Meet Tom's frustrated news reporter

Tom Walker is out on the road with his satirical creation, frustrated news reporter Jonathan Pie whose videos have been seen around the world (Saturday, March 3, Brighton Dome).

Tom as Jonathan
Tom as Jonathan

“I think every comedy character has to have a flaw,” says Tom, “and I think his flaw is that he is one of those people that can’t not talk about politics. He is that type that when you are with your friends in the pub, he just can’t help himself – and starts lecturing everyone about his political views, and when he can’t not talk about politics, he just can’t not get angry.”

Pie attempts to host a night of serious discussion on current affairs whilst simultaneously attempting to smash the system from within. Join him for a night of political comedy that soon descends into chaos.

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“He has become a bit jaded by journalism and by news broadcasting and likes to point it out. I think I have always been fascinated by newsreaders, and I think that is why people relate to Pie. We all have different personas, the at-work persona, the at-home persona, the persona you adopt when you take a call from your mother at work. We all slip into different personas all the time, and I like the thought of newsreaders talking in that very, very formal style, and then what are they like afterwards? They are talking very, very formally – and then moments later they are all ‘******* hell!’ I think that is the comedy, that contrast.

“And also, when they are interviewing someone, they are being told through their earpiece ‘Ask him this!’ or ‘Ask him that!’, and you are wondering ‘Yes, but what do you really think?’ The news reporter has to be neutral, but you wonder what is really going on in their minds? And I think that’s what makes it funny.

“I hope the show is actually more sophisticated, but actually swearing is funny. But also, with satire, you hope you are looking at things from a different angle. News is always very factual. It is like if you ask a news reporter to describe drawing a cup, they will think of a rectangle with a big C on the side to describe the shape, but if you ask a satirist, they will say that it is a circle with a square on the side… because they will be looking at it from the bottom, looking at it in a different way, from a different angle, and that is what satire is all about.

“I hope it is funny, but also I want to challenge preconceived ideas, the idea that if you voted in a different way to me in the referendum, then you must be a bigot. We are so used to consuming news that we agree with that when it is something we don’t agree with, we take offence so easily. It is like if I consider myself a fairly-liberal person, then if someone votes a different way to me, then does that make them illiberal? I think we are all so quick to get offended.”