Join the press gang at Buerk! The Newsical

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I’m a sucker for journalism fiction. Wait! Don’t go yet, this isn’t yet another post about the Johann Hari plagiarism row. Instead it’s about those dramatised tales of journalism. If you’re new to the genre, I’d recommend starting with Citizen Kane and Scoop, before moving on The Paper, Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell, Psmith Journalist and Towards The End Of The Morning.

Everyone thrills at seeing their trade represented on screen, in a theatre or in a book, I suspect, and I find representations of life in a newsroom addictive even where it bears little resemblance to my experiences. I’ve yet to hear anyone shout ‘stop the presses!’ for instance, nor have I seen a newspaper spinning in the way so beloved of Hollywood effects editors.

Given my tastes, I was intrigued to hear of a new comedy musical on TV journalist Michael Buerk, about to be performed in Leeds. I have no idea about the quality of Buerk! The Newsical, but from the title and the blurb on their website it sounds like a winner:

Buerk! The Newsical is a new comedy musical from the minds of Tom Bailey and Greg Jameson. The show whisks us back to the 1980s, a time of hope and innocence when beer was cheap, red braces were in and ska was all the rage. Follow our hero Buerk as he starts his career at BBC News, falls in love with Moira Stuart and becomes the nation’s most beloved newsreader. But it isn’t all jollity and endless refills of Martini Rosso at News Towers. Buerk’s new friend Ian McCaskill appears to be a feckless weather boob, but he has a secret life. What evil plan will he conjure up to get Buerk out of the picture so that he can swoop on Moira?

Of course it would be preferable if it was set in a newspaper newsroom rather than a TV studio. How about a sequel – Robert Fisk The Opera?

Buerk! The Newsical is at the Seven Arts in Leeds on Friday, July 8 and Saturday, July 9. 8pm. £8. Stick it in your news diary. More information from


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