Series 64, Episode 7
Guest host Neville was quick to make a joke about his football manager brother Phil, when introducing comedian Maisie Adam.
"On Ian's team tonight is a comedian and football fan who says she cried when the England Lionesses won the Euros. They've done pretty well since they ditched their previous manager, Phil Neville... no relation!" he joked.
It has been another busy week of domestic news, with stories about Home Secretary Suella Braverman's handling of the overcrowding in migrant centres dominating the headlines. But it wasn't long before the panel's attention turned to former health secretary Matt Hancock, who has this week been suspended as a Conservative MP after he announced that he would be joining this year's line up on ITV reality show I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.
"Back to the subject of immigration, which unskilled migrant worker is heading to Australia?" asked Neville.
"Matt Hancock!" replied Merton.
"Yeah, is it possible for him to go one way to Australia?" joked Adam.
"Yeah, I think so, it's been done before," quipped Merton.
"Matt Hancock has signed up for I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. The deputy chair of Matt Hancock's local Conservative Party Association Andy Drummond said, 'I'm looking forward to him eating a kangaroo's penis. You can quote me on that'." Neville laughed.
"I've got a quote here, I wrote it down as I didn't want to get it wrong. It's from the COVID-19 Bereaved Families For Justice, who said, 'He isn't a celebrity. He's the former health secretary who oversaw the UK having one of the highest death tolls from covid, whilst breaking his own lockdown rules.' That sums it up, doesn't it?" pointed out Merton.
"I suspect his reasoning is simply that if he does it well, if he takes these challenges on bravely and with good humour he'll turn them around. But I agree with what you just said, they're not going to forget are they?" agreed Richard Madeley.
"I don't want to pick a fight with you Richard, but you said the phrase 'if Matt Hancock does this well...'," joked Hislop.
"If he actually attacks challenges, agrees to do it, you know, eats the scorpions, the testicles, the willies... I suspect he thinks he'll get brownie points," Madeley clarified.
"He'll get more than brownie points, he'll get a stomach ache!" laughed Merton.
"Yes, Matt Hancock is set to take part in I'm A Celebrity. He admits he doesn't know much about the show, so when he is presented with the kangaroo's arse, someone will need to tell him that he's expected to eat it and not grope it," joked Neville, continuing, "Hancock has been very busy lately, with a book about to come out, one TV series already recorded, and his appearance on I'm A Celebrity estimated to be worth £400,000. So if we've learned nothing else, it's that his wife has a brilliant divorce lawyer."
The panel also found time to discuss the upcoming football World Cup in Qatar, and the issues being raised about the country's human rights record. Ian Hislop took issue with the work Gary Neville will be doing as a commentator at the tournament.
"The whole thing is incredibly corrupt. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly the other week said that any gay football fans should be aware of the country they're going to and should behave accordingly," said Merton.
"Yeah, Cleverly advised LGBTQ+ fans visiting Qatar to 'show a little bit flex and compromise'," Neville concurred.
"It's unbelievable, and it's all about money," Madeley pointed out, continuing, "You've got mainline celebrities going over there for huge cheques. People like Robbie Williams going out to sing, which I must say I'm very surprised at given all the comments that he has made in the past about gay rights. The fact that he's going out there to sing for them is extraordinary. I don't know what's happened to people. It's not just him, the Black Eyed Peas are going as well."
"I don't know either of these," Neville replied.
"But you know David Beckham, don't you? He's going isn't he? How much has he been paid?" Merton asked.
"I don't know... more than me!" Neville replied. "Ian, is it coming home?"
"What, your reputation?" joked Hislop. "The others have been very gentle with you, Gary, but the elephant in the room is still there, isn't it? You're commentating there, aren't you?"
"Yeah, I am commentating there," Nevilled responded.
"And what's the defence?" asked Hislop.
"Well, you've got a choice, I think, haven't you?" Neville began.
"What? Going or not going?" Hislop cut in.
"My view has always been that you either highlight the issues and challenges in these countries and speak about them, or you basically don't say anything, you stay back home and don't go. I've always said we should challenge," replied Neville.
"There's another option - you stay at home and highlight the abuses. You don't have to go and take the Qataris' money," Hislop pointed out. "I'm not trying to be tiresome, it's just not a very good defence."
"And how is someone like Robbie or the Black Eyed Peas supposed to highlight it? Are they going to make a speech on stage? Of course they're not," said Madeley.
"You can highlight it during the commentary," Neville pointed out.
"What, during a match?" asked Hislop, before doing an impression: "'It's the kick off here in this appalling country with an appalling human rights record... Oh, someone's kicking a ball, but honestly, the amount of immigrant workers who've died is a shocker... oo, it's a goal!'"
Paul and Richard won, after VAR overturned Ian and Maisie's 17-13 point lead.
- Friday 4th November 2022
- BBC One
- 30 minutes
- Thursday 3rd November 2022, 19:10 at Riverside Studios
- Tuesday 12th December 2023 at 10:00pm on Dave (60 minute version)
- Tuesday 19th December 2023 at 10:00pm on Dave (60 minute version)
Show past repeats
|Monday 7th November 2022||11:10pm
45 minute version
|Monday 7th November 2022||11:45pm
50 minute version
|Tuesday 8th November 2022||12:15am
50 minute version
|Sunday 13th August 2023||9:00pm
60 minute version
|Sunday 27th August 2023||9:00pm
60 minute version
|Monday 28th August 2023||10:30pm
45 minute version
Cast & crew
|Ian Hislop||Team Captain|
|Paul Merton||Team Captain|
|Gary Neville||Host / Presenter|
|Colin Swash||Writer (Additional Material)|
|Ged Parsons||Writer (Additional Material)|
|Dan Gaster||Writer (Additional Material)|
|Kevin Day||Writer (Additional Material)|
|Shaun Pye||Writer (Additional Material)|
|Christine Rose||Writer (Additional Material)|
|Monica Long||Writer (Additional Material)|
|Katie Storey||Writer (Additional Material)|
|Laura Lexx||Writer (Additional Material)|
|Tasha Dhanraj||Writer (Additional Material)|
|Will Hall||Writer (Additional Material)|
|Mike Rayment||Series Producer|
|Richard Wilson||Executive Producer|
|Katie Taylor||Executive Producer|
|Michael L. Worrall||Editor|
|Jonathan Paul Green||Production Designer|
|Mikki Rain||Production Designer|
|Karen Jackson||Costume Designer|
|Peter Raby||Lighting Designer|
|George Webley (as Big George)||Composer|