GB News Minus One is set to become the world’s first “minus one” channel. In recent years, we have become used to “plus one” stations such as ITV3+1 and Dave Ja Vu which allow us to see programmes that were broadcast an hour previously, but the dream of pre-emptive broadcasting is one that has eluded the technical know-how of the television industry.
The GB News boffins have come up with a host of innovative technological solutions that will place the otherwise tawdry and inconsequential tabloid TV channel at the forefront of global news-gathering.
The station’s intern Director of IT, Nigel Spotsworth talked us through the demands of pre-empting the live schedule.
The Fast Asleep Club
Andrew’s morning rants didn’t really pose much of an issue as he plans to spout the same tired crap on a daily basis. We simply recycle the last hour’s material from the previous day’s show; change the time and date stamps on screen, and we can be pretty damned sure that nobody will notice. If anyone writes in to say that he’s getting a bit repetitive, we can just ask them what they were expecting from Andrew Neil and make them feel a little bit stupid for getting in touch.
It’s so seamless that the only way to know whether you’re watching GB News Live or GB News Minus One will be to look at the little logo in the corner.
Hartley-Brewer’s slot was a lot more challenging. Not because she ever changes the bloody record – she doesn’t – but we have the Z-list celebrity guests to factor in. We’re never going to be precisely sure which ones are going to actually turn up to make prats of themselves so we’ve had to get a bit creative with the library tapes.
We’ve got an army of people cutting up snippets from assorted daytime TV shows containing folks who were either in a girl band, a boy band or had a bit part in Emmerdale. From those, we’ve created a whole bunch of deep-fakes of ever-so-slightly recognisable people saying thing like “Yes, Julia, Brexit is awesome!” and “My God! You’re so right, Julia! We absolutely ought to be licking rats. It’s the British thing to do!” We mix a few of those in with Julia crapping on and on about Boris Johnson being the bloody messiah and nobody will know that they’re not watching the great woman live from the studio.
Morning Press Release Slots (erm, “News”)
We’ve only got it up to 88% accuracy so far but we’re confident that a few tweaks will get us the rest of the way. We’re also relying on the fact that most viewers will already be in a deep coma having spent two whole hours listening to that tedious Hartley-Brewer creature.
Darren Grimes‘s “zit-cream and skateboards for the Hitler Youth” spot is so painfully repetitive that we bypassed the technology altogether. We’ve just hired an impressionist with a glove puppet to remake the show. We had to hire another voice artist to pretend to be Darren’s mum and to occasionally shout at him to get out of the broom closet and tidy his bedroom, just for a bit of added realism. We actually think that the GB News Minus One version is a lot more coherent than the one that will go out on the live channel an hour later.
If I ever have to hear that little tosser saying “Pricky Poo!” ever again, I swear I’ll scream.
Everybody Hates Meghan
Piers Morgan’s slot is the easiest of them all. There’s no need to search for clips where he blubs about the way that Meghan snubbed him and ruined his life. We simply just show any broadcast from the last three months completely intact.
People say that Piers isn’t good value for money but he’s saved us a bloody fortune here.
Inaya Folarin Ima
The token black woman is only on for one minute. We’ll replace her with an extra advert for life insurance for the over fifties. I’m sure she won’t mind.
Bingo and Tits with Dan Wootton
Would you honestly notice if you were reading yesterday’s copy of The Sun rather than today’s? Neither would we.
The only thing that’s going to change is that the football results are a day out. We can pretty well predict which footballing cliches will be spouted from a simple spreadsheet that we knocked together so we can get to work on Dan’s show as soon as the final whistle goes in the previous night’s 8 o’clock kick-off.
The Evening Snooze
Andrew’s evening news slot caused us endless headaches. What if something other than a press release were to occur during the day? Unlikely, we know, but there are precedents. If there were a big plane crash or something, we’d look a bit lame if appeared on the BBC before it appeared on GB News Minus One!
I lost many night’s sleep over this but then it occurred to me that anyone watching Andrew’s evening broadcast would either be asleep or dead. There was nothing to worry about at all. We’ll just roll with the previous day’s edition until someone notices. I’m pretty sure that I’ll be retired long before that happens.
They pretty much toss a coin to decide whether it’s a new ice age or the heat-wave to end all heat-waves. Believe me, there isn’t a meteorologist anywhere near the building with this lot. The presenters wouldn’t know an isotherm from a pachyderm, either.
So we’ve basically decided to take a similarly rigorous approach. We’ll just take a flyer and show the last forecast with the presenter who’s due on an hour later.
The documentary slot’s easy, we just roll the VT an hour early. Usually, it’s that failed actor waffling on about how bloody marvellous Hitler was, but the same principle will apply even if they ever get round to changing it. The same thing goes for the charity appeals for Dido Harding, they were all shot in some tax haven months ago. Early evenings really haven’t been much of a challenge.
The Booze at 9
Another “news” slot. This one seemed pretty insurmountable at first but we came up with a cunning plan.
First the tricky bit: we have to drag Nadine out of the bar an hour early. That, as I’m sure you’ll appreciate, is somewhat like trying to pull a rabid tigress away from her dinner. But with a cleverly doctored clock behind the bar, we’ve managed to find a way to convince Nads that’s it an hour later than it actually is.
We wake her shortly before 8 (real time), carry her to the studio and get her to read what she thinks is the 9 o’clock news. This gets shown live on GB News Minus One. When she’s finished, we tell her that there was a technical issue and we’ll have to shoot it again. She’ll scream the place down for a few minutes (at which point we show some ads) and then as if by magic, she’ll be reading the news again on GB News Live.
There’s way too much gin gone under that particular bridge for her ever to be able to realise that it’s happening every single day.
Crash Scene Investigation
We had no trouble getting Colin Brazier to agree to film his show twice. He was a bit reluctant at first but as soon as we pointed out that he’d get twice as many opportunities to assault his production team, he instantly warmed to the idea.
The rest of the night’s programming is all pre-recorded so we can simply press play and head for home in the knowledge that the day is done on GB News Minus One. And unlike our rivals at the BBC, we haven’t even had to show Click fifty-five to fill the schedule.
You can see the full GB News Live schedule by clicking the picture below. To translate to GB News Minus One, simply subtract an hour from all of the listed times.
Nigel Spotsworth is currently working at GB News Minus One and will be available for hire once Andrew Neil has read this interview.