The News At Bedtime - In The Press

Say goodbye to 2010 with John Tweedledum (Jack Dee) and Jack Tweedledee (Peter Capaldi) as they review the year in Nursery Land, as written by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman. Last year they did nightly 15-minute bulletins across a week. This year, what with Hislop and Capaldi's burgeoning TV careers not to mention all the cuts and changes inside the BBC as well as out, we have just this one delicious half hour of inspired unreality.

Gillian Reynolds, The Daily Telegraph, 23rd December 2010

The News at Bedtime is a brilliant Today show spoof by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman which went out at Christmas and rather got lost in the nation's annual drowse. Catch up now as John Tweedledum (Jack Dee) and Jim Tweedledee (Peter Capaldi) present the latest from the land of nursery rhymes. It is so funny you can hear each episode five times (thanks to the marvellous iPlayer) and still find new things to laugh at (thanks to producer Simon Nicholls).

Gillian Reynolds, Daily Telegraph, 8th February 2010

How's this for a hot comedy concept for 2010 - a spoof news programme taking its inspiration from old nursery rhymes and songs? Do me a favour. Amazingly though, The News at Bedtime kind of works, thanks to some very sharp writing and the presentational skills of Jack Dee and Peter Capaldi as anchormen Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

You get a breaking story about police surrounding the Three Bears' house: "Put the spoon down Goldilocks and nobody will get hurt," while Mummy Bear tells the reporter earnestly: "I'm sure she didn't mean any harm, but it's not going to bring our porridge back, is it?"

Jack Spratt, sounding horribly like Jamie Oliver, puts the case against child obesity, while the Tooth Fairy stands up for sugary snacks. Capaldi gives an eyewitness account of the Cow Jumping Over the Moon - "one small jump for a cow, one giant leap for cowkind" - and asks if anyone has any relish or even a beer as the cow burns up on re-entry into the earth's atmosphere.

The source material isn't going to mean a lot to the younger generation, but to anyone over 40, this clever deconstruction of rhymes and songs we learnt as kids ought to raise a chuckle or two.

Nick Smurthwaite, The Stage, 5th January 2010

News at Bedtime was Ian Hislop and Nick Newman's dazzling satire on current affairs culture, featuring twin presenters John Tweedledum (played by Jack Dee) and Jim Tweedledee (Peter Capaldi) broadcasting from Nurseryland. You wouldn't need to be a Today aficionado to find this series a delight. There was the crooked man defending himself against allegations of corruption: "It's not a crooked sixpence John. I found it next to a stile. It's perfectly acceptable for me to claim as an allowance." The Grand Old Duke of York was on defending his military action - "You launched an ill-thought out, ill-conceived and legally dubious assault on the hill". There was the Daily Fairygraph, owned by the Brothers Grimm, and Jonathan Porridge from Beanpeace protesting against Jack's genetically modified beanstalk. All of it was pitch perfect, totally inventive and very funny.

Jane Thynne, The Independent, 31st December 2009

Anyone with fond memories of Chris Morris's dearly loved news spoof On The Hour could do far worse than tune into this comic version of the Today programme penned by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman. Starring a first-rate cast of British comedy talent, helmed by Jack Dee and Peter Capaldi, The News At Bedtime is an almost hypnologic take on the conventions of a modern radio news programme, which presents streams of dreamlike absurdity with a staunchly straight face. While the content is a little silly at times, comedy fans and news junkies will still find plenty to enjoy.

Tom Cole, The Radio Times, 24th December 2009

The News at Bedtime writers Ian Hislop and Nick Newman reveal the surprising number of similarities between nursery rhymes and The News...

Written by David Thair. BBC Comedy Blog, 24th December 2009

The News at Bedtime (R4, 6.15pm) tries a new tack. Jack Dee and Peter Capaldi, as Jack Tweedledum and Jim Tweedledee, are argumentive anchormen in a world where Humpty Dumpty really has had a great fall. Written by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman. If you're up late making stuffing or doing wrapping here's some kitchen company.

Gillian Reynolds, Daily Telegraph, 23rd December 2009

The News At Bedtime is a Radio 4 news programme with a fairytale twist written by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman and presented by John Tweedledum and Jim Tweedledee (Jack Dee and Peter Capaldi).

Written by David Thair. BBC Comedy Blog, 22nd December 2009