Charlie Brooker

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Charlton "Charlie" Brooker (born 3 March 1971) is a satirist, TV critic, TV presenter and columnist for the UK's Guardian newspaper.



  • Hello, I'm Charlie Brooker and you're watching Screenwipe, a programme all about television.
    • Introductory message on every episode of Screenwipe, usually said in an odd way (for example, with Brooker slapping himself as he says it).
  • Well, babies are notoriously foul-mouthed. [shot of Charlie pointing at a doll] This one just called Derek a prick!
    • Screenwipe S2E2
    • On Derek Ogilvy, the "Baby Mind Reader", apparently reading a baby's mind and finding it is swearing
  • Oh good, this is hardly ever on.
    • Screenwipe S2E1
    • While watching a Frosties advert, famous for being shown almost constantly
  • While aspirational adverts serve a purpose, i.e. selling you stuff, aspirational programming doesn't. It just feeds the void, the sense of lack, the gulf between them and you. It stokes it up and up and up like a low self-esteem engine until finally where can you turn for a solution...[pointing to a homeless alcoholic (really an actor)] where d'ya think?...The solution being change yourself. Yeah! Toss your wardrobe out, wear the same uniform as the rest of us! Or look how smouldering and happy Nigella is, maybe cookery'll save you. Or saw your face off and get it remade properly! Yeah, maybe that'll help, maybe then you'll fit in! Surely it's a rum state of affairs when TV actively encourages you to hack yourself apart in the name of self-worth! I mean, hacking up a stranger, that I can understand, but this is just sick!"
  • Now, let's get something straight, ok, I love Doctor Who. It somehow bypasses the cynical, nasty, gnarled bit of my brain completely, and plugs straight into my gurgling overgrown child. I love the fact that it's a big populist drama driven by ideas. Plus, it scares kids shitless, and I hate kids, so the longer they spend cowering in terror, the better.
    • On the revived series of Doctor Who
  • Balls to aspiration, it's a tossers mirage.
    • Screenwipe S2E1
    • Discussing "aspirational" programming and its ill effects
  • "Ann Widdecombe versus prostitution" sounds like the world's ultimate Hobson's choice.
    • Screenwipe S3E2
    • Discussing Ann Widdecombe Versus Prostitution.
  • As an embittered cynic, I should be programmed to vomit all over the screen at the mere sight of this, but instead, I find it strangely moving. You see, as I stare into their happy smiling faces filled with naive joie de vivre, I know they're just blissfully unaware of the crushing despair that awaits them as they venture into adulthood. The myriad disappointments, the yawning chasms of pain, the glow gnawing descent into physical decay, the sheer unrelenting horror of it all.
    • Screenwipe S3E4
    • Discussing the High School Musical series

  • Fortunately for whining snotface, the party goes with a bang: she enters looking every inch the cosseted flesh-waste she is, and her and her irritating scumbag friends party on into the night, dancing, shrieking, acting like pillocks, and generally making you feel like getting down on your knees and praying for a nuclear holocaust.
  • The fact is that all men in advertising these days are swaggering blokey cocks.
  • "I don't know? Bobby Sands."
    • On the question "who said you can't lose weight and have fun?"
  • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which is a pity because this week the National Association of Beholders wrote to tell me that I've got a face like a rucksack full of dented bells.
    • Screenwipe S4E1

Guardian columns

  • I hate Macs. I have always hated Macs. I hate people who use Macs. I even hate people who don't use Macs but sometimes wish they did. Macs are glorified Fisher-Price activity centres for adults; computers for scaredy cats too nervous to learn how proper computers work; computers for people who earnestly believe in feng shui.
  • If you truly believe you need to pick a mobile phone that "says something" about your personality, don't bother. You don't have a personality. A mental illness, maybe - but not a personality.
  • When it comes to psychics, my stance is hardcore: they must die alone in windowless cells.
    • The Guardian, 4 December 2006, When it comes to psychics, my stance is hardcore: they must die alone in windowless cells [2]
  • It's a rum state of affairs when you feel like punching a jar of mayonnaise in the face.
  • Don't accuse anyone with the temerity to question your sad supernatural fantasies of having a 'closed mind' or being 'blind to possibilities'. A closed mind asks no questions, unthinkingly accepting that which it wants to believe. The blindness is all yours."[3]
    • The Guardian, 4 December 2006, When it comes to psychics, my stance is hardcore: they must die alone in windowless cells [4]
  • You can't press a button to make Phil Mitchell jump over a turtle and land on a cloud (unless you've recently ingested a load of military-grade hallucinogens, in which case you can also make him climb inside his own face and start whistling colours).
  • If you're hell-bent on making your bank look and sound like a simpleton, a desk labelled Travel Money is still a bit too formal. Why not call it Oooh! Look at the Funny Foreign Banknotes instead? And accompany it with a doodle of a French onion-seller riding a bike, with a little black beret on his head and a baguette up his arse and a speech bubble saying, "Zut Alors! Here is where you gettez les Francs!"
    • The Guardian, 6 November 2006, The banks are coming over all chummy. It's nauseating [6]
    • On Barclays' rebranding in an attempt to make themselves appear less stuffy
  • If love were a product, the queue at the faulty goods desk would stretch right round the universe and back. It doesn't work properly. The seams come apart and it's full of powdered glass.
    • The Guardian, 25 August 2006, Supposing... It's time to smother romance in its sleep [7]
  • On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?

Screen Burn

  • 2007 is going to be the best year ever made. All wars will end. We'll cure cancer and Aids - twice. In February it'll rain banknotes for a week. In July, rabbits will learn to talk. Better still, they'll tell jokes - hilarious jokes, jokes you don't need to be a rabbit to appreciate, jokes offering a fresh, rabbity perspective on human foibles, making us unite as one, laugh at ourselves and frig each other off for the sheer joyous hell of it. In December, we'll make contact with a benevolent race of aliens who shit chocolate and piss lemonade.
  • Right now, the theme is "Sex In The 80s", which must've been an exceptionally hard sell round Channel 4 towers. Mullets! Tits! Duran Duran! More tits! Bigger mullets! Ha ha ha! All you need is a few seconds of voiceover babble about "changing attitudes" and "social upheaval" laid over the top and hey presto: you've justified everything. It's not just a load of tit shots - it's a sociological investigation. With tit shots.
  • I won't get over that in a hurry: my least favourite atrophied Hazel McWitch lookalike in the world, singing "I just want to make love to you", right there on primetime telly. She has to be the only person on Earth who can take a lyric like that and make it seem like a blood-curdling threat without changing any of the words.
  • Maybe you've put your faith in spiritual claptrap because our random, narrative-free universe terrifies you. But that's no solution. If you want comforting, suck your thumb. Buy a pillow. Don't make up a load of floaty blah about energy or destiny. This is the real world, stupid. We should be solving problems, not sticking our fingers in our ears and singing about fairies.
  • You could grind a dog's head and a shoe together into a paste and spoon-feed it to me, and I'd probably think it was chicken liver pate, provided I kept my eyes closed, and provided you plucked all the dog hair out beforehand, and provided you'd managed to find a pestle and mortar big enough to mash it all up in, and provided - look, it wouldn't be worth it. I'm just saying I can't taste anything. There's no need to get carried away. What's the matter with you? You're an idiot.

Big Brother

  • When we look at Big Brother, do we grasp what it means to be alive in the early part of the 21st century? No. It's a gaudy circus act in which apes get goaded with sticks while the public throw rocks at them. As the world floats ever closer to a third world war, TV shows like Big Brother are essentially little more than brightly-coloured, lightbulb-studded arrows, pointing away from the problem.
  • Anyway, Big Brother 7: that was that. Big Brother 8 is scheduled to take place in the glowing centre of an irradiated war-torn wasteland formerly known as Earth. See you there.
  • The BB house works as a kind of twat amplifier, you see. Once harnessed within, someone who in normal life would merely strike me as a bit of a git quickly swells in negative stature, eventually coming to symbolise everything I hate about our cruel and godless universe.
  • In many ways, Big Brother is the present day equivalent of a 1980s Club 18-30 Holiday - flirting, sunbathing, silly little organised games, and lots of people you'd like to remove from the genepool with a cricket bat.


  • The upper classes really shouldn't open their mouths on television. Whatever it is they're saying, all your brain actually hears is "Tra la la, I live in a bubble, tra la la, murder a fox, tra la la, Conde Nast Traveller, tra la la, Kensington High Street, tra la la." They should know their place and keep quiet.

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