You’ve probably not heard of Newsjack. It’s squirrelled away on Radio 4 Extra (yes, that’s a thing) and is a topical comedy news show. But there’s one difference – it has an open door policy for writers. That means anyone can submit sketches or quick jokes. Anyone. I’d vaguely heard about it because I follow a few comedy writers on Twitter and some people I vaguely know, know the people who work on it. But in the wake of Chortle managing to only nominate two women for their annual awards, @funnywomen retweeted something Newsjack said.
Only around a tenth of submissions for the first episode came from women? Well, there’s only one way to actively make a difference to that. So I submitted four jokes.
And one got aired.
If you really, really want to hear it, it’s on iPlayer til something like next Sunday, comes within the first couple of minutes and is the one about the horse*. It earned me £18.
This post isn’t about me bigging up how brilliant I am – though, clearly, I am sodding amazing and will be writing the autocue bits on HIGNFY by Christmas – it’s about funny women. Because there are tons of them/us. I can kind of understand why there are fewer female standups but women comedy writers? That’s sitting in a room – or, in my case, hanging up the washing when I started giggling (laughing at your own jokes=not cool) – writing some stuff down and emailing it off. Half my timeline on Twitter is people making jokes about stuff in the news. Many of them are women. I suspect fewer women have the ego to think ‘hmm, I wonder if these gags could make me £18? I’ll just have an investigate and see if there’s anywhere I could send it’, or pay attention when they see something like Newsjack mentioned. I certainly didn’t pay attention until my feminist hackles were raised. Me? Write for a comedy show? That’s ludicrous. But apparently not.
And jeez, if I can do it…
* “Somewhere an annoyed [police] officer is shouting ‘no, the journalist was offering YOU a pony’.”