I Guess That's Why They Call It The News. Fred MacAulay. Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.

I Guess That's Why They Call It The News

A topical radio panel show chaired by Fred MacAulay. The rounds are based on the week's news and more perennial issues too

Panel Show
2009  (BBC Radio 4)
5 (1 series)
Fred MacAulay
James Sherwood, Stephen Carlin, John-Luke Roberts, Gareth Gwynn, Nadia Kamil
British Broadcasting Corporation

A topical panel show hosted by Fred MacAulay in which two teams of two play games inspired by the week's headlines - from politics to entertainment.

This show asks the big questions, and the little questions. And provides thoroughly silly answers to both.

The rounds include: What The Papers (Don't Actually) Say; Say What? (topical 'quote unquote' with silly and wrong answers); Good News, Bad News (pretending good news is bad and vice versa); Who's Who (who is the new who and why); Focus Group (suggested improvements to the week's films, TV and news stories); and Apathy Attack (persuading a "don't know" from the audience to change his or her mind on a major perennial issue).

The show comprises both prepared and improvised elements - and some arbitrary scoring.

Our Review: This show was commissioned to fill the gap in Radio 4's summer 2009 schedule, between The Now Show finishing and the next series of The News Quiz. Armando Iannucci's Charm Offensive would have normally filled this slot, but it was not broadcast in 2009 as Iannucci was too busy. As a result, the unwieldy titled I Guess That's Why They Call It The News got a chance to broadcast.

IGTWTCITN started with a bit of a wobbly first episode, but soon settled down into a fun panel show that was worthy of holding the prime-time slot. Under the expert stewartship of Fred MacAulay, the rounds were fast and furious - resulting in quite a stream of gags.