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
  • 600 episodes (67 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 66, Episode 5

Have I Got News For You. Jo Brand
Jo Brand guest presents, with Zoe Lyons and Feargal Sharkey joining Ian and Paul.

Further details

Jo Brand makes a return to the chair for this week's edition, in what will be her 28th time as guest host on the show.

Making his debut on tonight's show is Feargal Sharkey - the Northern Irish former punk singer with The Undertones, who has gone on to become a prominent environmental campaigner against pollution in Britain's rivers.

Comedian Zoe Lyons completes the panel, alongside regular team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton.

With the Covid Inquiry rumbling on in the UK as the Israeli Palestinian conflict continued in the Middle East, and with Elon Musk paying a visit to Rishi Sunak's AI summit at Bletchley Park while Nigel Farage was rumoured to be on this year's line up for I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here, it was a busy week of news for the panellists to dissect.

Attention turned first to this week's Covid Inquiry, where Dominic Cummings has been giving evidence.

"Dominic Cummings is giving evidence talking about what an absolute mess the whole government approach to Covid was. Worse than people even realised at the time. An absolute disaster," said Paul Merton.

"Yes, this is the latest from the Covid Inquiry and the shocking revelations that the Government was rubbish. Who knew?!" joked host Jo Brand.

"Watching Cummings give evidence is terrible, because he's learnt absolutely nothing. He's equally arrogant and then he starts calling other people liars. You think - you're the man who gave us the story about having your eyesight tested, in a car, when you were breaking the rules. He still doesn't admit he was breaking the rules. I just thought, 'I don't care if I agree with everything else you say, you're a liar'," said Ian Hislop.

"When he was giving evidence, I don't know what a body language expert would say but he kept his hand in front of his mouth most of the time. I think later he'll probably try and deny it was him talking..." joked Merton.

"In the middle of Covid, at one point Paul asked why on earth is this man, who is entirely unelected, dictating policy on vaccines, or indeed on lockdown, or on anything else? It beggars belief that he could sit there writing WhatsApp messages saying 'let's sack Matt Hancock', 'let's sack the head of the NHS', 'let's sack everybody'... says who?" continued Hislop.

"But in your current guise of a 1950s East End gangster..." Merton joked, referencing Hislop's dark suit, "...do you think you should pay him a visit?"

"Yeah I'd like to go round and give him an eyesight test," quipped Hislop.

Later in the episode, attention turned to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. Given his experiences of growing up in Derry/Londonderry through the Troubles, and subsequently experiencing life following the Good Friday Agreement, Feargal Sharkey was asked for his thoughts and gave a message of hope to the people of Israel and Palestine.

"Feargal, you grew up in Derry. Is partition a good idea in your opinion?" asked Brand.

Feargal Sharkey replied: "This is the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, this year, and for 25 years the people of Northern Ireland have been able to prosper and grow and develop and blossom and have discovered that this thing 'peace' is a very delicate, beautiful little flower that needs nurturing, caressing and supporting.

"I do wish that the people of Gaza and Palestine and Israel get to discover what 25 years of peace, prosperity, diplomacy and democracy looks like, and that those people can blossom into a much more confident, much brighter future for everyone involved, as it has worked for Northern Ireland."


Paul and Feargal won, 6 points to 4.

Broadcast details

Friday 3rd November 2023
30 minutes
  • Thursday 2nd November 2023, 19:10 at Riverside Studios


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Monday 6th November 2023 10:40pm
45 minute version
Monday 6th November 2023 11:10pm
45 minute version
BBC1 Wales
Tuesday 7th November 2023 12:25am
45 minute version
BBC1 Scot

Cast & crew

Ian Hislop Team Captain
Paul Merton Team Captain
Guest cast
Jo Brand Host / Presenter
Zoe Lyons Guest
Feargal Sharkey Guest
Writing team
Colin Swash Writer (Additional Material)
Rob Colley Writer (Additional Material)
Ged Parsons Writer (Additional Material)
Dan Gaster Writer (Additional Material)
Kevin Day Writer (Additional Material)
Shaun Pye Writer (Additional Material)
Monica Long Writer (Additional Material)
Katie Storey Writer (Additional Material)
Catherine Brinkworth Writer (Additional Material)
Emerald Paston Writer (Additional Material)
Production team
Abigail Dankwa Director
Mike Rayment Series Producer
Jack Harris Producer
Richard Wilson Executive Producer
Ruby Kuraishe Executive Producer
Jon Ellis Editor
Daniel Keevil Editor
Matt Roberts Editor
Graham Barker Editor
David Wiseman Editor
Jonathan Paul Green Production Designer
Mikki Rain Production Designer
Karen Jackson Costume Designer
Peter Raby Lighting Designer
George Webley (as Big George) Composer
Phil Hewson Graphics
David Ward Graphics


Episode 5 preview

This episode is guest hosted by Jo Brand, with guest panellists Zoe Lyons and Feargal Sharkey joining Ian and Phil.

Featuring: Ian Hislop, Paul Merton, Jo Brand, Zoe Lyons & Feargal Sharkey.


Feargal Sharkey praised for 'powerful' Israel-Palestine speech on HIGNFY

Comments made by the musician and activist, who grew up during the Troubles, are being lauded by panel show's viewer as 'eloquent', 'informed' and 'worth listening to'.

Jacob Stolworthy, The Independent, 4th November 2023

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