Archive | 7:49 pm

Podcast Review | Many Questions

21 May

Many Questions
Guardian Unlimited

It’s a brave decision by Guardian Unlimited to launch a rival to Have I Got News for You, with a news-based comedy ‘quizcast’ (it’s not really a quiz, more a Q&A with comedy, but quizcast sounds brilliant, doesn’t it?), and it’s hard to decide whether or not they have pulled it off?

The presenter Lucy Porter is very funny, so already we’re off to a good start. But it soon goes off reservation, as the other comedians inevitably lose themselves in often unfunny diversions that leave the show with definite tumbleweed moments. At least once per-show someone will say: “I don’t know why I said that.” Deeply annoying and very amaturish.

Lucy Porter
Lucy Porter

But let’s not be too critical. Only the BBC really ‘gets’ news-based comedy, and they’ve had decades on Radio Four to get it right, so let’s not be too hard on GU. It’s brave, and it genuinely has its funny moments, but you can’t help but question what the strategy is for the show? How does it fit in with the Guardian’s growing online empire? Does the Guardian have pretentions to be a full-on media brand, and where does this leave the paper?

The thing about Many Questions is, that it raises more questions than it answers.