover
Miles does an undercover investigation related to a specific news story, a la Donal MacIntyre

Newsjack does its own parody version of "youthy" fast-paced, bite sized news such as Newsbeat and 60 second news. Hosted by 1 male and 1 female "youthy" presenters.

Another good opportunity for one-liners. At the end of the show these 'corrections' pretend to address any mistakes we made in last week's show.

But don't let us be prescriptive: you may have characters that you would like to create, a funny movie reviewer or mad royal correspondent, for example.

We would be very happy to include any amusing characters or features that you come up with. And of course, something you come up with could become a regular item in the show.

Submission Rules

Please read these very carefully.

If you submit your work inappropriately we might not be able to include it in the show.

The submission deadline each week is Monday midday – we will not look at sketches that arrive any later.

The submission deadline for the Vox Pops is later. It allows us to be more topical with those. Please submit these by Tuesday 5PM – we will not look at vox pops that arrive any later.

We recommend you submit material from Friday, after listening to the previous week's episode. This will ensure you don’t cover topics that have already featured.

Please submit no more than three sketches per week. This means we can get a chance to read as many people's submissions as possible. If we are interested and want more we will ask for it.

Submission Rules - Continued

Please mark each of your sketches on every page with a header that includes:

Your name
Your email address
The title of your sketch

This is really important for making sure you get paid if your work is broadcast.

If you are e-mailing several one-liners, please paste them directly into the email or attach them in one document. Don't attach 12 documents for 12 one-liners.

Bear in Mind your sketches may be edited and adjusted by our script editors.

Finally, keep your sketches short – the funniest sketches are no more than three pages long.

Be imaginative. On Radio, you can set your sketches anywhere.

Submit your material – preferably in one email, rather than three separate emails – to

Thats it! Listen to the pilot episode and then get writing.

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