The show's name derived from its broadcast schedule -- it was transmitted on BBC Two at the same time as the main Nine O'Clock News went out on BBC One, leading to the opportunity for some amusing continuity announcements. However, this soon worked against the schedulers, who found that the audience they were hoping to attract were often drawn to both the Nine O'Clock News and Not the Nine O'Clock News! NTNON was then swiftly moved to 9.30, to rectify this.
Memorable sketches include a darts parody featuring the "sportsmen" being scored on units of alcohol instead of the darts, a hi-fi shop with disdainful staff, the 'General Synod's Life of Jesus Christ' (a parody of the controversy surrouding the film Monty Python's Life of Brian), Gerald the Intelligent Gorilla ("Gerald was wild when he was captured" "Wild? I was absolutely livid!") and 'Come Home to a Real Fire (Buy a Cottage in Wales)' (a reference to a spate of arson attacks by Welsh people against English people's second homes, and a parody of the contemporary coal marketing campaign). The first episode was supposed to have been one of the first cross-over created episodes in television history. Originally scheduled to air after Fawlty Towers, John Cleese was to have introduced the first episode! Sadly, a (General Election?) was scheduled instead, and when Not the Nine O'Clock News was rescheduled, Fawlty Towers had finished, and the episode has yet to see the light of day...
The show usually ended with a parody of a chart hit (courtesy of musical director and satirist Philip Pope, who also created spoof band The Hee Bee Gee Bees, which featured none other than Angus Deayton, host of Have I Got News For You (1990-2002)). Titles included 'I Like Truckin', 'Nice Video (Shame About the Song)' and '(The Memory) Kinda Lingers'.
Only two (highly edited) videos have been released so far of this High Point of British Comedy:
However, In 2003, the BBC finally released the first season, unedited, on DVD
There were only three records released:
The Books released to tie in with the series were: