And with that, for the very last time, goodbye
June 29, 2015 7:10 PM   Subscribe

 
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posted by RogerB at 7:15 PM on June 29, 2015


I didn't realise it was her swan song show and got all teary midway and annoyed I'd only discovered them a year ago! Miles is a good choice but Sandi's dry takes on everything are just so sharp and kind.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 7:22 PM on June 29, 2015


Is this a British Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me? Or, by making that comparison, am I dragging another quiz show's good name through the mud?
posted by Going To Maine at 7:29 PM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


yeah, it's sort of like Wait Wait except sometimes you laugh
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:30 PM on June 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


I've really enjoyed the Toksvig era. I hope she has a good run of it in her new/continuing career.
posted by aesop at 7:30 PM on June 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


We're going to miss her in this house, a Friday night tradition of foot rubs and the News Quiz for several years now.
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 7:47 PM on June 29, 2015


i love her so much. you know it's going to be a good QI if she's there.
posted by nadawi at 8:23 PM on June 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


I think, but I have no evidence, that Wait Wait may have closely resembled the News Quiz in the very distant past. But it rapidly diverged to suit the NPR listener's taste and cast member skills, padding out to an hour with audience participation and a less entirely arbitrary scoring system.
posted by wotsac at 8:34 PM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is this a British Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me? Or, by making that comparison, am I dragging another quiz show's good name through the mud?

Mud-dragging. The News Quiz has been reliably delightful. Wait Wait... seems like turgid dross by comparison.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:34 PM on June 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Sandi previously hosted a different quiz.
posted by w0mbat at 9:50 PM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


There was a part of me hoping for it to be Susan Calman, just to keep things in the tiny lesbian mafia. Not that I'm complaining, I love Miles as well.
posted by Trifling at 10:02 PM on June 29, 2015 [10 favorites]


I also hoped for Susan Calman, on whom I have the biggest tiny-Scottish-cat-obsessed-lesbian crush. I'm sure Jupp will do a great job, but I keep thinking, isn't he too tall for the job?

But I will keep up my other hope: Sandi Toksvig as the Doctor, and Calman as her impetuous Companion. A nerd can dream.
posted by jb at 10:23 PM on June 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


That was a very melancholy last News Quiz last Saturday (I tend to catch the repeats). I hate it when things change; that's why I listen to Radio 4 in the first place.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:24 PM on June 29, 2015 [10 favorites]


God forbid that Nicholas Parson dies anytime soon.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:25 PM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]




> Sandi previously hosted a different quiz.

It's not the whole reason I bought my current house but the fact that it is number 73 was a significant factor.
posted by vbfg at 12:17 AM on June 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I will be interested to see how they compensate (or don't) for this in terms of gender balance. One of the things I love about the show (tho' Sandi is a huge, huge part) is that generally half the voices you hear are women - Sandi, at least one female guest, and often a female newsreader. Losing Sandi means they'll have to work harder at getting the four panelists 50:50. I wonder if they will.
posted by AFII at 12:20 AM on June 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oh man, I didn't realise last Saturday's show was her last! I have Radio 4 playing constantly, and the News Quiz is what I'm listening to when I'm cooking dinner for my father-in-law on Friday nights. I was so distracted with doing something particularly time-and-attention consuming last week, that I could barely follow what was going on, so I obviously missed the larger context.

I listened to her interview on the Women's Hour, when she was announcing her retirement from the News Quiz (I really DO have Radio 4 on all day), and I wish her well with it, but somehow didn't grasp that she would be leaving so soon.
posted by skybluepink at 12:21 AM on June 30, 2015


I listen to the news quiz occasionally when I collide with it's schedule being in the antipodes, and always liked Sandi's humour.
I've never been enough of a fan to go hunting for it, though, and if you had asked me to spell her name, I wouldn't in a million years have picked Toksvig, although I now remember comments about nordic heritage etc. I think I mentally called her Sandy Toxteth. A mondegreen name for me.
posted by bystander at 1:33 AM on June 30, 2015


I hoped for Susan Calman too! And more stories about dressing up her cats. Also like that there are often two women panellists as well as ST. It was slightly odd, good-odd, to hear Helen Zaltzman (The Allusionist and Answer Me This! on two episodes recently.

ST said something, I think on a programme about QI, about when there are two women panellists on television programmes they are not usually allowed to sit together. Was looking for that quotation and found this 2008 brief piece about her family life, which is mildly interesting and quite sweet.
posted by paduasoy at 1:37 AM on June 30, 2015


As a queer Danish woman living in the UK, I am pretty much obligated to like Sandi Toksvig. And I do. She will be missed from the News Quiz (Jupp will be interesting, but just not the same) and I sincerely hope the Women's Equality party can have a meaningful impact on British politics, but I sadly doubt it. Hoping to be proved wrong.
posted by Dysk at 1:38 AM on June 30, 2015


I just checked - the News Quiz has been going since 1977, the year before HitchHiker's. (Rather frighteningly, I realise I must have been listening to Radio 4 since around 1972, as I remember I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again. I must see if there are some other stations out there. I've heard rumours, y'know.) Sandi is a relative short-termer; Simon Hoggart, her predecessor, did it for fifteen years, albeit in two stints, so perhaps she'll be back. And compared to Nicholas Parsons on Just A Minute and Humph on Clue, she's practically a temp.

Miles Jupp will be terrific.

Now, what the hell do we do with The Now Show, now that it's turned into Week Ending?

(Radio 4... ah, the dear old Home Service. I was talking to a producer once about something I might have become involved in. "You'd be good," they said. "We're looking to appeal to the younger audience." "But I'm forty five!" I said. "Yes," they said. "That's what we mean.")
posted by Devonian at 2:30 AM on June 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


I will be interested to see how they compensate (or don't) for this in terms of gender balance.

Yes. Within the last year or so, Sandi mentioned on the News Quiz that she fought hard to get as many women on the show as they did, and that she was proud of hosting one of the very few shows that routinely manages to get more than one woman on the panel at a time. Much as I love R4 comedy, she's not wrong that News Quiz was an outlier in that regard. Part of the reason I was hoping Susan would take over (or possibly Sue Perkins, who is great hosting Dilemma) was to see that continued. I think Miles could be a brilliant host, I just hope that he doesn't let the show slide back into a boys' club.

While I'm griping about News Quiz, I think Jeremy Hardy could do with taking a break, or at least going into rotation with the other semi-regular panelists. He's funny and a good fit the show, but his two completely spontaneous indignant rants every. single. week. is definitely starting to feel a bit formulaic and like an in-joke. It feels like part of a drift toward the same feeling that e.g. I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue has: half of the jokes are about the show itself and the fact that it never changes, and there's a feeling of familiarity and cliquishness instead of trying to keep the comedy fresh. I still love both shows, and I'm not arguing for avant-garde comedy on Radio 4's teatime slot, but it could do with a bit of a refresh. Hopefully whatever new dynamic Miles brings will do that nicely.

ST said something, I think on a programme about QI, about when there are two women panellists on television programmes they are not usually allowed to sit together

This bit, with Ronnie Ancona? They're a great combination, they seem to work off each other really well.


God forbid that Nicholas Parson dies anytime soon.

Nicholas Parsons has always been. He was an old guy on the radio before I was born, he's an old guy on the radio now, he'll be an old guy on the radio long after all of us are dead and forgotten. The last, cooling glimmers of the last, dying star will be modulated with an echoey "...give you the benefit of the doubt next time."
posted by metaBugs at 2:50 AM on June 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


I thought Calman would get it - she seems to have been a panelist an awful lot over the last few years, and she would have been a good choice. Miles Jupp is also a good choice though, the perfect languid style for Radio 4.
posted by salmacis at 3:20 AM on June 30, 2015


Sandi is a relative short-termer

I still think of her as a brand new presenter. Then again, at least once a week I catch myself thinking 'Oh do fuck off Linda, you've only been living in Ambridge for half an hour'. (The llama-licking panto fetishist moved to the village in '86. I was nine years old at the time. Nine!)

Now, what the hell do we do with The Now Show

Set fire to the cast live on the Today programme, destroy the archives and never speak of it again?

Losing Sandi means they'll have to work harder at getting the four panelists 50:50. I wonder if they will.

I think it must be official policy at this point. All the other Radio 4 panel shows have at least attempted to follow suit in the last five years or so - it's common to hear a 50/50 panel on JAM, all-male ISIHAC panels are rare nowadays - and I'm pretty sure newer panel shows like Dilemma have been 50% women panellists every episode from the off (and that's not including the host, Sue Perkins).
posted by jack_mo at 3:36 AM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


he'll be an old guy on the radio long after all of us ...

"Oh! That little bell tells me we only have time for one more round before the universe ends."
posted by Wolfdog at 4:23 AM on June 30, 2015


ISIHAC is still airing? I could have sworn that when I was on a huge Mornington Crescent kick ~5 years ago I read that it was finished.

Also I'm so glad I found out about this show. I'm a huge fan of HIGNFY, and finding a similar show that doesn't require a VPN made me quite happy. I just wish I could have been around for Sandi's episodes when they weren't talking about old news. She's one of only a few panel guests that consistently entertain.
posted by clorox at 4:34 AM on June 30, 2015


I've been listening to The News Quiz ever since it started, and there's barely been an episode that hasn't made me laugh out loud at least once. If you'd asked me how long Sandi had been in charge, I'd have guessed about five years, which is a tribute to just how fresh and enjoyable she's remained in the job. Who remembers that episode with her and Linda Smith corpsing over the penis-measuring gauge an over-enthusiastic PR company once sent Sandi in the post?

Her's has been a bit of a golden age, I'd say - second only to the dear, dead days of Ingrams and Coren battling it out week after week. God, Alan Coren was funny.

I think Jupp's a good choice for her replacement though.
posted by Paul Slade at 4:35 AM on June 30, 2015


Here's the Smith/Toksvig clip I was thinking of - skip forward to about 14:30. Sheer bliss.
posted by Paul Slade at 4:46 AM on June 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure what sounds like Nicholas Parsons on Just A Minute has just been a machine playing old recordings of Nicholas Parsons for a good few years now.
posted by eykal at 5:00 AM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Britain's quiz panels shows on the radio or on the television is one very big reason I love it over there. Shepherd and I immediately become weird traveling people when we're in England. "Oooh, (insert what ever panel/quiz show here) is on at 10! Let's be sure we're back at the flat to watch it." WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ON VACATION.

I love Sandi Toksvig and I will miss her.
posted by Kitteh at 6:49 AM on June 30, 2015


I think it must be official policy at this point. All the other Radio 4 panel shows have at least attempted to follow suit in the last five years or so - it's common to hear a 50/50 panel on JAM, all-male ISIHAC panels are rare nowadays - and I'm pretty sure newer panel shows like Dilemma have been 50% women panellists every episode from the off (and that's not including the host, Sue Perkins).

Well, that's really interesting, because I actively stopped listening to JAM and ISIHAC several years ago when I got sick of the all-male or 'hey, we found one, that's enough right?' panels. I guess I didn't miss them enough to go back and check if they'd changed.
posted by AFII at 9:03 AM on June 30, 2015


Request from people posting in this thread: what do you listen to that's similar in spirit/humor? I have The Unbelievable Truth, what other comedic gems am I missing to listen to that Sandi would approve of?
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 9:09 AM on June 30, 2015


for those who love the quiz/panel shows - most of the televised ones are very easy to find on youtube.
posted by nadawi at 9:22 AM on June 30, 2015


There are also many free VPN's that will give you access to all of BBC's streaming options. I think all of ITV's streaming is free too, but I don't know much about their offerings.

dorothyisunderwood: QI, Have I Got News For You, Mock The Week, Would I Lie To You?, though theyr'e on TV and the subject matter and tone vary quite a bit between them.
posted by clorox at 9:42 AM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I do not care for Mock the Week, but anything with David Mitchell hosting or recurring as a guest is like catnip to me.
posted by Kitteh at 9:42 AM on June 30, 2015


There's nothing much else on at the moment that hasn't been mentioned. There's Quote Unquote, which is... well, give it a go, but it's famously unfunny. The Museum of Everything isn't really a quiz or a gameshow, but it's entertaining; it's not on at the moment. Miles Jupp is currently hosting It's Not What You Know, which hasn't done it for me - R4 has a fairly high turnover of almost-there comedy/panel game formats, and I think this is one.

I can recommend having a rootle around Radio 4 Extra, which is the BBC's radio archive/repeats channel. Lots of stuff from the (often very recent) past turns up there. Start with the Comedy category, I guess, although good stuff also appears on Factual.
posted by Devonian at 10:37 AM on June 30, 2015


i don't much like "mock the week" or "have i got news for you" but i like those others, plus "8 out of 10 cats" and the simon amstell years on "never mind the buzzcocks." it's another type of show, but i also enjoyed sarah millican's show and russell howard's. i just watched my first episode of "a league of their own" (sports based panel/quiz) and i laughed so hard that i thought i was going to black out - but i like jack whitehall and i realize that's not a universally held opinion.
posted by nadawi at 10:47 AM on June 30, 2015


I too like Jack Whitehall, though he can be a bit of a prat.
posted by Kitteh at 10:56 AM on June 30, 2015


him being a prat is easily 40% of the enjoyment because he is so easily set up for mockery (and he takes it so well by being faux-put out by it).
posted by nadawi at 11:08 AM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think it was this past year's Big Fat Quiz of the Year where he went mental about texting some British reality celeb called Chico and then went doubly mental about getting a response.
posted by Kitteh at 11:20 AM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Who remembers that episode with her and Linda Smith corpsing

Linda Smith. Damn, it only seems a moment since she died but that's nine years ago already. My favourite proper socialist comedian.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:35 AM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can recommend having a rootle around Radio 4 Extra, which is the BBC's radio archive/repeats channel.

Go and gorge on Round the Horne, which if not quite the starting point for a lot of the British love of double entendres, is certainly the best of them.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:36 AM on June 30, 2015


I think Jeremy Hardy could do with taking a break, or at least going into rotation with the other semi-regular panelists. He's funny and a good fit the show, but his two completely spontaneous indignant rants every. single. week. is definitely starting to feel a bit formulaic and like an in-joke.

I can see where you're coming from, but he gets a lot of good will from me for nearly making Sandi die from laughter with one of his rants a few years ago.
posted by Johnny Assay at 1:08 PM on June 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Go and gorge on Round the Horne, which if not quite the starting point for a lot of the British love of double entendres, is certainly the best of them.
I see what you did there.
posted by fullerine at 1:11 PM on June 30, 2015


I think Jeremy Hardy could do with taking a break, or at least going into rotation...
Noooo.... Please don't make such a suggestion. There's already far too little Jeremy Hardy on the airwaves. I can barely make it through The Now Show's weeks as it is.
posted by NailsTheCat at 1:28 PM on June 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


> I think I mentally called her Sandy Toxteth

It's always odd seeing names I know only from radio (or podcasts, in this case) written down. I knew Sandi, but seeing "Susan Calman" higher up on this page threw me for a sec.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:12 PM on June 30, 2015


I was taking this in stride until I considered the gaping maw of weeks without the Bugle or the News Quiz and with the Now Show.

Speaking of which, Helen Zaltzman seemed remarkably solid in her recent appearances, which surprised me a bit since I don't remember Andy's appearances fondly at all.
posted by wotsac at 7:32 PM on June 30, 2015


I feel a lot less animosity these days towards the Now Show (or as I think of it, the Oh, No! Show because that's what I always thought when it replaced the News Quiz) but I don't mind so much. Although they could probably lose almost all the comedy songs. Dead Ringers though.... Bah.
posted by Grangousier at 11:43 PM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Will miss Sandi terribly. She & TNQ were a superb match. The Toksvig era of TNQ was only radio/TV program I ever had entered into my diary to be sure I didn't miss it.

Miles Jupp should be good, and I hope Jeremy Hardy keeps putting in frequent appearances.

Thank you, Sandi. All the best with your future.
posted by Pouteria at 6:45 AM on July 1, 2015


I too am in the situation of both loving Jeremy Hardy and wishing that he wasn't on TNQ every single week. Give someone else that chair once in a while; break up the clubbiness a bit.

I always wondered how much of the chair's job was their own quick-wittedness and how much was "the chair's script by ..."; I guess the question and answer are the scripted parts and everything else is off-the-cuff? And the chair's specific skill is being able to blend seamlessly between the two.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:40 PM on July 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


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