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 7

Have I Got News For You. Hannah Fry
Professor Hannah Fry returns to the show as host, with actor and comedian Stephen Mangan and editor-in-chief of VICE UK, Zing Tsjeng, on the panels.

Further details

Making her debut appearance in the guest host's chair: Professor Hannah Fry. It is the award-winning science presenter, mathematician and best-selling author's first time as guest host on HIGNFY, having appeared on the show as a panellist five times before.

When announcing her debut guest host slot, she joked: "When I went to study maths at university, this is not how I expected it would turn out."

Alongside regular team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton this week are actor Stephen Mangan and VICE UK's Editor-in-Chief Zing Tsjeng, who makes her second appearance on the show.

It has been a busy fortnight since HIGNFY was last on air, with a cabinet reshuffle seeing former PM David Cameron return to frontline politics, chancellor Jeremy Hunt's autumn statement, the ongoing covid inquiry, as well as the introduction of Javier Milei, Argentina's newly-elected livewire president.

It was this week's autumn statement from chancellor Jeremy Hunt that the panels got stuck straight into, with eyebrows being raised at the National Insurance tax cuts he announced for 2024.

"This is the autumn statement. The chancellor makes an autumn statement and this autumn he said 'please vote for us'," laughed Ian Hislop.

"It was a complicated statement," replied VICE UK's editor-in-chief Zing Tsjeng.

"Yes, a complicated statement..." Hislop agreed. "He said 'I'll give you some more money'. This government said it would not consider tax cuts. We can't afford it. Until they saw the opinion polls and they thought 'yeah... alright'. The maths is very complicated here."

"Yes, it absolutely is," agreed host Professor Hannah Fry. "This is indeed the chancellor's bumper, bonanza, giveaway, jamboree of an autumn statement. There was a lot of talk beforehand between Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt about how now is the right time for tax cuts. We know that that must be correct because only a few weeks ago, according to The Times, both Hunt and Sunak made it clear that now is not the time for tax cuts! Who wasn't impressed by all of this?"

"Was it Labour's Rachel Reeves? She was so unimpressed she said we're not going to change any of this. That's 'radical Labour' for you!" Hislop joked.

Talk of the autumn statement allowed the panel to reflect back on Liz Truss's short-lived government in 2022, and then-chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng's own autumn statement last year.

"The very good thing about this budget is that the country hasn't tanked immediately," Hislop joked, to laughter from the audience. "So in terms of budgets it's pretty good for a Conservative budget!"

"I think you're being very harsh on the Conservatives, very harsh on the government," Stephen Mangan replied sarcastically. "They're gonna sort it, they've only had what...13 years?"

"13 years," Paul Merton agreed.

"Give them a break!" Mangan joked.

"Jeremy Hunt referring to turbocharging growth was Liz...Tr-" Professor Hannah Fry started, before stumbling over the pronunciation of Liz Truss's name, "Oh my goodness..."

"It's alright cos no one remembers her," Hislop quipped.

"Liz who?" Tsjeng replied.

"Liz Pruss. She was a good Prime Minister. Lot better than that other one," Hislop joked.

"Liz Druss" Tsjeng joined in.

"Liz Dross!" Hislop exclaimed, to laughter from the audience.

"Ironically she was lacking support..." joked Merton, "...it's a reference to trusses m'lud..."

Later in the episode, the panel took great pleasure in joking about one of the stranger stories of the week - a bag of tools had reportedly been dropped from NASA's International Space Station, and has since been orbiting the earth.

"It's a bag of tools that was dropped from the space station and is circling the earth. Apparently you could see it this week - if the sun was catching it in the right direction, you could see the tool bag going across the sky," said Merton.

"Is that so they can put 'There are no tools stored in this space station overnight'?" joked Mangan.

"One 'tool slip' for man...." quipped Fry.

"There's builders everywhere going 'oo I can't finish the job, my tool bag's in space orbiting the earth'," laughed Mangan.


Paul and Stephen won, 7 points to 4.

Broadcast details

Friday 24th November 2023
30 minutes
  • Thursday 23rd November 2023, 19:10 at Riverside Studios


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Monday 27th November 2023 10:40pm
45 minute version
Tuesday 28th November 2023 12:25am BBC1 Scot

Cast & crew

Ian Hislop Team Captain
Paul Merton Team Captain
Guest cast
Hannah Fry (as Professor Hannah Fry) Host / Presenter
Zing Tsjeng Guest
Stephen Mangan Guest
Writing team
Colin Swash Writer (Additional Material)
Ged Parsons Writer (Additional Material)
Dan Gaster Writer (Additional Material)
Shaun Pye Writer (Additional Material)
Christine Rose Writer (Additional Material)
Monica Long Writer (Additional Material)
Zoƫ Tomalin Writer (Additional Material)
Rose Johnson Writer (Additional Material)
Tasha Dhanraj Writer (Additional Material)
Peter Tellouche Writer (Additional Material)
Production team
Martin Lord Director
Mike Rayment Series Producer
Jack Harris Producer
Richard Wilson Executive Producer
Katie Taylor Executive Producer
Jon Ellis Editor
Matt Roberts Editor
Graham Barker Editor
David Wiseman Editor
David Abramsky Editor
Jonathan Paul Green Production Designer
Mikki Rain Production Designer
Karen Jackson Costume Designer
Peter Raby Lighting Designer
George Webley (as Big George) Composer
David Ward Graphics
Jordan Allen Graphics


The budget

The panel discuss the budget. Referring to that last Liz Truss budget, Ian Hislop says "The very good thing about this budget is that the country hasn't tanked immediately".

Featuring: Ian Hislop, Paul Merton, Professor Hannah Fry & Stephen Mangan.

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