British Comedy Guide

Paul Merton

Just A Minute celebrations lead BBC Radio's festive comedy

BBC Radio has announced its festive comedy offerings for 2017. Radio 4 will celebrate 50 years of Just A Minute, whilst other specials include comedy drama Anansi Boys, 15 Minute Musical, Dead Ringers and Count Arthur Strong.

British Comedy Guide, 22nd November 2017

HIGNFY attacked for anti-Tory bias

Have I Got News for You makes five times more jokes about the Tories than Labour, a Sun probe discovered. Conservative MPs branded the BBC show propaganda yesterday.

Joe Kasper, The Sun, 9th November 2017

Paul Merton to interview Nicholas Parsons for Just A Minute special

Just A Minute host Nicholas Parsons is to be interviewed by Paul Merton for a special Radio 4 show linked to 50 years of the panel show.

British Comedy Guide, 1st November 2017

As HIGNFY returns for its 54th series, it's hard to know how to feel about this telly institution. It has undoubtedly lost something of its bite with Ian Hislop and Paul Merton having long since adopted roles they could play in their sleep. Plus, the show is probably marginally to blame for the ascent of Boris Johnson. But, still, in these absurd times, someone's got to take the mickey. The urbane Alexander Armstrong hosts.

Phil Harrison, The Guardian, 6th October 2017

Preview - Have I Got News for You

The BBC's long-running satirical panel show enters its 54th series tonight.

Ian Wolf, On The Box, 6th October 2017

BBC announces major Edinburgh festival coverage

Edinburgh Festivals' 70th anniversary year is to be celebrated by the BBC with a dynamic showcase highlighting the cultural standing of this international event.

Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 24th July 2017

Star comics on camera in their early Fringe days

A stash of film shot in the 1990s chronicles the rise of comedy's big names including Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon and Jo Brand.

Dan Glaister, The Guardian, 16th July 2017

How comedy captured the Edinburgh Fringe: part 3

In the third part of our Fringe history, two long-forgotten venues put comedy before theatre with the help of Austin Powers and a Wonder Dog.

Ben Venables, The Skinny, 11th July 2017

Preview - Have I Got News For You

A General Election campaign is fertile ground for the panel on Have I Got News For You but this one has exceeded expectation in its ludicrosity - with manifesto lies, ministers who can't do basic arithmetic, a prime minister who refuses to debate and caustic interviewers who won't let them get a word in edgeways.

Gareth Hargreaves, On The Box, 2nd June 2017

Paul Merton on becoming the Beatles for a day

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sgt Pepper, the comedian imagines what it would have been like if the band had reunited...

Radio Times, 29th May 2017

Preview - Have I Got News for You

One of the big questions in the comedy world at the moment is whether we are experiencing a new satire boom?

Ian Wolf, On The Box, 21st April 2017

TV humour is lewd, lavatorial & lacking any form of wit

The problem, however, is bigger than just one show. For the abject and high-profile failure of The Nightly Show raises a disturbing question. What has happened to British comedy? The sheer unfunniness of much of it is beyond depressing.

Christopher Hart, Daily Mail, 18th March 2017

Bath Comedy Festival gets new sexy sponsor

Bath Comedy Festival and VisitBath have announced a sponsorship collaboration with Lovehoney, the UK's largest online sex toy retailer.

Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 9th March 2017

Paul Merton: 'Alan was my comic hero'

Alan Simpson, of writing duo Galton and Simpson, has died at the age of 87.

The pair created sitcoms including Hancock's Half Hour and Steptoe And Son.

Comedian Paul Merton became friends with the pair after working with them. He explained to Radio 4's PM how they worked "writing everything together face to face". He added not only "did they make each other laugh, but they had the eye to know what would make the audience laugh as well".

BBC News, 8th February 2017

10 facts about the Leicester Comedy Festival

10 facts from its founder Geoff Rowe....

Geoff Rowe, Chortle, 26th January 2017

Have I Got News For You uses handbag to replace MP Nicky Morgan

Have I Got News For You has replaced absent guest Nicky Morgan MP with a handbag.

British Comedy Guide, 16th December 2016

Radio 4 reveals Christmas comedy highlights

Radio 4 has revealed its Christmas comedy highlights for 2016. Listeners can look forward to specials starring Nicholas Parsons, Tim Vine, Lenny Henry, John Finnemore and more.

British Comedy Guide, 22nd November 2016

Tribute to be organised for Arnold Brown

A star-studded line-up of comedy stars are to celebrate alternative stand-up legend's Arnold Brown's 80th birthday next month.

Chortle, 14th October 2016

Arriving for a 52nd series, HIGNFY has rarely been more welcome. Over the next 11 weeks, Ian Hislop and Paul Merton will, as ever, captain the teams skewering the increasing ludicrousness of world affairs. They'll be running over the US presidential election, too, which is likely to provide ample quarry for some terrifying hilarity. Nick Clegg has a go in the host's chair, while Kevin Bridges is one of the week's guest panellists.

Ben Arnold, The Guardian, 7th October 2016

Comedians recall their first gigs

Shappi Khorsandi felt as if she'd walked on the moon. Isy Suttie watched a man change a dressing on a wound as she spoke. Omid Djalili fell off the stage. So how did the first gigs of Paul Merton, Susan Calman and other top comics go?

Chris Wiegand and Anna Menin, The Guardian, 1st August 2016