The BBC Two news spoof ran for just six episodes in 1994 but it established its creators - producer Armando Iannucci and Chris Morris - amongst the UK's most revered satirists, saw the first television appearance of Steve Coogan's Alan Partridge and significantly boosted the careers of the rest of its core cast: Rebecca Front, Doon Mackichan, Patrick Marber and David Schneider.
Hosted by Kirsty Wark, the 45-minute retrospective, The Day Today: The Reunion, recorded for three hours yesterday to air on the 15th of this month, with Iannucci and all of the principal cast except Morris and Front.
"It was excellent" producer Simon Jarvis told British Comedy Guide, "really, really fun."
Lead by Morris's brutally uncompromising anchor, it savaged the hyperbolic pomposity of television news and featured such memorable characters as hapless sports presenter Partridge, inept political reporter Peter O'Hanraha-hanrahan and deadpan, jargon-spouting business correspondent Collaterlie Sisters.
The Day Today was an attack on the superficiality and sensationalism of the media. But "you do these things partly out of affection as well" Iannucci told Lucian Randall in Disgusting Bliss, his 2010 biography of Morris. "It was not saying, 'All telly is bad and unless we change our habits British broadcasting is going to go down the pan'."
Nevertheless, "you can see how artificial the process is" he continued. "It's not that simple telling of reality. You realise how edited the news is."
Morris won best TV comedy newcomer at the British Comedy Awards for his Paxmanesque anchor, a persona he then transferred to Channel 4 for hard-hitting satirical series Brass Eye. The Day Today's graphics team also won a BAFTA for its overblown, parodical visual style.
The show's stars reunited as recently as two years ago, albeit only for dinner. However, the meet-up sparked hopes in fans that further gatherings might be in the offing.
Writing for Uncut magazine in 2008, Quantick called On The Hour "the show that changed everything", adding "only a complete arse would call On The Hour the Monty Python of the modern era, but I am a complete arse, so here goes: On The Hour is the Monty Python of the modern era. Which makes me at best a lumberjack, but there you go."
Speaking to Randall, Marber said of The Day Today: "We all found our feet collectively as a group and all supported each other. It gave us all as individuals a lot of confidence to go out and make our own way in the world. It certainly gave me confidence to do that."
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