27 March, 2008

Tilt - new radio sketch show


Tilt
is a new topical sketch show that takes you behind the week's news. And then mucks about with it a bit.

It's being recorded live every Wednesday night from 26th March till the 1st of May and it's broadcast on BBC7 the following night at 11:30pm. The first show will be recorded at 'Up The Creek' in Greenwich, the remaining shows at the BBC Radio Theatre.

We're looking for topical material from new writers to support the core writing team.

The people behind Tilt want to make a show that is playful and witty. We don't want to take the obvious angle on any story - and we'd rather not have to do impersonations of Gordon Brown. So we're looking for sketches that go beyond obvious topical satire.

The big stories of the week will be told in running sketches written by the core team. Around that we want stand alone topical sketches, headliners, monologues, spoof ads, spoof trailers, news parodies... Tilt isn't a spoof news programme, but it's hard to poke fun at all things topical without turning an eye to the ways in which we receive news. And for that matter, sport, weather, or celebrity gossip.

The cast is three male, three female - Olly Maltman, Simon Brodkin, Nick Mohammed, Isy Suttie, Margaret Cabourn-Smith and Katy Wix. There's no presenter, so it's entirely 4th wall, and it's being linked by bits of realistic sounding news that's made up, or bits of real news that we've monkeyed around with. Gordon Brown saying "I'd like Tony Blair to wear more foundation". That kind of thing.

Between now and 14 March the core writers, plus a few invited non-commissioned writers, are creating recurring characters - pundits, news anchors, journalists, hairdressers with precognisant knowledge of governmental affairs. Also strands, completely spoof news etc.

Once the series is up and running there will be the opportunity to pitch in one liners in the shape of headlines (real or fictional, but funny in either case), and of course that's the time to submit the proper stand alone topical sketches.

The producers will also start sending all their promising non-commissioned writers the weekly Tilt email which will tell you which stories to avoid (usually because the core writing team are working on them) and what we need more of. That will start circulating on 21st March.

So in summary – if you fancy writing on a non-commissioned basis for Tilt, email some stuff to tilt@bbc.co.uk

The deadline for being considered in each week's show is Tuesday by 3pm.

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FORMAT:

Tilt looks back over the week in chronological order.

The big UK politics story of the week will be told in a running sketch written by the core team. Around that stand one-off topical sketches, headliners, and our recurring characters. We break at half time for some spoof ads, and look ahead trailers to forthcoming TV, Radio and Films

And it’s hard to poke fun at all things topical without turning an eye to the ways in which we receive news. And for that matter, sport, weather, or celebrity gossip. So there’s a healthy dose of news parody using fictional stories to send up the way our news is served up.

The people behind Tilt want to make a show that is playful and witty. We don’t want to take the obvious angle on any story – and we’d rather not have to do impersonations of Gordon Brown. So we’re looking for sketches that go beyond obvious topical satire – very gag led, and less arch.

There's no presenter – the show is entirely 4th wall, and is being linked together with bits of realistic sounding news that we've monkeyed around with. (partly using authentic audio from news conferences etc, and partly using the Headliners supplied by the open door writers.


THE RUNNER:

The runner each week is set in the fictional Ministry without Portfolio – a Whitehall task force that firefights trouble whichever Government department it happens to affect. The team is led by Charlotte – a force to be reckoned with, she recently worked up a proposal to rebrand the Queen as Queen version 2.0 – an interactive model. Charlotte is supported by former tabloid journalist Dominic and academic Ruth.

The runner takes care of the major UK politics story of the week – be it Speaker John Martin’s expense woes; the u-turn on supercasinos or legislation on 24 hour drinking.

These stories form the background to the runner – but the humour comes from the characters themselves – and the way in which they deal with whatever Westminster throws at them.

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Dave Cohen's Advice To Non-Commissioned Writers

Writing Sketches For Tilt

British Sitcom Guide discussion thread

BBC writersroom

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