Ali Brownlee’s most popular slot on his breakfast show was the “headline challenge.” Essentially, you have a news story write a headline for. Ali’s favourite was one about a kettle that looked uncannily like the Reichsführer, Adolf Hitler. The winning headline?
HITLER HAS ONLY GOT ONE BOIL
(Sing it to the tune of the Colonel Bogey March.)
To get you into the swing of things, a few months later was a story about Paul McCartney, writing songs while sitting on the toilet. The winning headline?
LOO SEATS IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS
In true British tradition, it’s not the winning, it’s the taking part. You still “win” if you get your headline gets read out, or bonus points if the presenters reprimand you on-air for headlines that are “very funny, but TOTALLY unbroadcastable.” I had that happen once with a headline I once submitted. The story was about a musical vicar, who wrote rock songs. My headline was not read out for some strange reason:
I did, however, win once, with a cute headline. Double points as it was a song title, too. The story: two workers at a fairy-tale theme park (she played the part of a mermaid) get married.
YOU WERE MERMAID FOR ME
Your task for this weekend: next time you see a news story in the paper or on the web, think of a better headline.
Have a headlining day, won’t you!