On the 19th January 1994 The Day Today made its debut on BBC 2. It was created by Armando Iannucci and featured satirical news coverage. The show parodied the format of news programs and offered a humorous take on current events, media, and journalism.
The show had fictional presenters as part of its satirical take on news programs. The main presenters in the show were:
The anchor, portrayed by Chris Morris, relies on multiple computers to receive instantaneous updates from various global sources. Frequently, he disrupts ongoing segments to interject with more crucial stories. His demeanour is characterized by a confrontational and aggressive style.
Brant, played by David Schneider, is the cartoonist from The Daily Telegraph who brings a satirical approach to the news, Brant incorporates cartoon backgrounds and takes on the role of the central character within the cartoon narrative. His artistic style involves intricate physical metaphors that necessitate labelling to ensure their comprehensibility.
Jaques-'Jaques' Liverot, portrayed by Patrick Marber, serves as the in-house commentator. He is presented as a stereotypical postmodernist philosopher, often found smoking in solitude in a dim corner of the studio.
Ted Maul, played by Chris Morris, is the on-the-go reporter, distinguished by grey hair and a moustache. Maul brings an energetically aggressive style to his reporting.
Rosy May, portrayed by Rebecca Front, takes on the role of the environmental correspondent and hosts the Enviromation segment.
With a distinctive beard, May presents stories ranging from the sky detaching from the horizon to a mobile cemetery, a ban on wave hunting, and a refrigerator powered by earthworms. Each of her segments concludes with a new-age style epigram, such as "Tread not on the forest leaves, for you tread on my face."
Peter O'Hanraha-hanrahan, played by Patrick Marber, serves as the economic correspondent but is notably inept. His reports consistently conclude with him reluctantly admitting their inherent inaccuracies to an unforgiving Morris. Notable examples include a claim about an American factory with 25,000 workers purportedly making 35,000 redundant.
Alan Partridge, portrayed by Steve Coogan, is the sports correspondent. Partridge exhibits limited knowledge of the sports he covers and frequently commits on-air blunders that expose his lack of expertise. Despite this, unlike the similarly inept Peter O'Hanraha-hanrahan, Partridge excels at improvisation, often skillfully concealing his ignorance of the subject at hand.
Valerie Sinatra, portrayed by Rebecca Front, functions as the travel correspondent stationed in The Day Today travel pod, situated atop a tower a mile above the centre of Great Britain. Her traffic reports include peculiar incidents such as a piece of pie obstructing the road and coverage of a prolonged crash occurring south of Newcastle upon Tyne for several weeks.
Collaterlie Sisters, played by Doon Mackichan, takes on the role of the business correspondent. As a satirical representation of the perplexing nature of business news for the average person, Sisters delivers nonsensical discourse about the business world, embellishing her reports with meaningless jargon.
Sylvester Stuart, portrayed by David Schneider, serves as the weatherman, with only his head visible, usually floating on a graphic background.
He describes the weather using elliptical analogies, such as "That's about as warm as going into a heated drawing-room after chopping some wood."
Barbara Wintergreen, portrayed by Rebecca Front, contributes as a correspondent for The Day Today's American sister channel CBN, delivering her reports with an exaggerated American accent.
The series features one-off correspondents with whimsical names like Hellwyn Ballard, Suki Bapswent, Iggy Pop Barker, Dônnnald Bethl'hem, Pheeona Haahlahm, Remedy Malahide, Spartacus Mills, Colin Poppshed, Beverley Smax, and Suki Bapswent.
The show presents surreal news segments, showcasing absurd scenarios. Some examples include:
Reports of explosive-packed terrorist dogs unleashed in London by the IRA, led to chaos and the British police resorting to executing any dog on sight.
Coverage of a bizarre feud between John Major and the Queen, escalating to physical fighting in Buckingham Palace. A secret reporter captures the incident, describing "loud swearing voices," "sounds of bodies falling against furniture," and the "Prime Minister leaving with bleeding legs."
Stories alleging the kidnapping of Crete by Libya and Japan manufacturing 16 identical Japans.
Ongoing coverage of a rail crisis initiated by a train trapped on tracks in Hampshire. Stuck due to a jammed semaphore signal, the stranded train descends into anarchy and paganism, with passengers reverting to a feral state.
Reports of wild horses causing disruptions in the London Underground.
A fictional war between Australia and Hong Kong that was started by Morris. The episode satirizes the exaggerated and overdramatic media coverage of conflicts like the Gulf War.
A report on two French boys breaking into the Roman Catholic Church's computer databanks to alter the Catholic catechism.
An urgent report claiming the theft of the British pound.
The show achieved critical acclaim and is celebrated for its inventive and humorous approach to media and news reporting.