Reality/Game Show
Sep. 28, 1990
Returning Series
30 min.
BBC One TV Network

Top Contributors

Have I Got News for You (UK) tv show photo

Have I Got News for You (UK)

Have I Got News for You is a British television panel show on the BBC. The show has cultivated a reputation for sailing close to the wind in matters of libel with its satirical, light-hearted format.

Trivia Facts | Top Quotes | Goofs/Mistakes
  • Ian Hislop sat through the 2 June 1994 recording of the show with appendicitis, having discharged himself from hospital. He had an appendectomy straight after the show.
  • When The Right Honourable Roy Hattersley pulled out at short notice (again) instead of finding a guest celebrity to fill in he was replaced by The Tub of Lard, which lay on the desk throughout the broadcast and was billed as "The Right Honourable Tub of Lard, MP".
  • Paul Merton was absent for the eleventh series because he felt that the show had gotten into a bit of a rut and hoped things would get shaken up. The tactic succeeded, and the show has since been much more popular as a result. He also appeared in the first episode of that series as Ian Hislop's guest. He returned for the following series.
  • Only two episodes ever have had one team captain as opposed to the usual two. Both of these occurred during Paul Merton's absence - both Martin Clunes and Neil Morrissey appeared on the same team with neither as captain, as did John Bird and John Fortune.
  • Ian Hislop is the only person to appear in every episode.
  • Exiled ex-MI5 officer David Shayler appeared as a panelist via satellite link.
  • In a 1994 episode, Deayton read out the following: "The BBC are cracking down on references to Ian and Kevin Maxwell, in case program-makers appear biased in their treatment of these two heartless, scheming bastards." Unfortunately, the Maxwell brothers were about to go on trial, and, 26 July 1996, the BBC and Hat Trick Productions were fined £20,000 in the High Court for Contempt of Court.
  • In April 2003, frequent guest panelist Stephen Fry announced that he was boycotting the show following the sacking of Angus Deayton, a decision described by Fry as "greasy, miserable, British and pathetic".
  • Paul Merton has been team captain, guest and host.
  • In his autobiography, Paul Merton said that the worst guest presenters were Neil Kinnock, Charles Kennedy and Ann Widdecombe. The former two for their slow delivery and trouble with the autocue, while Widdecombe for being difficult to work with on her second appearance. He also named Jimmy Savile's appearance as a panellist was a lowpoint, due to his later being revealed as a paedophile and sex offender.
  • In November 2002, a memorable episode saw Anne Robinson as guest host. Robinson was frequently ridiculed by the majority of the panel for her work with the Daily Mirror, and also by Ian Hislop for her alleged use of Botox. She also deducted points from Paul Merton and guest panelist John Simpson after showing a clip from an earlier episode in which Merton mocked her. The show ended in the style of Robinson's well-known quiz show, The Weakest Link, in which the two finalists discuss their time on the show during the credits.
  • In a "That Mitchell and Webb Look" sketch, David Mitchell chloroformed someone for talking about Pigeonholing.
  • During filming, Ian Hislop was suffering from appendicitis. He had spent most of that day on a trolley in a corridor at St. George's hospital, waiting to be seen by a doctor. He left before being seen to, got a taxi to the studio, recorded the episode, then went straight back to the hospital to have his appendix removed.
  • Despite the pain he was suffering during the broadcast, Ian Hislop later remembered that "actually, I was no more grumpy than normal". He did however add, "I was sitting next to Mariella Frostrup, so maybe that didn't help."
  • This marked the only appearance of Piers Morgan on the show in its twenty-seven-year history thus far. His appearance was marked by the unmissable personal hostility he demonstrated towards regular team captain Ian Hislop, an old enemy. At one point, he made the fatal mistake of suggesting that no-one in the audience liked Hislop; loud cheers proved him wrong, and from then, it was downhill all the way for him, as Hislop effortlessly got big laughs at his expense (as did everyone else) and the audience's dislike of him became palpable.
  • Guest Publication: Teddy Bear Club International.
  • Guest Publication: "International Flying Farmer".
  • Boris Johnson's mobile phone went off during the show, as he had forgotten to switch it off before filming began.
  • Paul Merton borrowed Andrew Marr's mobile phone live on air to make a call.
  • Guest Publication: "Quarterly Bulletin of the National Vegetable Society"
  • Guest Publication: "Cracking Matters"
  • Guest Publication: "Essex Wedding"
  • Guest Publication: "The Skip"
  • Guest Publication: "Biscuit World"
  • Guest Publication: "Classic Tractor"
  • Guest Publication: "Piping Times"
  • Guest Publication: "In a Nutshell"
  • Guest Publication: "Global Slag Magazine"
  • Guest Publication: "Toothpick Bulletin"
  • Guest Publication: "Hernia"

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