26 January, 2011
On the hour - news values for our time
Kay Burley: We are just getting reports of a suspected bomb going off at ... an airport in Moscow which I am not going to attempt to pronounce in case I make a fool of myself. Over to ... somebody or other in Moscow for the background.
Stressed-looking Blond Woman: Well, er, it appears that a suicide bomber has blown himself up in the international terminal and there's hundreds and hundreds of people dead. There's blood everywhere and...
KB: I'm going to have to interrupt you there; we're just getting breaking news of an emerging major catastrophe here in the UK. Jon?
Jon Desborough (for it is he): Well, Kay, TV sport has been rocked by the revelation that two very senior football commentators, whose vital task it is to fill in the awkward gap between the adverts and the second half of the game, have been overheard making patronizing remarks about a female official. Sky Sports managers are in urgent talks with Downing Street and it is understood that the COBRA committee may be convened.
KB: Shocking. We await further developments. Now over to Martin Brunt who is standing in front of a suburban house somewhere in the UK. Martin?
Martin Brunt (aging tousled heartthrob): Harlow Mill, Essex, as it goes, Kay. We were hoping for a juicy murder or something to report but, sadly, nothing at all has happened here. So it's back to you to continue filling your three-hour slot as best you can.
KB: Thank you, Martin. (I'll deal with you later.) Back to Moscow for an update.
Blond Woman: Things are developing fast here at Domodedovo. General Secretary Putin has had all of the airport management shot. Though it's not entirely clear what that will achieve. And...
KB: I'm afraid I'll have to interrupt you again. There have been important developments in the Offsidegate saga. Jon?
JD: Well, Kay, some old studio footage has been conveniently "re-analysed", revealing Andy Gadget-Man Gray making inappropriately phallic use of a microphone in the presence of a female colleague. And all the girls in the office say he's a male chauvinist pig, anyway.
KB: Terrible, so what's happening about that?
JD: I understand that he will be publicly castrated tomorrow before an uninvited audience. The orchidectomy will be shown live on Sky 1 HD.
KB: Well, that's enough tosh from me for one day. Next up, Jeremy Thompson Live at Five.
[Fancy linking sequence follows, zooming in on...]
Jeremy Thompson (for it is he, who did you expect?): And in tonight's news...
A woman in Norfolk is jailed for saying "Boo!" to a goose.
A 62-year-old man in South London, believed to be a blogger of some insignificance, is arrested on suspicion of racism by omission. He is understood to have failed to smile with sufficiently convincing sincerity at a passing Nigerian.
In other news, Russia has declared war on Chechnya and has nuked Grozny.
This country needs someone to locate and press the 'Reset' button, I think...