Does the UK need an equivalent to Jon Stewart ? Does it already have one?

I have been reading lots lately about the way that the spoof news programme “The Daily Show” in the US has dealt with the economic meltdown, socking it not just to the banks but also some of the financial commentators, who, they allege, were complicit. I’ve also seen unexpurgated video of Jon Stewart, the show’s front man, “doing a Paxman” as we say here, on TV financial “tipster” Jim Cramer. Meaning he borrowed some of Jeremy Paxman’s relentlessness, albeit with more humour. Just go to Google and search for “Daily Show Jim Cramer”.

As a result Stewart got lots of favourable comment in the British press, plus the question, “why don’t we have a British equivalent?” The coverage of the story in The Observer (London) harked back to the BBC’s “Not The Nine O’clock News” and “The Day Today”, saying these were the only examples we had of satirical news coverage; both brilliant but both many years ago. (1980s and 1990s respectively). The charge was repeated in an editorial.

I thought this was unfair, because we’ve had “Bremner, Bird & Fortune” – extremely sharp satire, whether or not you agree with its political standpoint. The fourteenth series screened in November 2008.

The Observer‘s leading article concluded, “There is no British equivalent; that’s a shame”. I don’t agree; there is a British equivalent and I for one am keen to see it back on our screens.