BBC RADIO SCOTLAND/THE COMEDY UNIT
Noising Up is a brand new topical sketch show for BBC Radio Scotland.
We’re looking for a busy mix of sketches, gags, spoofs, quickies, take-offs and send-ups. Lampooning Scotland and the wider world in general, through a Scottish filter.
The show will feature satirical and observational humour and cover all the main movers and shakers in Scottish politics, no matter which rosette they wear. The aim is to send up recognisable characters in a range of different settings. Skewering the media, entertainment, tech and sport.
Nailing trending topics, covering headline events and focusing in on local stories occurring all over Scotland. Satirising everything that’s happening right now and poking fun at what might just be around the corner.
That’s the description – now we need your material!
We want to fit in as many sketches as possible into each episode. So the call is for tight sketches:
-Half page quickies
Any material along these lines much appreciated. There will be room for the odd longer sketch in the final show. However, we’re hoping to cram in as many of your sketches in as we can so it’s best to err on the short and punchy side.
If you could send us batches of up to a dozen sketches at a time, the earlier the better. One thing we’d like to encourage is sending us material in two sittings. First: more “General” material that could come in any time, followed by “topical” sketches inspired by the very latest headlines or events. Please send your material in word or plain text documents.
POTENTIAL TYPES OF MATERIAL…
YOU, YOU, YOU
This show is an opportunity for you to get the kind of topical material that really makes you laugh onto BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Sounds. Topical can mean everything from the latest BBC News headline, to what people are discussing online, to the hottest TV and movies, and anything else generally relevant at the present moment. Find a way in for the listener, wrap your observation into a character or a sketch and send it to us. We want to include what you really find funny as much as anything.
We are looking to send-up all of Scotland’s recognisable politicians. Who always pops up on FMQs? Who hogs the limelight at Holyrood? Which Scottish MPs are best known at Westminster? What happens when the SNP/Green “coalition” get together? There are loads of great characters to write-up from a host of political backgrounds including:
Nicola Sturgeon, Humza Yousaf, Kate Forbes, Patrick Harvie, Lorna Slater, Ross Grier, Anas Sarwar, Alex Cole-Hamilton, Douglas Ross, Murdo Fraser, Michael Gove, Mhairi Black, Alister Jack and Ian Blackford.
How do they handle the media? How do they bump-up against each other in parliament? How do they interact and hatch plans when the cameras arent there?
Which character out there is particularly spoofable? It could be a prominent actor, presenter, business leader, union boss, sports-star or TV personality. It could be someone from the world of films and music. What turns of phrase do they use that could be emphasized comedically? What do they sound like, or what could they sound like? How can you push or focus the things they say regularly to generate big laughs? Worth noting here that we’re not always looking for an exact impression, sometimes an exaggerated version or a surreal twist on what listeners might expect can work well.
What Scottish and global stories are ripe for satirising? Going through the local papers may unearth a wee story that would work a treat for a sketch… What does everyone know about? What should everyone know about?
What TV shows are getting people talking? What would you love to take the piss out of? These can be terrestrial hits or box sets. What radio shows are ripe for parody? What kind of podcasts are folk subscribing to? How best to send-up Scotland’s printed press? Any and all popular current media is up for grabs to be skewered and parodied.
Sometimes the best way to cover a big blockbuster film or TV series is via a spoof trail. Voiceover can fill listeners in. A trail moves quickly. Take advantage of radio’s unlimited special effects budgets to include car chases, fighter plane battles, space adventures etc, whatever you like.
The show also presents a great opportunity to include advert sketches – spoofing real ads or for invented products. These types of sketch are often very useful in radio as they’re big, loud, quick and fun and help break up the pace of the programme.
What sounds will lift your sketch? What pictures can you paint on radio to make the listener’s mind boggle? No health and safety form or stuntman required. The only limits are the limits of your imagination because where we’re going, we don’t need roads.
Beyond politics, media and entertainment, what else is everyone talking about on your timeline or in your local pub? What sort of issues are “in the air” rather than on the news? Who or what is annoying you right now? What tech is everyone using? How are people interacting on social media? What’s firing people up? Football, of course – our club teams and our national side – but we’d like to see sketches about other sports too. It would be great to include music – parody songs, take-offs of famous singers, or rewrites of current and classic hits are all worth considering.
The show is rooted right here in Scotland. So we can include a Scottish version or a Scottish take on a big, worldwide story. Or crucially a Scottish opinion on a major issue. We can go anywhere around the globe and we’re looking for what particularly resonates for the Scottish audience.
The show will likely go out at lunchtime on BBC Radio Scotland, so please bear in mind in terms of language and content- there will be kids and Grannies listening! But at the same time, we’ll push things where we can. We welcome cheeky takes and fresh perspectives.
We’re a topical show, which means a lot of people will be thinking about the same things. Great minds do think alike on occasion when it comes to writing topical comedy. So it is likely that most weeks we’ll receive material touching upon similar comedic ideas.
One wee tip: it’s sometimes worth digging for a story or an angle that you reckon nobody else will be thinking about – presenting you with a good opportunity to get something on the air that is fresh and distinctive. We’re all about giving a platform to great, original writing and we hope to do it on every show.
YOUR OWN STAMP
We’re a brand new show, with a brand new cast and writing team. So this is an opportunity to create new sensations in terms of sketches and characters. It’s a great chance to send-up famous people. And at the same time, it’s an opportunity to create your own comedic characters rooted in everyday reality. Showcase your type of humour to the world via the BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Sounds audience.
You’re a part of building the show with us and have the opportunity to make it in your image, so please prioritise what you find truly funny and together we can hopefully make something great!
These pointers are written with the intention to inspire you and guide you in the right direction. Anything that doesn’t inspire you, feel free to ignore.
Thanks for reading. Please send us your sketches!
Deadline to send us your first batch
12.00 noon August 17th. The show is set to go on air in early September