• 11/03/2008 10:39:00 pm
  • By Mark Gibbings-Jones

We've just time for a quick update on this before our US Election Special knocks everything else off the front page. Last week saw a welcome return to form for Newstopia after a couple of slightly sub-par episodes (which were, in themselves, saved from the doldrums by at least a couple of brilliant sketches per episode, cementing Shaun Micallef's place alongside Peter Serafinowicz as one of the world's best impersonators, if only that particular comedic genre wasn't utterly beneath them). Here are some of the highlights that, erm, highlight just why Newstopia SHOULD, MUST and (when we finally get our way) WILL be on the television screens of the British public. Come on, Channel Four Television. If you can broadcast an hour per week of Rory Bremner being pleased with himself on your main channel, you can at least shove this onto one of your digital tentacles.


There's an extended intro featuring musings on how the US Presidential Race mirrors the plot of Trading Places. SPOILER! "In the end, the combined efforts of Obama-Murphy and McCain-Ackroyd wipe out the share value of all the stocks owned by the people who put them where they are."

Newstopia's delightfully eccentric South American correspondent Cesar Romero returns, which is great news. Not least because of the great reveal gag at the end of the piece. Which we're about to ruin. A pity Pilger Heston won't be returning, though.

A spoof documentary purporting to be about a GOP think-tank looking into sexing up the McCain campaign that involves Val Doonican, Roger Whittaker and NWA. "What about the Food Fighters?"

The global weather forecast.

And more of the Newstopia team's admirable campaign to revive the tradition of "pretend adverts and trailers sneaked into a genuine commercial break". Including a shot of the back of Kevin Keegan's shoulder in 1997!

Plus a smashing bit played out over the end credits, which doesn't even remotely work with a screenshot.

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