A new invention could save television production companies hundreds of thousands of pounds by replacing live studio audiences with a machine that goes Woo! Woo! on cue.
The new automated Whoop machine - from the same company that supplies canned laughter to the Rory Bremner Show - gives controlled whooping, at the touch of a button, empowering TV post production editors and flattering game and chat show hosts. The product addresses the age old problem of reserved British audiences, who often have to be warmed up by a failed club comic and prompted to shout Woo Woo, by researchers holding up cue cards that read "Woo! Woo!!"
The new automated Woo machine, solves that issue. It delivers Woo on time, at the right volume and in the right places, according to Dave Absalom, Woo Woo evangelist at Zeitgeist Solutions, an automated atmosphere alignment solutions company.
"In the US, where all our inspiration comes from, audiences shout Woo Woo at the mere name of their home state. You only have to say the word Texas and half the audience goes Woo Woo and even Ear Ha," said Absalom. Sadly, he reports, Britain is ten years behind in terms of crowd induced mass hysteria. "If you ask if there's anyone in the audience from Surrey, half the audience goes yerr, and the other half go tut. It's just not the same."
The automated Woo Woo machine could well be extended into other areas of British broadcasting. Whenever Alistair Campbell appears on Newsnight, to be interviewed by the scrupulously neutral editorial team, Campbell's statements could be endorsed by an automated chorus of Woo Woo! In version 2.0 of the product, it's rumoured the company is also introducing an Ear Ha! function and, controversially, an Eeee Yip and possibly a Alabama-inspired Yippy I Oh.
Not everyone is happy with this state of affairs. Some British traditionalists say we should stick to the normal currency of emotional transactions, the groan, the tut and the nerr. "Getting into the Woo Woo and the Ear Ha could ruin our relationship with Europe and will ultimately cost jobs," said one critic.