Rowan Atkinson, Griff Rhys Jones, Mel Smith and Pamela Stephenson star in highlights from the groundbreaking BBC TV comedy sketch series. Not the Nine O'Clock News is regarded as one of the classics of British television comedy.
Not the Nine O'Clock News was a satirical sketch show that parodied news stories and popular culture, and would go on to have a lasting influence on shows such as The Daily Show as well as paving the way for alternative comedy. It was broadcast on BBC 2 between 1979 and 1982, and featured Chris Langham (in the first series) as well as comedians Rowan Atkinson, Pamela Stephenson, Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones, who would go on to star in Blackadder, Saturday Night Live and Alas Smith and Jones. The show was produced by John Lloyd and Sean Hardie, and among the scriptwriters were Richard Curtis, Guy Jenkin, David Renwick and Andy Hamilton, who would all become acclaimed comedy writers. Not the Nine O'Clock News ran for four successful series and was adapted as a stage show in 1982, but as the team became increasingly well known, they decided to pursue other projects. In 2005, Rowan Atkinson, Mel Smith, Pamela Stephenson, Chris Langham and John Lloyd came together with Sue McGregor to talk about the show in Radio 4's The Reunion; and a BBC 2 documentary about the making of the programme was broadcast on 28 December 2009.