Commissioned by the BBC News department, No Such Thing As The News promises to be "fast, intelligent, hilarious television, completely unlike any other show on air. It's about contemporary events, but it's not 'satire'. It aims to do for the news what QI does for the universe at large: making the apparently dull interesting, the obscure clear and the frightening comprehensible."
The creators explain: "Like all great ideas, the formula is simple. Four young QI researchers - known by Stephen Fry's affectionate nickname as 'The QI Elves' - tell each other the most interesting things they've discovered in the news that week. They are likeable, ordinary, unpretentious, inveterately curious, prodigiously well-briefed and extremely funny. They don't claim to be journalists and they don't look like newsreaders, but their take on the world is as accurate as any. Not bound by the conventions accepted everywhere else, No Such Thing As The News may not look like the news, but you are certain to find yourself strangely better informed."
The producers add: "No Such Thing As The News is an addictively larky, charming and fresh new way of delivering news (especially to an audience under 30) and it is the only news bulletin in the world guaranteed to make you feel better afterwards."
The QI podcast No Such Thing As A Fish launched in 2014. The 110 episodes to date have been downloaded 25 million times and attracted 715,000 subscribers. The show won iTunes' 'Best New Podcast' Award in 2014 and Chortle's online award in both 2015 and 2016. The format has toured theatres in Britain and the world ("well, Belgium"), sold out the Lyric in London's West End, and released a vinyl album.
No Such Thing As The News will be produced by John Lloyd, the creator of QI. He comments: "The last time I started a topical TV comedy show with four exceptionally talented but completely unknown stars was Not The Nine O'Clock News in 1979. No Such Thing As The News is radically different but equally exciting - and 37 years younger."
James Harding, Director of BBC News, comments: 'This is news for people who don't watch the news - as well as those who do. We'll give viewers a sideways look at the big stories of the week. John Lloyd is a comic talent second to none, and we're delighted to have him on board."
The show is due to launch this May. Filmed each Thursday over 5 weeks in front of a live audience at a comedy club in Greenwich, No Such Thing As The News will air the following night (Fridays) on BBC Two, at 11pm after Newsnight. It will also be available online.