Have I Got News For You. Image shows left to right: Ian Hislop, Paul Merton. Credit: Matt Crockett
Have I Got News For You

Have I Got News For You

  • TV panel show
  • BBC One / BBC Two
  • 1990 - 2024
  • 590 episodes (66 series)

Long-running topical panel game with a strong political slant, featuring team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton. Also features Angus Deayton.

Episode menu

Series 61, Episode 7

Have I Got News For You. Richard Ayoade
Richard Ayoade guest presents - his sixth time in the host's chair. Joining the actor and comedian as the two guest panellists are broadcaster and writer Richard Osman and the former co-chairwoman of the Conservative Party, Baroness Warsi.

Preview clips

Further details

Paul Merton was quick to welcome back the return of a live studio audience.

"As someone who responds to people Paul, how do you feel about there being an audience here?" asked host Richard Ayoade.

"It's great there's an audience here! There's somebody over here with a very distinctive laugh, which is great, because when people laugh, it's inspiring. So I'm thrilled and pleased and excited that we can have people in front of us again," Merton replied to beaming applause from the audience.

"And thank you for delaying that applause, it sounded just like the zoom audience when it was silent," Merton joked.

Soon after, the panel's attention turned to the government's newly announced COVID advice on international travel, following widespread confusion about the new traffic light system. The former co-Chair of the Conservative Party, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, was asked for her thoughts on how the new measures had been introduced.

"This is the exciting news that everything is open, except it isn't..." pointed out a confused Ian Hislop.

"Yes, this is the now familiar confusion surrounding the government's COVID advice on travel. What is the government's position on foreign travel?" asked Ayoade.

"It's a traffic light. It's a new system from the government and it's... red, white and blue," joked Hislop.

"Red - don't go. Amber - don't go unless it's an absolute family emergency. Green - you can go, and it's only Portugal and the Falkland Islands, or something," clarified Baroness Warsi.

"That's exactly right. Amber also, if you're an Instagram influencer, you're allowed to go," joked Richard Osman.

"Don't go abroad, but it's not illegal. That's the position," said Ayoade.

"There are thousands of tourists who have gone on holiday to Portugal this week. If the government want to stop us going somewhere, presumably... they should stop us going somewhere. What is the problem? They stop us going to funerals, to care homes. But if you want to go on holiday to a place that's a bit dodgy... fine! What is wrong with them?" asked Hislop.

"And this is the point about the red list..." said Warsi, before being stopped by Hislop.

"No... what is wrong with them?!" pushed Hislop.

"How long have you got?" laughed Warsi, after a brief pause, before continuing, "I just think they've gone for a little wander off to the right, and they just need to find their way back into the central space."

The panel also discussed Matt Hancock's ongoing performance as Health Minister, asking for Baroness Warsi's thoughts on how he's handled his part in the country's response to the COVID pandemic.

"What's Matt Hancock like as a person, Sayeeda?" asked Osman.

"Matt is actually quite nice. And I think he's genuinely trying his best," replied Warsi.

"So how does he feel about being totally out of his depth?" jibed Merton.

"Like I said, he's genuinely trying his best. And as long as people try their best, we're nice to them. Did you never go to nursery?" laughed Warsi.

"Yeah, but he went beyond nursery..." joked Hislop.

"And I met people there that are smarter than him!" laughed Merton.

"I honestly think, look, joking aside, he's had a really tough brief," continued Warsi.

"We're not joking!" exclaimed Hislop.

"Are you asking us to disregard his competence?" asked Ayoade.

"I'm saying he got some things right and some things wrong," replied Warsi.

"But these days he just says 'get jabbed'. And I think that's quite good. I think it's just nice to have someone telling everyone to get vaccinated. And we can all get behind that as a story," Osman pointed out.


Ian and Sayeeda won, 7 points to 6.

Broadcast details

Friday 21st May 2021
30 minutes
  • Thursday 20th May 2021, 18:10 at Riverside Studios


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Monday 24th May 2021 10:00pm
45 minute version
Sunday 20th February 2022 9:00pm
60 minute version
Monday 21st February 2022 2:00am
65 minute version
Thursday 7th July 2022 11:00pm
60 minute version
Monday 22nd August 2022 10:40pm
45 minute version
Monday 22nd August 2022 11:10pm
45 minute version
BBC1 Scot
Monday 22nd August 2022 11:10pm
45 minute version
BBC1 Wales
Sunday 12th March 2023 9:00pm
60 minute version
Sunday 23rd July 2023 12:00am
60 minute version

Cast & crew

Ian Hislop Team Captain
Paul Merton Team Captain
Guest cast
Richard Ayoade Host / Presenter
Richard Osman Guest
Sayeeda Warsi (as Baroness Warsi) Guest
Writing team
Colin Swash Writer (Additional Material)
Rob Colley Writer (Additional Material)
Ged Parsons Writer (Additional Material)
Shaun Pye Writer (Additional Material)
Christine Rose Writer (Additional Material)
Charlie Skelton Writer (Additional Material)
Fraser Steele Writer (Additional Material)
Katie Storey Writer (Additional Material)
Alison Spittle Writer (Additional Material)
Zoƫ Tomalin Writer (Additional Material)
Laura Claxton Writer (Additional Material)
Charlie Dinkin Writer (Additional Material)
Tom Craine Writer (Additional Material)
Production team
Martin Lord Director
Jo Bunting Series Producer
Jo Maney Producer
Richard Wilson Executive Producer
Katie Taylor Executive Producer
Simon Brook Editor
Jon Ellis Editor
Rich Ellis (as Richard Ellis) Editor
Nick Pratt Editor
Jonathan Paul Green Production Designer
Mikki Rain Production Designer
Hugo Keating Production Designer
Karen Jackson Costume Designer
Peter Raby Lighting Designer
George Webley (as Big George) Composer
Phil Hewson Graphics
David Ward Graphics


Is Instagram influencing an essential business?

A look at the government's advice on travel durign Covid.

Featuring: Ian Hislop, Richard Ayoade, Richard Osman & Baroness Warsi.

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