BBC Two (ended 1982)
Not The Nine O'Clock News was a satirical show broadcast on BBC2 (UK) from 1979 to 1982. Noted for its topical sketches and skits, it made stars of Rowan Atkinson, Mel Smith, Griff Rhys-Jones and Pamela Stephenson.
The show required a large number of writers, and to this end operated an "open door" policy, accepting sketch ideas from anybody who wanted to contribute. With a large number of contributing writers, there was plenty of material to go round, and only the best ideas made it to the screen; thus the series was able to maintain a remarkably high quality of material across four series.
The series ended in 1982, partly due to the various cast members wanting to pursue their own projects instead. The format was subsequently copied in the USA where it became Not Necessarily the News.
For those wishing to see Not The Nine O'Clock News on video, two VHS compilations are available: Nice Video Shame About The Hedgehog and The Gorilla Kinda Lingers. Both are deleted but should be easy enough to find. Three albums were also released: Not The Nine O'Clock News, compiled from the soundtracks of series 1+2; Hedgehog Sandwich taken from series 3, and The Memory Kinda Lingers, taken from series 4. The latter two albums are available as a combined long-play BBC cassette.moreless