Fifteen years ago, Brass Eye released the special episode "Paedogeddon". The Atlantic weighs in on its significance.
There was no wink and they never sold it out for these half-hour, densely, beautifully produced pieces, which is, for all possibilities, obscuring that this doesn’t at all sound like a comedy show. It is all the production elements you would use in a full-scale news production. All the gravitas, but just inflated to a point that it has no gravitas whatsoever. And I think that is where it became this excitingly subversive thing because it just showed that BBC Radio 4 and everything it stood for was just a big bag of shit.John Oliver on why he's a fan of On the Hour. On the Hour, of course, is the legendary BBC news radio program created by, among other people, Armando Iannucci (The Thick of It, In The Loop, Veep), Christopher Morris (Jam, Brass Eye, Four Lions, Why Bother?), Stewart Lee (41st best stand-up comic ever), and Steve Coogan (Knowing Me Knowing You With Alan Partridge, I'm Alan Partridge). Short-lived but influential, On the Hour mimicked the tone and production of other radio news shows but replaced the content with what Oliver describes as "unremitting bullshit". On the Hour was aired in two six-episode series (S1E1 S1E2 S1E3 S1E4 S1E5 S1E6; S2E1 S2E2 S2E3 S2E4 S2E5 S2E6), and begat a television series called The Day Today. That show in turn added Graham Linehan (Black Books, Father Ted, The IT Crowd) to On the Hour's already all-star lineup, upped the already-insane levels of overproduction, and ran for six short-but-glorious episodes (one two three four five (WAR!) six), as well as a special 9/11 radio report. [more inside]
If you look at that video of Mohammad Sidique Khan [one of the 7/7 bombers] recording a video for his nine-month-old daughter, when he thought he was going to fight and die in Afghanistan, he was saying, ‘You and your mum are the best thing in my life, and I’d love to watch you growing up and learning to speak.’ And you realise that he’s making a pretty soppy speech from a middle-of-the-road Hollywood movie. He’s the ‘good dad’. And in his head he is. And that doesn’t preclude him going out and doing something violent. You do bad things not because you think they’re bad, but because you think they’re good — unless you’re a nihilist. British satirist Chris Morris discusses his first feature film Four Lions, which is a comedy about Islamist suicide bombers. Trailer. Clip, concerning peroxide. Audio interview with Morris about the film, Part 1 and Part 2.
Six months that changed a year -- Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci take on 9/11 with predictably dark and comic results... '9/11: The planes strike - as Martin Amis memorably describes them - 'sleeking in like harsh metal ducklings'. Tony Blair publicly drains every drop of blood from his wife to help the injured of New York. Taking his time, George W. Bush formulates a measured response - which turns out to be the most expensive bollocking ever unleashed against shepherds.'
Contrary to what you may have heard, the new Brass Eye is indeed about paedophiles. And it's got Phil Collins wearing a "Nonce Sense" t-shirt.
Last night's Brass Eye special was mysteriously pulled from the schedules, seemingly because it concerned "an army of paedophiles". Apparantly, this is not the case
Great news! Channel 4 to re-screen Brass Eye - with restored footage.