The Now Show - In The Press

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Hugh Dennis and Steve Punt are the perfect hosts for this satirical minefield of a series. They have done it long enough to know when they are teetering on the edge of a brilliant gag or crossing the line into the darkest areas of BBC Compliance.

But they also have a crack production team to thank for this show's success -- it's recorded on a Thursday evening, editing starts at 9am on Friday and it's ready for broadcast at 6.30pm. And it is also a producer I have to thank for informing me that Hugh Dennis is only absent from this first show and back for programme two.

Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 12th September 2014

There was a smart little sketch on The Now Show about NHS data, its sale and distribution, its users' choices. In a very few minutes it managed to be factual (the NHS intends to sell its clients' data, protected by pseudonymity but we can opt out) and entertaining (the ultimate deadline for opt outs is April so we'll probably put off doing anything for now). The joke was that however indignant we get about something the temptation to do nothing usually prevails. I laughed a lot. This is me to a T. I thereupon resolved that, when my leaflet advising me on the choice arrives, I will make a decision and act upon it at once.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 5th February 2014

Cut to 9am Friday morning. Today's job is to digitally assemble the programme, edit in retakes, add extra music and sound effects and cut last night's recording down to 28 minutes for broadcast at 18.30.

Written by Colin Anderson. BBC Radio 4 Blog, 3rd June 2013

Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis embark on a new series of live satire with the Olympics as the butt of the jokes. It could be the athletes, it might be the BBC's coverage or perhaps even G4S's security service that feels the sharp end of their javelin-sharp wit.

Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 30th July 2012

You may be aware that a small event is launching on Friday night.

Written by Frankie Ward. BBC Radio 4 and 4 Extra Blog, 26th July 2012

A mainstay of Friday nights (whenever The News Quiz of the Edinburgh Fringe isn't on), Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis's satirical comedy returns for its 37th series.

Along with other regulars Mitch Benn and Jon Holmes, this week's guests were Pippa Evans and John Finnemore. While all had their strengths, my favourite moment was Finnemore's routine about the Eurozone crisis using what was described as, "the longest, most torturous and yet simultaneously the most over-simplistic analogy in Now Show history."

One of the other things I found enjoyable was the show's coverage of the Diamond Jubilee, mainly due to the fact I got just about all of my jubilee coverage from satirical shows. It's less tedious and more spiritually up-lifting than watching the news. I'm not a monarchist - I couldn't care less about some posh lady in a rather fancy hat - so for me this was a nice way of getting all the news while cutting out all the rubbish filling-in that TV channels feel they need to do.

The Now Show proves once again that it's a highly competent satirical comedy that could well continue for another 37 series...

Ian Wolf, Giggle Beats, 11th June 2012

Is The Now Show, the natural successor to Week Ending, losing its edge? These days it all sounds a bit cosy and predictable to me. The writing is uneven, the presenters smug and the musical interludes lack lustre. Bring in some new blood for the next series otherwise The Now Show will soon be old news.

Nick Smurthwaite, The Stage, 5th August 2011

Here's the topical tune that set Twitter a-tweetin' during last week's episode of The Now Show...

Written by Steve Saul. BBC Comedy Blog, 5th July 2011

I am glad to welcome back this reliably inventive humorous review of the week. And relieved. Hugh Dennis and Steve Punt (not to mention their supportings artists) are in such demand on TV these days that it's a wonder they have the time to do little old radio any more (let alone work for the tiny fees). But they do and let's be glad of it. We all deserve a laugh or two at the end of yet another disaster-laden, gloomy, wintry week. And here's the show where the skits and songs can be counted on to prove it's not just you and I who think the world's gone mad.

Gillian Reynolds, The Daily Telegraph, 3rd March 2011

The comedian and star of Radio 4's The Now Show says he will read almost anything - but not the same paper every day.

Written by John Dugdale. The Guardian, 10th January 2011

It's Christmas! That must mean it's time for The Now Show Panto. And it is. Here's producer Colin Anderson with more.

Written by Colin Anderson. BBC Comedy Blog, 23rd December 2010

Here's producer Julia McKenzie with this week's notes from The Now Show ideas meeting.

Written by Julia McKenzie. BBC Comedy Blog, 14th December 2010

On tonight's Now Show, Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis take a topical trip around tuition fees and Today tongue-twisters. Musical Mitch Benn sees the world through Lennon's eyes; German stand-up Henning Wehn probes our World Cup hypocrisy; John Finnemore wonders at the sexual magnetism of a certain Lib Dem MP and Laura Shavin reveals what every woman wants for Christmas.

Written by David Thair. BBC Comedy Blog, 10th December 2010

Each week The Now Show asks their audience a question, and read out the funniest and sometimes the most bizarre answers at the end of the show.

Written by David Thair. BBC Comedy Blog, 9th December 2010

After the FIFA results coming through not long before we printed our scripts last Thursday, this week our topical challenge is that the results of the tuition fee vote won't come through until 6.30pm Thursday evening.

Written by Julia McKenzie. BBC Comedy Blog, 7th December 2010

Guests on tonight's Now Show include Marcus Brigstocke, Andi Osho, Laura Shavin and Mitch Benn. In fact, here's a preview of Mitch right now with his affectionate tribute to Brian Blessed, who's been in the news this week.

Written by David Thair. BBC Comedy Blog, 3rd December 2010

Each week The Now Show asks their audience a question, and read out the funniest and sometimes the most bizarre answers at the end of the show.

BBC Comedy Blog, 2nd December 2010

Here's producer Julia McKenzie with this week's notes from The Now Show ideas meeting.

Written by David Thair. BBC Comedy Blog, 30th November 2010

Hugh's voice has recovered and Jon Culshaw is a guest on tonight's Now Show, which promises to be a corker. Just listen to this preview clip!

Written by David Thair. BBC Comedy Blog, 26th November 2010

Following last week's sudden bout of voicelessness, here's a reassuring message from Hugh Dennis: "Back on the show this week and able to speak, with part of me wishing I couldn't as we battle to extract the comedy value from the Irish debt crisis."

Written by David Thair. BBC Comedy Blog, 23rd November 2010

A few hours before the recording we took a call from Hugh Dennis who was just about able to croak out the alarming message that he'd lost his voice and BBC doctors had signed him off work!

Written by Julia McKenzie. BBC Comedy Blog, 19th November 2010

Hurray! I've really gone off The News Quiz (too blue for me and too self-satisfied for its own good) so welcome back Steve Punt, Hugh Dennis, Mitch Benn, Jon Holmes and Laura Shavin with their much wittier reflection of the week. There have been Friday nights in past series where I could have hugged them for being so astute and so funny about government goings on. Even with Cameron and Clegg and their coalition comrades being much harder to mimic than Brown and Blair, Darling, Prescott et al, I'm still confident my thoughts will be echoed in the team's jokes.

Gillian Reynolds, The Daily Telegraph, 18th November 2010

The Now Show is back back back! After Sandi and her News Quiz team go and lie down in a darkened room until they are next required. We're on to series 32 of The Now Show, amazingly, and Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis still look as fresh and gamine as years at the comedy coal face will allow.

Written by Julia McKenzie and Steve Punt. BBC Comedy Blog, 16th November 2010

On Wednesday's The Vote Now Show I was expecting Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis to take aim at the barrel and start blasting. But all we got was a couple of spoof mic gaffes, such as Churchill doing his "fight them on the beaches" speech then saying, "it's bollocks, but they love it". The rest felt stale only hours after the Mic Moment.

Best value was Kate Adie on past elections, when slightly embarrassing events were hardly reported. She recalled going around with Keith Joseph, from whom people visibly flinched. He was shunted into a branch of Woolworth's, scattering scared shoppers, and left by himself at the tills. "What've you got?" the check-out girl asked, waiting for him to pay. "We have tremendous plans for education," he informed her.

His Conservative descendants have plans for the BBC. It's their fish in a barrel. So if I might reiterate my recent plea: if you value the Beeb, don't vote Tory. Shoot them in the foot instead.

Chris Maume, The Independent on Sunday, 2nd May 2010

The Vote Now Show, the daily dose of The Now Show on Radio 4, has improved since the beginning of the election campaign. I like the mini-sketches by contributors. On Wednesday, John Finnemore offered some lovely gags in his "manifestos for smaller parties" skit. The jokes got groanier and groanier until we got to the party that wanted "improved facilities for overweight train-spotters". "They're standing on a broad platform." No? Suit yourselves.

Miranda Sawyer, The Observer, 25th April 2010

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