Try out as a writer for “Have I Got News For You” with Hat Trick Productions

We’ve joined forces with Hat Trick Productions to help them find fresh new talent for their writing pool on the legendary ‘Have I Got News For You’.

Maybe you’re a stand up, sitcom writer or you’ve written comedy or comedy gags for radio, podcasts, television or online … Have a look for more details below on what they’re looking for and how to apply.

Call out for writers with funny bones…

Hat Trick are looking for new writers to try out for Have I Got News For You. We’re looking for people who are great at coming up with gags and one liners, and who are familiar with the style of the show. Writing for HIGNFY is a unique experience, but it would be great if you had some previous experience as a comedy writer, whether that’s as a stand up, a sitcom writer or perhaps writing comedy or comedy gags for radio, podcasts, TV or online.

Hat Trick will meet with a shortlist of 10 writers for a workshop day in London, with up to 4-5 writers then going forward to ‘try out’ as gag writers on the next series of HIGNFY, which will be filming during April and May 2020. Each writer will attend one or two days during the run, to join a small writing team and work on the show. Writers who get to this stage will be paid a standard day rate fee.

Who are Hat Trick?

Hat Trick is one of the largest independent production companies in the media production industry.  Their hits are many and varied and include Father Ted, Whose Line Is it Anyway, Outnumbered, Episodes, Room 101, Dinner Date, Derry Girls and Have I Got News For You.

Recognising the diversity of audience and the changing landscape of platforms and content providers, they want Hat Trick employees to reflect those audiences and create an environment that truly champions new voices.

What’s the process?

  1. Apply through the TCN website

Applications will be open from 03 February 2020 to 11.59pm on 15 February 2020.

We’d like you to fill out a short application form, including a short paragraph on why you’d like to write for HIGNFY and upload your CV.

We’ll also be asking you to submit some gags for the “In the news this week…” opening VT section, and for the “And I leave you with news…” still photos at the end of the show. You will probably already be familiar with these sections but here is a link to the latest compilation show with some good examples: HIGNFY Compilation

On this compilation, the “In the news this week” section can be viewed from 0:21 to 1:10, and the “And I leave you with news…” section can be viewed from 27:13 to the end.

Go to Stills and VTs to see a selection of pictures and short videos – this is typical of the kind of material you would have to work with on the show. We’d like you to submit 5 gags based on these – you can choose which you use – and add them to your application.

  1. Training Day at Hat Trick

Up to 10 shortlisted candidates will be chosen by Hat Trick (in collaboration with the TCN) to attend a training day on Wed 26 February 2020 at the Hat Trick offices in Camden.

The aim of this day is to give you and Hat Trick a chance to get to know each other as well as familiarise you with the HIGNFY writing process.

  1. Try Outs

Following the training day, up to 4-5 writers will be invited to attend Try Out writing days during April and May when the series is on air, for which they will be paid a day rate.

  1. Next Steps

Hat Trick are hoping to find some writers who can join the writing team for subsequent series, so those who do well during the ‘try outs’ may well be invited back in the future.

Who can apply?

Anyone can apply – although it would help if you have some comedy writing experience, perhaps as a stand up, a sitcom writer or perhaps writing comedy or comedy gags for radio, podcasts, TV or online.