Long-running topical panel game with a strong political slant, featuring team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton
- HIGNFY; Have I Got Old News For You; Have I Got A Bit More News For You; Have I Got A Little Bit More News For You; John Lloyd's Newsround
- Panel Show
- 1990 - 2013 (BBC One / BBC Two)
- 403 (45 series)
- Ian Hislop, Paul Merton, Angus Deayton
- Angus Deayton, Harry Thompson, Mark Burton, John O'Farrell, Pete Sinclair, Colin Swash, Rob Colley, Ged Parsons, Dan Gaster, Simon Blackwell, Dave Cohen
- Hat Trick Productions
& British Broadcasting Corporation
Fill in the missing words: ______ is a popular topical panel game starring Ian Hislop and Paul Merton.
Originally on BBC Two before moving to BBC One, each episode of Have I Got News For You features a series of topical rounds. On one side is team captain Ian Hislop, editor of satirical magazine Private Eye; the other team is lead by improv comedian Paul Merton.
Until 2002 the show was hosted by Angus Deayton. However, a series of tabloid scandals involving prostitues and drugs resulted in the the long-time host being forced to resign. Since then, each episode has been hosted by a selection of guest hosts. The list includes Alexander Armstrong, Kirsty Young, Jeremy Clarkson and Jack Dee.
HIGNFY's influence spreads far and wide. MP Boris Johnson's popular appearances on the show may well have helped him become Mayor of London.
Our Review: Have I Got News For You is arguably Britain's most popular topical panel game.
The series has many different qualities. On the one hand, there is Merton's surrealism and his ability to improvise on a wide range of different subjects. On the other hand, there is Hislop's undeniable in-depth knowledge of politics and political scandals - this combination of skills and experience ensures 30 minutes are filled with laughter.
When Deayton was forced out mid-way through Series 24 due to his own personal scandal (many fans still feel forcing Deayton to quit was a mistake), the future of Have I Got News For You was very much in doubt. However, the show managed to steer a course through this tricky season... Merton moved desks to be the first guest host, but as he was clearly uncomfortable in the role, a series of guest hosts were booked in for the subsequent episodes. The idea of having a different host each week turned out to be a success, and thus this arrangement continues today.
It should be noted not everyone is a HIGNFY fan. Some people feel the show has gone on for too long, whilst others attack the jokes that repeatedly appear, saying the show is just making the same gags about the same things very week (recurring targets include John Prescott and Jeffery Archer). One particularly common complaint is that Paul Merton's performance and effort declines with each series; it's a criticism we wish that we could argue with (although, that said, he has been looking a bit perkier again in this most recent series).
Now on BBC One, HIGNFY is attracting some of its biggest ever ratings, something which very much puts those complaining into the minority. With future series pretty much guaranteed, an American series in the offing and production company Hat Trick working to extend the brand online, this show is likely to be around for many more years to come.