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Get a fix

Mark Barlex | 16:36 UK time, Monday, 5 June 2006

By day I work on the BBC's One O'Clock News. By night, and during my lunch-hour, I look after a project called STORYFix, which is uniquely difficult to explain. So here's a Q&A.

storyfix_logo.jpgQ. What is it?
It's an experimental weekly video round-up of what's been happening over the past week.

Q. Is it really?
A. Sort of, yes. Actually, it's less about what happened on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday etc, and more about the impression we're all left with come Friday morning.

Q. How long is it?
Originally, it was supposed to be about 20 minutes long, but it turned out to be about five. At most.

Q. What does it look like?
A. It's very fast. It's got about twenty graphics and a hundred shot changes in it.

maitlis203_storyfix.jpgQ. What's it for?
A. It's trying to do news in a different way, hitting a particular audience. It's an experiment.

A. Where can I see it?
Q. News 24 at about a quarter to eight on a Friday evening, and from time to time over the weekend. And on the BBC News website's News In Video section. And on the News Multiscreen. And here.

Q. Is it any good?
A. Not for me to say, really. Some people really, really like it. Some people just hate it. You'll have to decide for yourself.


  • 1.
  • At 10:20 PM on 05 Jun 2006,
  • Clive wrote:

I saw Storyfix advertised on the website over the weekend and watched it - part of me couldn't believe my eyes that it was real. It's a bit like one of those BBC Three topical reviews of the week - I'm not sure if I like it to be honest. But I suppose it's a good thing that something new is being tried - who knows where it might end up?

  • 2.
  • At 09:15 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Ian Ratcliffe wrote:

Storyfix is superb - the writer has a real gift and Emily's delivery is consistently sublime. Reminds me of the best bits of BBC Three News.

But, of course, whenever BBC News does anything truly distinctive - BBC Three News is an example - less insightful controllers tend to cancel them. Here's hoping the excellent Storyfix doesn't suffer the same fate.

  • 3.
  • At 10:48 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Mark wrote:

"It's...about the impression we're all left with come Friday Morning"

"Originally, it was supposed to be about twenty minutes long, but it turned out to be five. At most."

Tough night Thrusday nights? Hung over? Can't recall much?

So this is what you work at by night and during your lunch hour. And the output for a week's effort is five minutes long. At most. Have you considered another line of work you might enjoy more?

  • 4.
  • At 12:04 AM on 10 Jul 2006,
  • Milly Anily wrote:

I absolutely love Storyfix. I have already started to really look forward to it each week.

It's very entertaining, and does exactly what it says on the 'syringe'. It gives me my news Story fix!

Emily is superbly deadpan, although that stand in bloke the other week was good as well.

It's brilliantly put together, and very funny.

Best quote; "Priceless...Not being David Walliams, not being smotherered in his pants...on the telly...y'bastards!" Very funny.

Can I download the theme tune for my mobile anywhere..? It rocks!

Hello Milly Anily! I happened to write the theme tune for Storyfix, and you can indeed download it (for free!). It's on my website at the following address:

Glad you like it!

  • 6.
  • At 09:28 PM on 23 Jul 2006,
  • Nick Woolley wrote:

Absolutely FANTASTIC! I love watching it, some amazing television there.
Well done to all who are involved! Great idea, keep it up!

This is one of the best programs besides Click shown on BBC News 24, Emily Matelss is definatly the right person for the show aswell. It's 80% Have I Got News For You, 20% BBC News 24. I bet the team at television centre love putting this show together, I would suggest playing after newsnight everday that would get millions glued to it!

  • 8.
  • At 07:57 PM on 26 Jul 2006,
  • miika wrote:

"more about the impression we're all left with come Friday morning"

So basically it's your way of saying "Yeah, only 8 hours to go then it's the weekend!!"? :)

  • 9.
  • At 11:37 AM on 27 Jul 2006,
  • Andy Tedd wrote:

It's good, but with one criticism, it's a little smug - the clips of banter between the 2nd tier correspondents and presenters is a tad overdone, its part of the 'filler' of our 24 hour coverage, and thus, feels a bit out of place in this.

Emily Maitliss's delivery however is good and suitably deadpan.

Why not try editing it down to 3 minutes?

  • 10.
  • At 10:58 AM on 28 Jul 2006,
  • Richard wrote:

Why only available as MPEG 4? Can't play that on my Windows Mobile PDA...any chance of a choice of formats (add WMV and you'll just about cover every device)? Had to convert MP4 to MOV with Quicktime Pro, and then use Premiere to encode to WMV...there must be a better way!

  • 11.
  • At 05:45 PM on 31 Jul 2006,
  • James Palmer wrote:

I concur with comments made above, that Emily Maitlis is perfect for STORYfix, which is why it's a bit sad to see Kate Silverton take over another corner of BBC News. Don't get me wrong though, I think Kate Silverton is brilliant at Breakfast and BBC News bulletins but a bit too serious for STORYfix and it's sarcasm!


Kate Silverton is doing a great job at it, I would suggest however rotating the presenters like on have I got news for you.

For example have the 1/6/10 O'Clock News presenters, BBC News 24 Presenters, Sports Team, Spencer Kelly, Paddy O'Connell, Weather Team.

You should give all the BBC News and related presenters a chance to let their hair down and have a laugh!


The reason it's in MP4 is because the BBC has classed the download as a VODCAST, the BBC thought only people with video Ipods would download it.

However I download and copy them straight to my Nokia N91

Most handsets that run on the Symbian operating system (like nokia) have realplayer which supports RM, MP4 etc.

the only option to you at the moment if you want a windows format for your pda, is to goto

Right click on the video, select properties. Copy the link ending with asx, and paste that into windows media player on your pda

  • 14.
  • At 04:32 PM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • Simon Monger wrote:

I saw my first Storyfix this morning. Hilariously funny, deadpan delivery and a fireman in a tumble drier. I particularly liked the week in numbers. It's just a bit of harmless fun - great to see on News Multiscreen.

  • 15.
  • At 05:39 PM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • Paul Wilkinson wrote:

Storyfix = sheer Brilliance. Theme tune is great

  • 16.
  • At 03:59 AM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Julian wrote:

Storyfix is fantastic, I wasn't a Kate fan until I have seen her do this, she is great, and the podcast as a whole is extrememly funny.

  • 17.
  • At 04:19 PM on 04 Oct 2006,
  • Seurat wrote:

What utter tosh!

To think there are people in the BBC getting paid to put that rubbish together.

Or is it written and produced by sixth-formers on work experience?

  • 18.
  • At 01:14 PM on 05 Oct 2006,
  • Steve Westwood wrote:

Storyfix - love it! Kate's pretty good too!!

  • 19.
  • At 05:11 PM on 21 Oct 2006,
  • Tony wrote:

Storyfix is beyond terrible. The script is utterly atrocious. Smug with it's own cleverness whilst utterly failing to be informative or funny - the result is so bewildering I'm not sure if either were the intention. I'd sooner watch pages from ceefax. There's a distinct whiff of 1st year media studies project about the whole thing. It is, however, mercifully short.

  • 20.
  • At 01:34 AM on 28 Oct 2006,
  • Jason Torbitt wrote:

STORYFix is an excellent production, it could even last a bit longer. With the 24 hour rolling news culture, there's always something going on, and STORYFix is a good sideways look at the 'other' things, people and presenters that make the news during the week.
I always have News 24 on the TV when I'm working, have watched STORYFix every week since Week 1 and will religiously watch N24 at 19.50 every Friday night!
Good work to those involved, & Declan is doing a grand job in Emily's absence.

  • 21.
  • At 02:22 AM on 28 Oct 2006,
  • Eric Ennernie wrote:

Tony above is clearly mad! How is Storyfix smug? I think it's really inclusive.

It may be bewildering, but that is surely the point. I look forward to it every week. It's very entertaining, and even if I'm not familiar with all the stories, I'm sure they are subconciously being etched onto my brain with the Storyix laser.

Tony can sit and watch Ceefax if he wishes to be Old School, and wait 2 minutes for a page to load.

I for one think Storyfix is a big fat Orange Cream Revel (and they are the best).

  • 22.
  • At 03:05 AM on 28 Oct 2006,
  • Jamie wrote:

StoryFix would be better if it actually had a wry look at news items of the previous week. I've just watched the 27/10/06 edition and it's a bit mundane.

More news content in StoryFix and not silly ego-trips for BBC presenters.

Oh, and I was wondering where Peter Sissons disappeared to. Put him back on BBC1!

  • 23.
  • At 08:00 PM on 03 Nov 2006,
  • Mary wrote:

When Storyfix tonight included the line 'if we're here next week' I thought I'd look for somewhere to give my point of view, and in the Web 2.0 world, here it is! I really like this addition to news24. It's fun and silly and is exactly what we should be doing with the news. Never mind that it's not formal and scientific and properly representative of what's been going on. That's hardly the point, after all. It raises a smile, and that's priceless. Please please please don't get rid of it. :o)

  • 24.
  • At 03:29 AM on 04 Nov 2006,
  • Dave hubbard wrote:

Storyfix is great. Five minutes of indulgence by writers/presenters, and five minutes of enjoyable TV for us. Surely it deserves a spot on BBC2? Near Have I Got New For you, or as previously mentioned News Night?

  • 25.
  • At 09:28 PM on 17 Nov 2006,
  • James wrote:

StoryFix is brilliant - I now found myself looking forward to it every Saturday. Having discovered this part of the Beeb website I understand it is only an experiment. Will it be kept on? Emily was brilliant, but is now sadly missing, though Declan ran a good 2nd. Don't need Kate - didn't look like it suited her style and having now moved to Louise one senses the experiment is ending - I hope not. Something different or unique is what should be good about the Beeb and public service broadcasting.

  • 26.
  • At 11:42 AM on 18 Nov 2006,
  • Chris Rowe wrote:

Urrrm since when has Her Majesty been demoted to Her Royal Highness? Louise.

  • 27.
  • At 07:03 PM on 18 Nov 2006,
  • Ed wrote:

Storyfix is amazing; it's like chocolate in programme form!

Emily's fabulous and deserves a pay rise.

  • 28.
  • At 10:34 AM on 10 Dec 2006,
  • Brandy Thomas wrote:

I have never complained about a programme on the BBC before but this Storyfix is AWFUL and just a waste of Declan precious time!!!


  • 29.
  • At 08:24 PM on 20 Dec 2006,
  • Mattie wrote:

Great stuff. And Louise Minchin is a very funny woman.

  • 30.
  • At 06:59 PM on 26 Jan 2007,
  • Ben Randhony wrote:

It can't relly be a waste of time for 5 minutes, can it?

I love it, I look forwards to it ever Friday. Its quirky, just what News needs!

It is quite disrespectful to the mistakes newsreader make though. But they're funny!

Amazing. Just amazing.

  • 32.
  • At 12:43 PM on 06 Apr 2007,
  • Richard Pritchard wrote:

I enjoy Storyfix. A lot. Especially with Emily. And James. Not sure about Declan. Or Evan. Or that woman that Philip Hayton fell out with. Allegedly. So, my week in numbers? Three. The number of times I watch Storyfix in a weekend. None. The number of times I see it in the week. Lots. The number of times the full screen function fails on the BBC Player. Innumerable. The number of times I want to thump the software writer. Hundreds. The number of Jeremy Paxman quotes I want to see. But no time tell you what this full stop is doing here. What this question mark is doing here? And why people indiscriminately use exclaimation marks when they try to sound cuddly at work!!! Bye................!

  • 33.
  • At 06:33 AM on 09 Jun 2007,
  • BvW wrote:

Storyfix is a diabolic waste of time and extremly irritating. A three year old child could do a better job of summarising the news!

  • 34.
  • At 08:20 PM on 22 Jun 2007,
  • . wrote:

Smug rubbish!

Surprised it's lasted so long - why not just have a lunch (or get a life) instead?

  • 35.
  • At 07:33 AM on 23 Jun 2007,
  • M. Marsland wrote:

I turned on the TV this morning and tuned into BBC Breakfast in order to catch up with the latest news and comment from around the world. What I got was a programme called “Storyfix” which I watched all the way through and then tried to understand what on earth I had just been viewing.

I cannot believe the BBC would waste its public funding or valuable broadcast time to publicise a montage of clips and comment which have been doctored to represent something completely meaningless and inaccurate.

I could understand the value of examining the previous week of current events and compiling and interesting review of the ups and downs, the humorous and sorrowful. However taking separate words from various filmed interviews and news programmes and creating bogus sentences, which are repeated many times over is for me pointless.

What is the strategy or aim of this programme?, who is the target audience?, how old is the target audience? Who sets the objectives each week? Is there any objective nature to this programme?

I am not a fuddy duddy who complains about anything new and innovative, but I was left feeling quite numb and not knowing or understanding what I had just viewed or the reason for it being broadcast at a time when most people wake to hear accurate reporting.

  • 36.
  • At 04:01 PM on 23 Jun 2007,
  • simon wrote:

i cannot believe the BBC has made such an awful show like this - and dares call it news. You can see the shame in Peter Sissons face when he hands over. Take this awful show off the air as soon as possible and let us never speak of it again. Please treat news with the respect and seriousness it deserves, i dont want to turn on news 24 and see something u'd expect to see on MTV or CBBC

and while you are at it, can the news readers just read the news, and not go on strictly come dancing, flit between laughy jokey scenes and serious news bulletins on BBC Breakfast and all make god awful fools of themseleves at comic relief.

God save us all.

  • 37.
  • At 01:12 PM on 24 Jun 2007,
  • Si wrote:

Interesting, but it needs a bit more zing. Who's the foxy blonde presenting the show now, though? Rowr!

  • 38.
  • At 07:44 AM on 01 Jul 2007,
  • SJ wrote:

not really bothered if other folk do not like it,or think itbad.

i saw it and i think it is excellent.

it is good to see the presenters,kinda bein themselves or just havin a laugh.

it is a bit like one of those in-house blooper tapes that only gets shown at the staff christmas party.

Drop The Dead Donkey meets the Beeb.

  • 39.
  • At 06:59 AM on 29 Jul 2007,
  • Andy wrote:

StoryFix is the biggest pile that the BBC has put out in many a year. I note that none of the above people who think its "brilliant" etc can state why. Why is it a pile ? Simple. It isn't educative (since no clip is long enough to give information about a story), it isn't humorous, it isn't original, it features flashing images (and hence people with some disorders won't be able to view it), it isn't creative (in that it just reuses clips), ...
Need to go on ?

  • 40.
  • At 11:45 AM on 24 Aug 2007,
  • Adrian wrote:

The last comment shows that Andy completely missed the point. It is not meant to be the usual news, just a light hearted way of reviewing the week's news in a somewhat diffrent (an refreshing) format tothe usual news shows.

It also provides a welcome piss-take on the rather pretentious newsreaders. Shame on the BBC for dropping it!

If people want straight down the line political reporting - watch newsnight everynight - and even then Jeremy Paxman delivers the occasional deadpan one-liner (remember the introductions to the weather a couple of months ago?). Again, shame on the BBC and I hope that the imaginations of the people behind this are not dulled by such a stupid decision.

If the BBC wanted to get a different (ie younger)demographic to watch the news and be interested in current affairs,I cannot think of a measure better designed to shoot oneself in the foot.

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