Introducing the Enquirer, Britain’s fourth most-read Jewish paper

An upcoming sitcom about a Jewish publication centres on a hapless hack who is ‘not the most successful journalist in the world’ (not inspired by the JC, we'd like to stress)


The Jewish Enquirer, says its owner-proprietor Gary Sinyor, is “the fourth most-read Jewish newspaper in Britain” — that’s after the JC, the Jewish News and Manchester’s Jewish Telegraph

In reality, thankfully, the newspaper is entirely a product of the imagination of Mr Sinyor, an award-winning film director whose breakthrough feature was 1993’s Leon the Pig Farmer

The Jewish Enquirer is the name of Mr Sinyor’s upcoming six-part sitcom, an exploration of the trials of the fictional Jewish journalist, Paul Green, played by Tim Downie.

The first two episodes are set to be premiered as part of the UK Jewish Film Festival on November 20 at London’s JW3, and thereafter will be available either on Netflix or Amazon.

Mr Sinyor, who has written, produced and directed all six episodes, says his “hero” Paul Green is “not the most successful journalist in the world”. Each week he is given some appalling assignment by his editor (voiced by Mr Sinyor), and his attempt to deliver sparkling copy, or scoop the opposition, is usually defeated by his encounters with the realities of north-west London Jewish life.

Perhaps Paul’s biggest obstacle — and we say that kindly — is his lovely sister Naomi, played by Lucy Montgomery.

She is a single mother with a young son — played by Mr Sinyor’s own six-year-old, Daniel — and the all-too-frequent occasions on which Paul must babysit him interrupt his mission to be the finest Jewish journalist in the London borough of Barnet.

For this is a defiantly north-west London Jewish comedy, shot on location in Finchley, with an odd foray into Hampstead. And the emphasis, says Mr Sinyor, is as much on the experience of being Jewish as it is on the hapless Paul’s interaction with everyone around him.

We never see him in the Jewish Enquirer offices. This series, says Mr Sinyor, is more Curb Your Enthusiasm than Drop the Dead Donkey — but it’s trying to appeal to non-Jewish as well as Jewish audiences.

“We have references to rabbis and we have reference to Jewish terminology and to antisemitism”, says Mr Sinyor.

“We also have one scene where Lucy is making chicken soup, because I thought I better had. But it’s not particularly food-based.” However, a humorous online poll, posted recently by Mr Sinyor, asks “Jewish Enquirer readers” to name their favourite pickle. Mrs Elswood is leading the voting at the moment.

The comedy started life as the Barnet Enquirer until Mr Sinyor realised that it was such a Jewish-themed endeavour that he might as well re-name the paper. 

He said: “I’m not a hugely successful person in Jewish life in that I don’t drive BMWs or own second homes in Israel. I wanted to represent the lives of Jews who are not extremely Orthodox or wealthy. And I felt I had the opportunity to be relevant to the antisemitism debate, to say, we’re not sure where we are, and that’s ok.”

Does Mr Sinyor think Jews are intrinsically funny? He laughs. “All outsiders have the opportunity to be funny and think funny”, he says. But as far as Paul and Naomi Green are concerned, they’re just being themselves.

Muddled north-west London Jews who have a shul they don’t go to and whose ambition is to reach the end of the week with a good news story for him and a new bloke on the horizon for her. Is that too much to ask? 

We at the JC, by the way, are on hand to give professional input if there is a second series of The Jewish Enquirer.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive