Here Isn't The News is a television program in Georgeland. Loosely based on the British show Have I Got News For You, Here Isn't the News is a weekly panel show where news topics are discussed and various 'games' played, between two teams of two guests each. While points are awarded, there is little value to them, and they are awarded on an arbitrary basis. The topical discussion is usually secondary to the humour and banter between guests and host. The program is broadcast weekly, airing at 8:30 pm on Friday nights. The program is broadcast by GBC Television.
The host of the program is former newsreader Julia Moffatt, who reads her lines (usually from an autocue) with a deadpan delivery that has been praised by viewers. Much of Moffatt's material contains sexual innuendo and in-jokes relating to her status as an intellectual sex symbol. Moffatt also frequently makes ad-lib comments. Moffatt has hosted the show since its third series in 2008 - prior to this, the program was anchored by comedian Robin Edmonds, who opted not to participate beyond 2007.
Comedian Neil Hobbes and journalist Kevin Teal are the team captains. Each team features its captain plus one (occasionally more) guest, usually a comedian or entertainer but frequently a politician, journalist or newsmaker.
HITN is a panel game/quiz show. Moffatt poses questions and challenges for each team or contestant who are then required to respond. Moffatt awards points for answers. Under Edmonds, the points were arbitrary and frequently were not added at all or awarded in vast quantities. Moffatt has been more restrained and generally awards points 'correctly', though she is quick to point out that the points are meaningless and that there are no prizes.
The program is always introduced the same way. After the title sequence, Moffatt always says "Good evening, I'm Julia Moffatt, and here isn't the news for the week ending Friday..." followed by the date. The introduction mirrors those of 'real' news programs, including those Moffatt formerly anchored. Edmonds' introduction was almost identical. The introduction is always followed by a series of jokes (similar to a monologue in which news events of the past week are referred to and made light of. Photographs and news footage related to the stories are shown as well with Moffatt making commentary on them.
Following the monologue, Moffatt introduces the panellists for that week. Her introduction for Kevin Teal is always an exaggeration of Teal's achievements, such as recently returned from the Amazon or, on one occasion, escaped from an Austrian basement. Her introduction to Hobbes is always a comment relating to the comedian's supposedly enormous ego, such as he's been described as the greatest comedian who ever lived. You'll find that description on every page of his diary. Edmonds used similar themes to describe his panellists.
The team then play a series of rounds relating to the news, each introduced by Moffatt. Each game relates (usually) to a news story. Following each round, or sometimes within it, Moffatt will make more news-related jokes in a style similar to her monologue.
The 'rules' of the games, such as they are, are not stuck to rigidly and teams frequently answer each others' questions or ignore the game entirely.
Name That Pratt, where a political figure or other celebrity is shown in a photograph doing something silly or hunmourous, but with the face blanked out, and panellists must guess the subject of the photo.
'Missing Words, lifted straight from the British version, where panellists fill in the blanks from headlines seen during the week. For example, in the edition broadcast on November 25, the headline read "PARKER TO SINGAPORE: DON'T _________ AUSTRALIAN", to which Hobbes wittily suggested the missing word was 'miss'.
Captions, where a photograph is provided and panellists are asked to provide a caption.
Buzz Off, a quick-fire buzzer round where panellists buzz in to answer news-related questions posed by Edmonds. Correct answers are rarely given. Example: In the November 18 edition, Edmonds asked the question "For what crime was Gary Glitter under investigation this week in Vietnam", and panellist Leroy Hunt responded 'His Music'.
Mastermind: One player from each team (usually the captain), 'quizzes' the other member of his team on a bizarre and obscure topic, sometimes but not always relating to a news story. Neither team member has access to the answers to the questions, and so the game usually descends into a series of quick jokes about a subject.
The pilot for the show was produced in 2000, but not picked up by any network. In 2004, the Georgeland Broadcasting Corporation announced it would commission a run of twelve episodes for its 2005 schedule, but this scheduling was pushed back. On October 14, 2005, the show began its run on the GBC, and immediately proved a big success. After eight episodes, the GBC announced a complete, year-long run, which began in March 2006. The show returned for another complete run in March 2007. Following this successful series, Edmonds announced he did not wish to do another series and wanted instead to return to comedy. The GBC announced Julia Moffatt as the new host in 2008. Moffatt's tenure as host has been marked by her deadpan delivery and her frequent use of innuendo.
Listed first are the guests from Hobbes' team, followed by Teal's guest.
1. (Oct 14) Ben Yaxley and Owen Sinclair
2. (Oct 21) Elizabeth Sharkey and Stephen Morris
3. (Oct 28) Madeline Woods and Leroy Hunt
4. (Nov 4) Leroy Hunt and Barry Tighe
5. (Nov 11) Arthur Daley-Tyne and Ben Yaxley
6. (Nov 18) Leroy Hunt and Moira Jansen
7. (Nov 25) Nathan Kellerman and Jon Yates
8. (Dec 2) Adam Eckles and Trent Laramie
1. (Mar 17) Leroy Hunt and Madeline Woods
2. (Mar 24) Bill Bailey and Julia Moffatt
3. (Mar 31) Ross Noble and Sandra Wood
4. (Apr 7) Keith Briggs and Phil Drescher
5. (Apr 14) Rod Lasser and Louise Fenchurch
6. (Apr 21) Deborah Rhodes and Will Gater
7. (Apr 28) Joan Rivers and Julia Moffatt
8. (May 5) Simon Shaffer and Robyn Harriman
9. (May 12) Luke Macaulay and Dylan Moran
10. (May 19) Damien Lewis and Rebecca Monroe
11. (May 26) Jim Cryer and Juliette Tucker
12. (June 2) Madeline Woods and Robert Leak
13. (June 9) Barbara Mathers and Julia Moffatt
14. (June 16) John Kay and Ross Noble
15. (June 23) Fletcher Madden and Duncan Fairbairn
16. (June 30) Campbell Rhodes and Emma Chiltern
17. (July 7) Duncan Fairbairn and Will Ferrell
18. (July 14) Jasmine Margoyles and Eddie Izzard
19. (July 21) Jim Cryer and Ben Elton
20. (July 28) Tim Gainsler and Ross Noble
21. (August 4) Shawn Montgomery and Thomas Nathan
22. (August 11) Peter Khan and Suzie Walker
23. (August 18) Stephen Prentice, Nicole Barry and Jay Hunt
Edmonds was unwell when the show was taped. Neil Hobbes hosted the show, with Hunt replacing him as team captain.
24. (August 25) Ben Leech and P.J. O'Rourke
25. (September 1) Madeline Woods and Stephen Connelly
26. (September 8) Lily Tomlin and Bruce Owens
27. (September 15) Peter Khan and Joanne Mitchum
28. (September 22) John Leahy and Leonard Hand
29. (September 29) Jesse Valiant and Helen Frame
30. (October 6) Arj Barker and Julia Moffatt
31. (October 13) Wil Anderson and Simon Rogers
32. (October 20) Das Singh and Luke Macaulay
33. (October 27) Liam Sims and Peter Getty
34. (November 3) Tim Gainsler and Jim Cryer
2006 Christmas Special
Here Isn't Christmas
A special, 90 minute edition. The teams consisted of three players, two guests per side. On Teal's side were Jim Cryer and Julia Moffatt; Hobbes' side had Campbell Rhodes and Madeline Woods. Ross Noble and Ben Yaxley were 'special guests' in the "Celebrity Mastermind" round, in which Moffatt and Rhodes had to ask the 'guests' questions about subjects neither one knew the answers to. The show aired on December 22. Much humour was derived from Rhodes and Woods, politically opposite, sharing the same team.
- (Mar 16) Robert Leak and Peter Khan
- (Mar 23) Joanne Gibbons and Mark Duffy
- (Mar 30) Weird Al Yankovic and Madeline Woods
- (Apr 6) Archbishop Francis Pollard and Archbishop Simon Breville (Easter Special)
- (Apr 13) Dale Parris and Ben Yaxley
- (Apr 20) Michael Steen and Bill Brady
- (Apr 27) Ross Noble and Jesse Valiant
- (May 4) Deborah Rhodes and John O'Connell
- (May 11) Stephen Prentice and Maggie Cobb
- (May 18) Amy Drudge and Barry Tighe
During the 2007 election campaign, each edition of the show featured one member of parliament or senator from each opposing side
- (May 25) Wendy Bowen and Will Brown
- (June 1) Lawrence Porter and Nick Sheridan
- (June 8) Madeline Woods and Andrea Perkins
- (June 15) Keith Briggs and Ursula McKinnon
- (June 22) Alan Swan and Stephen Hamer
- (June 29) Angela Nallern and Joshua Chan
- (July 6) Eric Edge, Michael Fisch, Shawn Hedges and Benedict Ingram
Change of Government Special, featuring two guests a side and all guests were former Conservative leaders (and in two cases, Prime Minister).
- (July 13) Richard Mulligan and Diana Tracey
- (July 20) Roxy Hughes and Peter Khan
- (July 27) Ian Rothman and Margaret Stapleton
- (August 3) Janeane Garofalo and Ed Tucker
- (August 10) Alan Rawlings and Kevin Bosley
- (August 17) Ian Stewart and Roy Collins
- (August 24) Owen Sinclair and Wendy Bowen
- (August 31) Rod Welsh and Gemma Kalter
- (September 7) David Winston and Adam St. John
- (September 14) Wendy Nixon and Ed Byrne
- (September 21) Rebecca Jordan-Wiley and Hussein Aziz
- (September 28) Rick Hope and Miles French
- (October 5) Madeline Woods and Duncan Knight
- (October 12) Bill Bailey and Barry Tighe
- (October 19) Campbell Rhodes and John Biden
- (October 26) Jacinta Rowe and Cody Shepard (Series final)
2007 Christmas Special
- Here Isn't Christmas Again
The 2007 Christmas Special was broadcast Friday, December 21 and featured four guests instead of the usual two. Teal's team featured David Winston and Michael Elderton, while Hobbes' team featured Sam Carnell and Rebecca Davis. Hussein Aziz appeared in a segment entitled Merry Ramadan. The special was the last programme to be hosted by Robin Edmonds - the final five minutes was a series of clips of Edmonds on the show. Prior to this, Edmonds himself participated in the Name that Pratt round, for which Teal assumed the chair to act as host.
On January 7, the GBC announced that regular guest Julia Moffatt would be the program's new host for 2008, with Teal and Hobbes remaining as team captains.
- (March 7) Peter Khan and Kevin Bosley
- (March 14) Karen Tinley and Ross Noble
- (March 21) Hussein Aziz and Martin Tanner
- (March 28) Barry Tighe and David Winston
- (April 4) Lois Daniels and Gerard Conrad
- (April 11) Leyton Douglas and Joanne Gibbons
- (April 18) Lucy Bishop and Campbell Rhodes
- (April 25) Stephen Prentice and Martin Harrod
- (May 2) Presidential Election Edition (see below)
- (May 9) Sharon Cohen and Arj Barker
- (May 16) Tim Gainsler and Richie Hobbes
- (May 23) Norman Graves and Eric Cobb
- (May 30) Barry Tighe and Steven K. Amos
- (June 6) Richard Prentice and Diane Knight
Following the June 6 show, the series took an 8-week hiatus. The GBC announced this would be the standard for future series.
- (August 1) Madeline Woods and Charlie Nuttall
- (August 8) Rebecca Jordan-Wiley and Ben Lake
- (August 15) Hussein Aziz and Tim Gainsler
- (August 22) Peter Khan and Rod Lasser
- (August 29) Don James and Ben Yaxley
- (September 5) Jim Cryer and Penelope Hanlon
- (September 12) Emma Chiltern and Alan Holmberg-Weidler
- (September 19) Steve Derrick and Pattie Boothe
- (September 26) Bill Bailey and Adam Weir
- (October 3) Joanne Gibbons and Andrea Perkins
- (October 10) Hugh St. Clair and Emily Watts
- (October 17) Adam Hills and Jason Byrne
- (October 24) (series finale) Leyton Douglas and Amanda Perry
The GBC broadcast a Presidential Election Edition of HITN on May 2, beginning at 9pm. The election edition tok place during the counting of votes, and Moffatt crossed to live tallying of results periodically throughout the one-hour special. The edition featured several guests from various agencies and campaigns, and several of the presidential candidates. Moffatt said the episode would be an "experiment in TV journalism and satire rolled into one." The episode met with mixed reviews, and the show's producers suggested it would probably not be tried again.
The 2009 series debuted on March 20. The new series featured a new, larger set and a new title theme.
- (March 20) Peter Khan and Lisa Jones
- (March 27) Deborah Rhodes and Kevin Tighe
- (April 3) Dylan Moran and David Winston
- (April 10) Ian Rothman and Wendy Bowen
- (April 17) Luke Backen and Gemma Kalter
- (April 24) Rebecca Jordan-Wiley and Steven K. Amos
- (May 1) Tim Gainsler and Greg Parker
- (May 8) Matthew Payne and Naomi Schaeffer
- (May 15) Nathan Kellerman and Bob Prior
- (May 23) Sam Carnell and Gerard Prouse
- (May 30) Peter Kay and Jim Smalls (announced)
Robin Edmonds (2005-2007)
- "Prime Minister Zoe Parker is flying off to Malta for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. That's C.H.O.G.M., which also stands for Classy Holiday On Government Money"
- "Mrs. Parker met with the new German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. Merkel is described as Germany's Margaret Thatcher. Only without the penis."
- "France is in flames, with thousands of French people rioting against the French government. A French government spokesman says he doesn't understand why people are being destructive to others. Here's an idea: it's because they're FRENCH!"
Julia Moffatt (2008-)
- "A British police officer has been dismissed from the force after he was discovered to have had sex with a prostitute in a brothel, when he was sent to check if the brothel was...a brothel. Well, I guess he found out. But the question I'm asking is 'Does this count as "on the job" training?'"
- "Germany is now operating an all-nude airline. But in most respects it's just like a normal airline - for instance, it's just as difficult to get into the nuts...and everybody has their tray in the upright position."
- "A genetics professor says the children taken from the YFZ ranch will be difficult to test genetically. He said that there was no group of people anywhere in the world with such questionable parentage. He's obviously never been to the House of Commons."
- "People across the globe have turned out their lights for Earth Hour. Organisers hope the event will inspire people across the globe to act on climate change. Because nothing inspires people more than sitting in a darkened room, alone."
- "Italian businessman Silvio Berlusconi has returned to power in Italy after voters elected him Prime Minister for a third time. Italy's like that. They've elected to power for a third time a raving egomaniac who is excessively vain and self-aggrandising, who exercises flawless, crypto-Orwellian control over the media and who has transformed the country into his own personal plaything. What a country. Thank God it could never happen here..."
- "The Vietnamese government have banned pet hamsters, saying they might spread disease. Plus they're very hard to extract without special tongs."
- "In Germany a man has survived a plunge down a lift shaft when he landed on top of a woman who had fallen down the shaft the previous day. See...why would I want to read the news when I could be reading that? You can't make that up!"
- "Cult leader Charles Manson has released an album under a free content license. The album, which is available on CD, will also be legally downloadable from all good psychotic murderer websites. Such as that of the Chinese government. The first single from the album will be a cover of a Talking Heads song. (sings) "Psycho killer, ques ca ce..."
- (referring to the Josef Fritzl case)
"All of Austria is asking how Frinkl managed to get away with it for twenty-four years without anybody noticing. All I'm asking is: what is it with Austrians and bunkers?"
- (first show for 2009)
- "Two months ago today, the United States recieved its first ever black President. He's cool, he's hip, he's smart, he's funny...in short, this will be our last show."
- "Pope Benedict XVI says that condoms actually increase the risk of HIV and AIDS. The Pope will presumably be happy when teenagers stop using them and increase the teenage pregnancy rate. Because if there's one thing the Catholic Church wants more than anything else, it's unprotected shagging.
- "A United States merchant captain is being held captive by Somali pirates.
- "A spokesman for the pirates said 'aaaaaaaaarrrrrr'"
- "Israel's new Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised a hard line on all Palestinian insurgents. Because it's worked so well in the past."
- "Sweden's Parliament has legalised same sex marriage. Now, you don't have to choose between hot, uninhibited, DD-chested Swedish blondes and hot Swedish masseurs called Sven with enormous packages. You can have both! Are you excited! Or...is it just...me...?"
- "North Korea has tested a missile that defence experts say could potentially reach Georgeland. Prime Minister Luke Macaulay, speaking from the moon, says there is nothing to worry about.
- "A town in Missouri, United States, has re-elected a mayor who has been dead for over a month. Apparently his administration will make sure the streets are safe, the schools are well-funded and that there are lots of tasty brains for all eligible taxpayers."
- "Everybody in the world is now dead as a result of Swine Flu."
- "South Africa has sworn in a new President, Jacob Zuma, who has been accused of corruption. A corrupt African President? Who would have thought it?"
- "U.S. President Barack Obama says military trials for the inmates of Guantanamo Bay will go ahead, despite previously criticising the military trial process. Obama's supporters are already crying foul, sayingg the President broke a campaign promise. Apparently no President has ever done that before."
- "In the United Kingdom vast numbers of MPs are under investigation for the misuse of taxpayer funds and the claiming of fraudlent parliamentary expenses. Among the things claimed as expenses are...this is true...a nanny, mortage payments, hiring a plumber, mock tudor timber beams, nappies, a massage chair and...this is my favourite...cleaning the moat around a stately mansion in the country! The expenses scandal has rocked British politics and threatens to totally undermine British confidence in their own elected officials. Because it was so high to begin with. But these expenses are totally justified. Politicians need these things. They need nannies to look after their children during long hours. They need massage chairs because their jobs are very stressful. And they need to have their moat cleaned because...um...you know what, I've got nothing."
- Edmonds: Does anybody remember when politicians used to be interested in social change and the betterment of their society?
Hobbes:You just made that up!
Teal:A politician interested in betterment of society? You are full of it, aren't you, Rob?
Hobbes:He's just bitter because he can't get Maddy to sleep with him.
Madeline Woods:Hey, I resent the implication that he's the best I could do!
(later in the same show)
Teal:I'm really sorry Zoe Parker got divorced, but politicians don't need personal lives! They can get free sex whenever they want it...
Madeline Woods: Someone tell Robin that! He'll run for office!
Hobbes: Yeah, Maddy, but he might end up in the office next to yours...
Teal: Drilling holes in the wall...
- Teal: You've got two politicians on your side; one good, one evil.
Campbell Rhodes: Which of us is the evil one?
Madeline Woods: I think he was referring to you there.
Campbell Rhodes: Well, I'll take that. But if Edmonds tries to get it on with me the way he tries it on with you, someone's getting hurt.
Hobbes: If he wanted to get it on with you he'd need drug testing.
Campbell Rhodes: As opposed to anybody wanting to get it on with you, who need electro-shock therapy.
Hobbes:Yeah, that's fair.]