Newsbiscuit Satire Essay

John O'Farrell is the bestselling author of three novels: The Best A Man Can Get, This is Your Life and most recently May Contain Nuts, a satire on the competitive madness of modern parenthood, which he has just passed on to his ten-year-old daughter because she really ought to be reading grown-up novels by now. He has published two previous collections of columns, GlobalVillage Idiot and I Blame the Scapegoats, as well as the political memoir Things Can Only Get Better. He is the editor of Britain's most popular satirical website NewsBiscuit and regularly appears on TV and radio on programmes such as Have I Got News For You and Grumpy Old Men. His work has been translated into over twenty languages, although how the gags work in Norwegian is anyone's guess.

His new book, An Utterly Impartial History of Britain(or 2000 Years of Upper Class Idiots In Charge), is now available from Doubleday.

He lives in London with his wife and two children.

Available inEnglish
OwnerJohn O’Farrell
Alexa rank554,473 Global 12/2016

NewsBiscuit is a Britishsatirical news website. It was founded in September 2006 to create a new outlet for British humour on the internet by a group consisting mainly of comedy writers including John O'Farrell.


Each day the site publishes one main 'front page' article and two shorter 'News in Brief' articles with a headline ticker. All articles are available free-to-view in its archives. The site also develops new writing using a submissions board where readers can rate each other's material and suggest rewrites or edits. These user submissions are rated by other subscribers and the most popular are reworked for the article boards. Several teams of contributors, such as Team Biscuit, The Hit Squad as well as Smudge and Des, have developed since the site's launch writing co-operatively online to produce articles for the site. Rewriting and alternative punch lines are also encouraged on the site's submissions board.[1]

The articles and features range from satirical takes on current affairs,[2] to various silly and bizarre ideas.[3][4] On its LaughLines blog, the New York Times declared that NewsBiscuit was the British version of the Onion.[5]

There are 14 main boards:

  • Arts/Entertainment
  • Business
  • Celebrity
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Features
  • Health
  • Isle of Wight News
  • Lifestyle
  • Politics
  • Science/Technology
  • Sport
  • UK News
  • World News

Introduced in October 2008, the Writer of the Month (WOM) award recognises the most successful and prolific writer each month, mainly based on the number of submissions that have been used as the ‘front page’ story but also taking into account News in Brief and also ticker subs used. WOM winners sometimes edit the News In Brief section of the site.

A number of writers who cut their teeth on NewsBiscuit have gone on to have novels published.


In June 2008, the BBC recorded a "NewsBiscuit" pilot for transmission on BBC Radio 4 later in the year. It starred John O'Farrell as the host of fictional radio station NewsBiscuit Dot.Com, and Anna Crilly as its co-presenter. It was, according to O'Farrell, an opportunity for new writers and actors to show their talent.

Also in 2008 a book featuring many of the stories featured on the website was produced, called Isle of Wight to Get Ceefax: And Other Groundbreaking Stories from Newsbiscuit.

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