Day Today ‘Pound stolen’ sketch goes viral after sterling tanks


The markets may have reacted badly to Kwasi Kwarteng’s “fiscal event”, sending the pound tumbling to its lowest level against the dollar for decade, but you can always count on some stoic British humour in the face of the government tanking the economy.

Conservative MPs and bells don’t always go well together – remember when Jeremy Hunt nearly decapitated someone on HMS Belfast with his flying clanger? – and this old clip of Liz Truss having trouble ringing one did the rounds as a metaphor for her handling of the economy so early in her tenure.

Another clip of Truss, this time reacting to Kate McCann fainting in front of her during a TV leadership debate, was usefully recast as the prime minister’s reaction to the plight of sterling. McCann fortunately was unhurt and made a full recovery. The jury is still out on whether Truss will be able to say the same about the pound’s exchange rate.

Fresh from his recent appearance on the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg show where his deadpan “I’m actually very rightwing and I love it” response to Truss’s leadership victory interviews was pounced on by the Daily Mail, the comedian Joe Lycett was right there with his support for the new prime minister, urging her to “hold ur nerve babe u got this” as the pound plummeted.

While some people noted that it was incredibly fast work by Truss and Kwarteng to cause this much market turmoil within weeks of coming to power, others pointed out that they would have done it even faster if they had not been delayed by the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

And fair play to the production staff at the Daily Star for both the movie pun headline and already breaking out the Photoshop clown’s nose for the new chancellor when he has been in office for less than a month.

A trusty old screengrab of Chris Lilley’s character Ja’mie King saying “I am so random. I can’t believe I just did that,” popped up as ever.

As did references to the least valuable amount of money you could find in a box in Deal Or No Deal.

But easily one of the most shared clips on social media was the classic The Day Today sketch about the pound being stolen from the Bank of England. The 1994 programme so effectively skewered the rhythm of 24-hour rolling news channels that the clips continue to be relevant nearly 30 years later.

In the Chris Morris-fronted skit, it is revealed that the pound was vulnerable to theft by a gang disguised as cleaners and their white Montego getaway car because bankers had “removed it to play with at lunchtime, and forgot to put it back later”. It remains unclear what getaway car the current chancellor might have to use if the rapid sterling devaluation under his watch continues, though it is unlikely to be a skateboard.

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Marta Lopez

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