It’s been eight years since The Day Today transferred from its original home on Radio 4 to BBC2, positioning the show’s arch mischief makers Chris Morris, Steve Coogan and Armando lannucci at the vanguard of a new wave of comedians. A caustic satire on current affairs programming and contemporary media values, the transfer to TV enabled them to take the show to another level, employing the team behind the ITN News idents to create a barrage of bewildering graphics that served to ratchet up the neo-Dadaist madness present in the scripts.
The Day Today also introduced to a wider audience Alan Partridge (at this stage merely an inept sports commentator) and Morris’supercilious, Paxmanesque anchor persona, which he later refined for Brass Eye. But beyond that, the scale of their media lampoonery is breathtaking, taking in everything from music TV stations to real-life emergency shows, the satire raining like arrows with relentless acuity, acid-tipped with surrealism. The influence of its key players can be felt in shows like Big Train, Spaced, Human Remains, Jam, Marion And Geoff and Nighty Night?but, significantly, real news reporting has become more, not less like The Day Today. One of the most important TV shows of the last decade?as chilling as it is funny.