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 8

Have I Got News For You. David Mitchell
David Mitchell guest presents the eighth episode - his 13th time in the host's chair. The guests are Richard Coles and Janey Godley.

Further details

This episode came in the week that saw Dominic Cummings give evidence at the Commons Select Committee, a Ryanair flight being diverted and forces to land by the President of Belarus, further questions being asked of Martin Bashir's behaviour in securing his Panorama interview with Princess Diana, and a reported decline in kilt weaving across the country.

Attention was first paid to Boris Johnson's former senior advisor Dominic Cummings' appearance to give evidence to the Commons Select Committee this week, and the series of stunning claims he made about the competency of the Prime Minister and his team. Ian Hislop was quick to condemn Cummings and point out that, given his track record, everything he said may not have been to be believed.

"Dominic Cummings has been giving evidence, 7 hours' worth I believe. He made lots of powerful statements and somebody's lying, somewhere in the middle of all this. Not everybody is telling the truth. He's made various accusations and Boris and Matt Hancock have denied them," said Paul Merton.

"It's good that we've got David on tonight, because it's an episode of Would I Lie To You?," joked Hislop, continuing, "And the answer is, for everyone... yes they did. He said 'Boris Johnson is not fit to be Prime Minister'. Of course he isn't, he appointed you! That doesn't take 8 hours, does it?"

Hislop went on to say that Cummings' appearance had been one of the most 'disgusting' performances in public life that he could remember.

"He did that classic thing at the start of saying it's all everybody else's fault. Would you believe it? The government has really handled this very badly... if only there'd been someone at the heart of government who could have said 'this whole thing is going wrong'. Maybe an advisor... maybe a senior advisor... It was one of the most disgusting performances in public life that I can remember," said Hislop.

"Assuming we can believe a word the devious b*****d says, who is to blame for everything?" asked host David Mitchell.

"The Prime Minister is to blame for everything, and the Prime Minister should never have become Prime Minister. Except, this is the man who almost single-handedly worked to make him Prime Minister," replied Hislop.

"It's absolutely extraordinary that he only noticed that the Prime Minister was utterly useless when he was sacked. It just didn't occur to him the whole time he was on board with the project, and then suddenly, 'oh my goodness, I've suddenly realised... you're an idiot, and so am I!'" joked Hislop.


Paul and Janey won, 6 points to 5.

Broadcast details

Friday 28th May 2021
30 minutes
  • Thursday 27th May 2021, 18:10 at Riverside Studios


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Monday 31st May 2021 10:00pm
45 minute version
Sunday 27th February 2022 9:00pm
60 minute version
Wednesday 6th July 2022 11:00pm
60 minute version
Sunday 28th August 2022 12:50am
45 minute version
Sunday 28th August 2022 1:50am
45 minute version
BBC1 Scot
Monday 13th March 2023 10:00pm Dave
Tuesday 25th July 2023 11:00pm
60 minute version
Sunday 3rd December 2023 12:50am
60 minute version
Friday 22nd December 2023 2:50am
70 minute version
Saturday 30th December 2023 2:00am
50 minute version

Cast & crew

Ian Hislop Team Captain
Paul Merton Team Captain
Guest cast
David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Richard Coles (as The Reverend Richard Coles) Guest
Janey Godley Guest
Writing team
Colin Swash Writer (Additional Material)
Rob Colley Writer (Additional Material)
Ged Parsons Writer (Additional Material)
Kevin Day Writer (Additional Material)
Shaun Pye Writer (Additional Material)
Christine Rose Writer (Additional Material)
Charlie Skelton Writer (Additional Material)
Jon Harvey Writer (Additional Material)
Matt Hulme Writer (Additional Material)
Racha Sobratee Writer (Additional Material)
Production team
Lewis Wright 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

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