Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe - In The Press

Comic writer and agent provocateur Charlie Brooker has confirmed that he will return with a new strand of his 'Wipe' TV series.

On the Box, 28th August 2012

Been duped by a 'sock puppet'? Had a go at 'planking'? Living in a 'structured reality'? 2011 threw up some new words and concepts - and here they are explained.

Written by Charlie Brooker. The Guardian, 28th December 2011

Here are some of his most memorable TV columns from the past decade. Which are your favourites?

Written by Tim Lusher. The Guardian, 16th October 2010

TV stars can breathe a little easier: our uniquely grumpy critic has decided to call it quits.

Written by Charlie Brooker. The Guardian, 15th October 2010

In a cry for help about the show's lack of resources, the last episode is a clippy summary of this series and the previous. It's always a frustrating watch. Bloated, tawdry TV news urgently needs criticising, nobody else is doing it, and if Brooker's dismantling of reporting cliches can attract a million YouTube hits (see it at, he must be striking a chord. But he too often does that by stating the obvious, shying away from anything too politically challenging and rehashing observations The Day Today made 16 years ago. It's cathartic but, in the end, conservative.

Jack Seale, Radio Times, 23rd February 2010

We'd love this show even if it didn't star the Guide's moonlighting TV critic. This year, Charlie has mainly been watching Nick Griffin on Question Time, the rise of Jedward on X Factor and Five's "news offering", Live at Studio Five.

The Guardian, 22nd December 2009

I like Charlie Brooker, I like Dara O'Briain and I like Graham Linehan. If those three can't persuade me to take an interest in computer games, nobody can. All three contributed to Gameswipe, a helpful guide to the computer game, with Brooker as host.

Brooker was his usual grumpy, caustic, brilliant self, but the subject matter just left me cold. The show helpfully introduced the uninitiated to the various categories of game available - platform, shoot 'em up, role play, combat - and provided a brief history of each. By far the best bits featured archive clips of anxious teachers, concerned parents and fretful community leaders getting all hot under the collar at the latest screen outrage, of which there have been many over the years.

But even with sumptuously realised and immaculately detailed graphics, the games under review appeared infantile and repetitive. Especially the modern shoot 'em ups, which have somehow contrived to make the act of mass murder appear very dull indeed.

Harry Venning, The Stage, 5th October 2009

Aside from the serious(ish) stuff, it was great just to see Brooker talking about games that have been forgotten and for a gaming geek like me, it was wonderful to see the segment from the Consolvania crew talking about the wild array of utterly mental games you could get on the ZX Spectrum.

Written by mofgimmers. TV Scoop, 30th September 2009

Most children I know would have been in deep mourning for their video games, the very first of which was demonstrated in footage from a Yuletide Tomorrow's World in which the old-school presenter Raymond Baxter played tele-tennis from his sofa with a non-speaking woman who may have been his wife, daughter, housekeeper or secretary (darker theories still crawl around my head). The same clip was shown on Gameswipe with Charlie Brooker, a blissfully archive-heavy history of computer games in which Brooker attempted to marshal a defence of them. The trouble is that if Tony Blair as a Prime Minister had no reverse gear, Brooker as a critic has no praise mode and the more he talked the more hellishly pointless the games seemed. As always with Brooker, however, the documentary contained more original ideas in 50 minutes than most of us have in a career.

Andrew Billen, The Times, 30th September 2009

Television's relationship with videogames has been bumpy over the last 20 years, but Charlie Brooker's new show might herald a happier future.

Written by Chris Moran. The Guardian, 30th September 2009

Tonight's an exciting night to be a fan of videogames as, at long last, Charlie Brooker will be giving the Screenwipe treatment to the oft-maligned (yet incredibly lucrative) form of electronic entertainment in Gameswipe.

Written by David Thair. BBC Comedy Blog, 29th September 2009

tvBite is increasingly uncertain about the cult of Brooker. It's fair enough when he's writing things like this; there seems to be no way to disagree with him. But when he's awkwardly presenting average TV shows, the same fans seem to be unwilling to notice that a lot of what he does is a bit rubbish. No previews were available for this and his big shoebox face seems to have been digitally remastered so it might be good. If you're interested in computer games. And one of his legion of fans.

tvBite, 29th September 2009

Following in the footsteps of Screenwipe, Charlie Brooker's new show - you guessed it - aims its remote at the world of videogames. Whether you're a gamer hater or lover, Gameswipe - part of the Electric Revolution season on BBC4 - shows how games can be just as dumb or brilliant as TV and movies. And Charlie certainly knows what he's talking about, having spent his early career causing mayhem at PC Zone. Graham Linehan, Dara O'Briain and Dom Joly are on hand to join in the pixellated fun.

The Guardian, 29th September 2009

Brooker's perspective-altering look at the inner workings of TV showed us everything from the power of editing to the creepiness of low-budget religious programming.

Written by Owen Van Spall. The Guardian, 16th July 2009

Charlie Brooker's Gameswipe could mark the return of the computer games show to mainstream TV. Hands up who misses GamesMaster?

Written by Owen Van Spall. The Guardian, 29th May 2009

Charlie Brooker is really becoming something of a star. Just think, once upon a time, no-one had a clue what he looked like. He was just this voice... a voice of dissent accompanied by a depressed looking cartoon blob. After years hidden away from our eyes, now we've got loads of him.

Of course, mostly, we're used to seeing (and reading) Brooker taking TV to task, poking fun and offering comment. However, now he's in a new territory, looking at the world of news. Last week was the first offering, which worked very well indeed. As a show, it has started exceedingly well and, while we wait for it to really get into its stride, we can only assume it'll be getting better.

mofgimmers, TV Scoop, 30th March 2009

Charlie narrows his focus from Screenwipe's take on what we're watching on general television, to how our televisual news is presented to us. And boy, do our TV news providers cop it. Here at we're constantly bemoaning how news is being re-packaged as entertainment, and this is clearly bugging Brooker, too. A highly amusing, if profoundly depressing, programme ensued. We loved it.

The Custard TV, 27th March 2009

If you saw the sublime news parodies The Day Today and Brass Eye in the 1990s, their spot-on observations of mangled English and media sensationalism of trivial stories made the news far funnier than it ought to be. Similarly, in this new series, cynical TV critic Charlie Brooker takes a pithy look at how the news is reported.

What's On TV, 25th March 2009

The clear-sighted satirist and all-round voice of reason gets a new series, but what a shame it's not on terrestrial TV. Here he trains his eye on the media's unending obsession with the credit crunch.

Metro, 25th March 2009

NEWSFLASH! Charlie Brooker's new TV show aims to take a Daily Show-style swipe at the bottomless chasm of 24-hour news. Here, he files from the abyss of 'Current Affairs Land'.

Written by Charlie Brooker. The Guardian, 21st March 2009

"You shouldn't criticise," says the archetypal mother figure, "If you can't do better yourself." It's a truism that boggle-eyed curmudgeon Charlie Brooker has dedicated his life to proving. The Guardianista set love his brand of anaemic satire because it never challenges their worldview; it simply articulates their own opinions in a stream of Chris Morris Lite vituperative logorrhoea. But even they have to question his poacher-turned-gamekeeper urge to make television programmes, particularly when it results in tat like Nathan Barley or Dead Set, a Swiftian satire dedicated to the coruscating proposition that Big Brother isn't very good. Screenwipe is Brooker's chance to show us what he thinks quality programming should be. So what do we get? Estuary-accented invective deliveredveryfastindeed, as if gabbling makes it somehow more trenchant, and grainy footage of Charlie sitting on his sofa shouting bleeped profanities at his television. If he were a student making videos for a media-studies course, his cheap ire might be acceptable. But this is national television, and Charlie Brooker is 37 years old.

tvBite, 4th February 2009

Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe took time off from spewing cheery vitriol across the television schedules to interview writers about the craft of writing.

These were clearly writers that Brooker admired, so his interview technique was disconcertingly sympathetic. The end result was a masterclass from such luminaries as Russell T Davies, Paul Abbott, Tony Jordan and Graham Linehan. All of whom spoke wittily and winningly about the combination of prevarication, panic and perspiration that produces a television script.

Ironically, the most pertinent point of a fascinating 50 minutes was made by a writer who wasn't even present. Abbott quoted Jimmy McGovern on the ever prickly problem of presenting exposition in dialogue: 'I would rather be confused for ten minutes than bored for five seconds.'

Harry Venning, The Stage, 8th December 2008

If you've ever felt like hurling the remote control at the telly, this is the show for you. Brooker invites us into his living room to share his popeyed, brilliantly articulated frustration with soaps, ads, glossy dramas, gambling channels... nothing escapes that acid-tongued wit.

Radio Times, 2nd December 2008

Charlie. Brooker. Dance. Routine. Four words that I never thought I would type together. However, anyone who tuned in for the return of Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe last night would have got exactly that. Of course, this being Brooker, it was never going to be an ironic fanfared return, but rather, clever and crass all at the same time, with the arresting image of Brooker awkwardly grooving and wiping his strap-on arse... and that wasn't the half of it.

mofgimmers, TV Scoop, 19th November 2008

Screenwipe is BBC4's bilious, X-rated alternative to Harry Hill's TV Burp, a digest of current television via one man's warped sensibility. Brooker returns to our screens with his reputation bolstered by Dead Set, the satirical zombie shocker he recently penned for E4. Now, though, the gamekeeper can return to poaching.

David Butcher, Radio Times, 18th November 2008

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