Mock The Week’s 14th series coincides with its 10-year anniversary, but aside from the mooted national holiday, anticipated street parties and rumoured fourth plinth statue in Trafalgar Square, there are no special plans to mark the occasion.
Instead, it has been decided that the most appropriate way of honouring the programme’s heritage is to stick to its winning formula of topical discussion, stand-up and performance fronted by inimitable host Dara O Briain and his ineradicable colleagues such as Hugh Dennis, Andy Parsons, Ed Byrne, Milton Jones, Zoe Lyons and Katherine Ryan. Jousting and bantering with them will be the new generation of comedy performers who so impressed last season, including Josh Widdicombe, Rob Beckett, Sara Pascoe, Romesh Ranganathan and James Acaster as well as newcomers like Matt Forde and Ellie Taylor.
In what promises to be a momentous season, with the potential election aftermath, royal baby, American presidential candidates and even an Ashes series to tackle, Mock The Week’s producers are confident that the latest series will be every bit as hilarious as those that have gone before in the previous 10 years.
Mock The Week was created by Dan Patterson and Mark Leveson, the creative force behind the iconic improv-based show Whose Line Is It Anyway? a new series of which has recently premiered on the CW Network in the US. Pinki Chambers is the Executive Editor for the BBC. It is produced for the BBC by independent production company Angst Productions. Series 14 runs for six weeks in June and July and returns for a further six weekly episodes in September and October.
10x10 Mock The Week facts
There have been 136 episodes (so far), comprising 114 regular recordings, 14 compilations, seven Christmas specials and one New Year 'bonus' show.
Including host Dara O Briain, a total of 80 different performers have appeared on the show.
Dara and Hugh are the only people to have appeared in every single episode.
Episode one was broadcast on Sunday 5 June 2005. The line-up was Frankie Boyle, Hugh Dennis and Linda Smith against Jeremy Hardy, Rory Bremner and John Oliver.
When the show began, Tony Blair was still Prime Minister, Sven Goran Eriksson was still England football manager, David Cameron was a little-known Shadow Education Secretary, Nick Clegg had been an MP for just a month and Barack Obama was five months into being a senator. The leader of UKIP was Roger Knapman, Andy Murray was ranked number 407 in the world at tennis. There was no such thing as Twitter, Facebook had only just started and Crazy Frog was at number one in the charts.
The stand-up round was originally called ‘Wheel of News’, but after a rival show featured a round of the same name, the decision was made to change it. For episode two, it became ‘Stand Up, Sit Down’ and has changed name every episode since.
68 different performers have faced the stand-up wheel. It has revolved 377 times with Andy Parsons stepping up to the microphone on a record 64 occasions.
Episode six of series one was cancelled as it was being recorded in central London on 7/7. A compilation was put out instead and the tradition has continued ever since. The Show That Never Happened would have seen Andy Parsons, Greg Proops and Jo Brand as guests alongside Rory, Hugh, Frankie and Dara with lots of discussion of the success of London’s Olympic bid the day before, Live 8 and Wimbledon.
The oldest performer to make a debut on the show was Clive Anderson who was 53. The youngest person to appear on the show was Jack Whitehall, who was 21.
The tallest performer to appear on the show is, unsurprisingly, the 6ft 8ins Greg Davies. The shortest guests ever to appear on the series are 4ft 11ins Sandi Toksvig, Lucy Porter and Susan Calman.
10… STARS WHO APPEARED ON MTW EARLY IN THEIR CAREERS
10... PEOPLE YOU MIGHT HAVE FORGOTTEN APPEARED ON MTW
10… MAJOR STORIES COVERED
Andy Murray Wins Wimbledon
Foot and Mouth
Michael Jackson’s Death
Saddam Hussein’s Trial
Silvio Berlusconi’s Trial
The Thames Whale
10.... HIGHEST NUMBER OF APPEARANCES (BY A NON-REGULAR)
Ed Byrne: 32
Milton Jones: 26
Stewart Francis: 12
Gary Delaney & David Mitchell: 11
Miles Jupp & Mark Watson: 9
Rob Beckett, Micky Flanagan & Gina Yashere: 8
10… PANELLISTS BORN OUTSIDE UK & IRELAND
Jarred Christmas (New Zealand)
Stewart Francis (Canada)
Adam Hills (Australia)
Shappi Khorsandi (Iran)
Greg Proops (USA)
Nik Rabinowitz (South Africa)
Katherine Ryan (Canada)
Tom Stade (Canada)
Jimmy Tingle (USA)
Sandi Toksvig (Denmark)
10… TOPICS COVERED IN SERIES ONE, 2005
Michael Jackson’s Trial
Rising Sea Levels
Saddam Hussein’s Trial
10… GAMES WE DON’T PLAY ANY MORE
Ask the Panel
Ask the Politicians
Between the Lines
Bombshell Phone Call
Inside the Mind Of...
Prime Minister’s Question Time
10… WEIRD ‘IF THIS IS THE ANSWER’ ANSWERS
Cheese, Wine and Rubbish
In a Supermarket
Middlesbrough, Rhyl and Liverpool
No, No, No
A Streaker, a Stalker and a Defrocked Priest
10... OF THE STRANGEST NAMES FOR THE STAND-UP ROUND
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Wheel of News
Ashley Cole Just Sent Me a Picture of His Mock
Don’t Put Your Nuts on the Road
Eammon Holmes is Hungry for Jokes
English Jokes for English People
Mock-tor Quinn, Medicine Woman
Round and Round and Round it Goes, Where it Lands Do Some Jokes
Set Your Phasers to Fun
Unexpected Item in the Gagging Area
10 MORE RANDOM MOCK THE WEEK FACTS
Panelists Alun Cochrane, Micky Flanagan and Ben Norris were all former studio warm-up men for the show.
Rory Bremner and Jan Ravens are (so far) the only performers to have appeared on both Mock The Week and Strictly Come Dancing
Incredibly, Frank Skinner is the only winner of ‘Rear of the Year’ to have appeared on Mock The Week. So far. (Su Pollard can’t turn us down forever...)
The most popular ‘If This is the Answer, What is the Question?’ category is Sport. It has been chosen 30 times.
Twenty-two Mock The Week performers were born in London. Glasgow is the next highest scoring city with four.
The show’s theme tune, News Of The World by The Jam was the only one of the band’s songs written by Bruce Foxton. It was first released in March 1978.
Frankie Boyle pulled out of the recording of series 7 show 11 on the day of the recording because of chest pains and was replaced by that show’s warm-up artist, Ben Norris.
Dara used to begin every show with a monologue about the week’s news but this practice ended after series four.
During the recording, each cast member is given a banana and a mug containing either water or a ‘mystery brew’; occasionally they are allowed a chocolate or energy bar.
As well as Andy Murray, other 'celebrity' fans of Mock The Week include Hull City footballer Curtis Davies, TV presenters Sarah Beeny and Wincey Willis, and Michael Gove (before he was a politician).