bbc news room

Speculation is rife that the BBC may create a new rolling conjecture channel that gathers together experts in every subject, places them all in one room and forces them to argue endlessly about what will happen next.

The new channel is likely to be based in London, or perhaps Salford, or Swansea, or maybe somewhere else entirely, with an estimated cost of tens of millions, or more, or possibly less.

Experts remain divided on the value of a channel dedicated entirely to idle speculation. ‘There is already far too much empty and useless conjecture based on nothing more than personal opinion,’ said one. ‘No there isn’t,’ said another.

‘In an age of 24-hour breaking news the public demand a constant stream of wild and pointless speculation,’ said BBC Director General Tony Hall. ‘If we don’t do it then people might start speculating for themselves, and who knows where that might end. Violent and bloody insurrection? Perhaps. We have a team of academics already discussing that very possibility.’

If the new channel goes ahead, industry insiders predict other news outlets will follow suit. Sky are already working on a vast pundit multiscreen, The Tower of Babble, that will provide a constant backdrop of experts in bow-ties spouting muddled and incoherent opinions while Kay Burley spins round on a rotating plinth and nods knowingly.

Meanwhile, Channel 4 News have hired a London cabbie to provide a running commentary of ill-informed prejudice to all their stories. If the cabbie isn’t available they also have Nigel Farage on stand-by.

Critics point to academic research that shows the ability of experts to accurately predict the future is little better than a blindfold chimpanzee on roller skates throwing darts at a board – which is, coincidentally, the current method of news gathering at Channel 5.

‘I don’t like to make predictions,’ said Dr Robin Urquart, Professor of Speculation Studies, ‘but if we do get a channel of self-proclaimed experts making endless tired and clichéd predictions about the future, then, at the end of the day, it could be a real game changer.’




“It was horrendous,” said fellow presenter Adam Boulton, “Kay was just standing there when I heard the noise of breaking news. By the time I turned round, the entire wall had collapsed and she had been crushed by the full weight of events.”

Burley, now trapped under the rubble of the giant interactive video screen, continues to give regular live updates. “I am reporting to you quite literally from inside the news,” said Burley, “around me all I can see are the shattered remains of events, stories that have been tragically cut off in their prime, news items that will never now see the light of day. But one story remains. A story of hope. A story of triumph over disaster. And that story is me.”

A search and rescue operation is already underway, led by Sky Weatherman, and all action hero, Francis Wilson. “If I have to pull the rubble apart with my bare hands then I will do it,” said Wilson, ripping off his shirt and adjusting his hair, “I will do whatever it takes to save Kay Burley.”

There is increasing concern that Burley, who is caught within a multi-media air pocket, will soon run out of the oxygen of publicity. “We will report on her plight for as long as we can,” said Dermot Murnaghan, “but, inevitably, there will be a point when we get bored of her and move on to another more important story. We can only hope and pray that during this critical period all sports stars stop having affairs.”

It is unclear what caused the News Wall to collapse although many had warned that it was structurally unsound. “A lot of the wall was held together by much weaker items that were not made of actual news,” said media expert, Raymond Snoddy, “Within the rubble we have already found the remnants of celebrity gossip, tittle tattle and idle speculation. These features will have severely undermined the integrity of the wall and made it vulnerable to collapse.”

Hopes were beginning to fade for Burley last night, who is being kept alive by a 24 hour news feed. “We don’t know how long she can survive in there,” said a tearful Eamonn Holmes, “but we really need to get her out soon because tomorrow she’s got a very big interview with Peter Andre.”