Are these two comedians the saviors of local journalism?


Hold the front page (Sky Max) is a show in which two comedians, Josh Widdicombe and Nish Kumar, gain work experience at local newspapers. Guard! Don’t run away at the mention of Nish Kumar. I know he wasn’t funny on The Mash Report, and is so bad at reading the room that he made Brexit jokes at a Lord’s Taverners Christmas lunch, leading to a particularly irate diner pelting him with a sandwich. But he’s amusing here, because he’s paired with Josh Widdicombe. For some reason, Kumar gets top billing – introducing each episode – but it’s Widdicombe’s likable, completely innocent comedy that sets the tone.

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They make a good double act, fooling each other and themselves. It’s a larky, jovial show that brought them to the offices of The Yorkshire Post this week. Their assignments included caving in the Dales, visiting the set of Emmerdale, covering the sale of a nuclear bunker and reviewing a Michelin restaurant serving what the chef called “a variation on fish and chips”. , which we call emancipation”. , and which looked like a dust ball that has just been emptied from the vacuum cleaner.

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Of course they were abysmal in covering all of the above as this is a comedy show and therefore closer in tone to an episode of The Apprentice than anything on the wall (you can insert your own joke here about Widdicombe being once really a journalist at The Guardian). The series credits a writer, Richard Porter, and the script element is often apparent, especially in the segment where the pair got jobs as extras on Emmerdale and disrupted every take. The show was more fun when the duo got to riff on real subjects, like Widdicombe making fun of the fact that Kumar can’t drive despite being an adult.

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Any editor worth their money would make the most of having two well-known comedians on assignment. But when we glimpsed the article that eventually went into print – an account of caving in Ingleborough – it turned out to be standard piece of writing that made no mention of Widdicombe and Kumar apart from the byline. Perhaps Yorkshire Post readers are on the side of the sandwich thrower.