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 67, Episode 8

Have I Got News For You. Phil Wang
Phil Wang hosts for the first time, with Richard Osman and Baroness Ruth Davidson as the guests.

Further details

Phil Wang makes his debut as guest host on Have I Got News For You. Having previously appeared on the programme 11 times as a panellist, tonight marks his first time in the host's chair.

Wang replaces the previously announced Amol Rajan as host, due to the BBC Radio 4 presenter no longer being able to take the role given the BBC's impartiality guidelines in the run up to an election.

Wang immediately referenced his role as guest host at the beginning of the record, joking "I got this gig last night... first time hosting, very excited. The originally planned host had to be cancelled for impartiality things 'cause the election was announced yesterday.... which I think makes me the only person I know who's benefitted from Rishi Sunak's premiership!"

After months of speculation, this week marked a seismic one in Westminster as Wednesday saw Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announce the UK's next general election for 4th July. Sunak's announcement at the lectern outside number 10 didn't quite go to plan however, as he got progressively drenched in heavy rain and protesters attempted to further drown out his speech by blaring Labour's 1997 election campaign song Things Can Only Get Better from the gates at Downing Street.

"The one thing that a Prime Minister has in their locker is that they get to choose the exact timing and the manner in which you call for an election, so you really get to nail the announcement..." lamented Baroness Ruth Davidson, continuing, "You can just sort of tell that once the door shut behind him, all you could hear was 'arrggggghhh!'" Davidson said, impersonating a screaming Sunak.

"He would have shook himself like a dog," Richard Osman quipped, before pointing out, "His hair is standing up pretty good... yeah, in that downpour, that's amazing. Whoever does his hair should be in charge of stopping the boats..."

"Could this be interpreted as God being angry with the Tories?" Merton enquired jokingly of the rain.

"I think it could..." Hislop replied to laughter from the panel. "I was just saying that for balance."

"He's so desperate to lose... you can see it," Osman posited.

"He wants to go on holiday in August, doesn't he?" Merton agreed.

"He wants to move to LA, doesn't he, and the school year presumably starts in September. So he's thinking, I'm not gonna have an election in November," continued Osman, "He is so desperate to lose. He literally never wants to hear the word 'sewage' again, he never wants to hear the word 'Rwanda' again, he never wants to hear the word 'Grant Shapps' again."

"The last time there was a general election in July was in 1945. Famously Winston Churchill lost a landslide to Labour just after World War Two, whereas Rishi's going to lose a landslide to Labour just before World War Three," joked host Wang, then asking the panel, "How is Starmer planning to win over the electorate?"

"Say nothing for six weeks and you're in," quipped Hislop.

"Almost... he's telling voters 'it will feel like a long campaign... but that opportunity for change is what this election is about.' Nothing gets past him does it..." joked Wang.

One other big story in the news this week was the evidence given at the Post Office Inquiry by ex-Post Office boss Paula Vennells, who broke down in tears while being questioned about whether she had deliberately misled MPs.

"She cried four times. For herself. It was a really disgraceful performance... it was appalling," Hislop said, to applause from the audience, continuing, "She said things like 'I didn't know that they were prosecuting these people when I took over' and you think, that just isn't true. It's all lies. She is now in the inquiry trying to blame her colleagues, which is the entire point of the inquiry, is that she has already blamed people who didn't do it in an attempt to cover herself and now she's doing it again."

"She did show some humility. What did Vennells admit was a personal failure?" Wang asked the panel.

"She said she was 'too trusting'. That's the Prince Andrew defence. 'I was too noble'," quipped Hislop.

"'I can't sweat', she said," Osman joked.

"'I use all my inner water for tears'... and her tears reached 10 Downing Street," laughed Merton, before asking Hislop, "is there any likelihood that she will end up in prison, do you think?"

"I think as soon as the inquiry is over, the incoming government... be it Labour or Conservative..." started Hislop.

"or Lib Dem..." Osman chipped in.

"or Plaid Cymru..." continued Davidson.

"One of the ways they could make an early popular success is to prosecute some of the people at the Post Office. I think it would be a really good first week," Hislop said.


Paul and Richard won, 7 points to 6.

Broadcast details

Friday 24th May 2024
30 minutes
  • Thursday 23rd May 2024, 19:10 at Riverside Studios


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Monday 27th May 2024 10:30pm
45 minute version
Monday 27th May 2024 11:00pm
45 minute version
BBC1 Scot
Monday 27th May 2024 11:00pm
45 minute version
BBC1 Wales

Cast & crew

Ian Hislop Team Captain
Paul Merton Team Captain
Guest cast
Phil Wang Host / Presenter
Richard Osman Guest
Ruth Davidson (as Baroness Ruth Davidson) 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)
Dan Bowman Writer (Additional Material)
Katie Storey Writer (Additional Material)
Matt Hulme Writer (Additional Material)
Keiron Nicholson Writer (Additional Material)
Claire Rammelkamp Writer (Additional Material)
Production team
Paul Wheeler Director
Jo Bunting Series Producer
Jordan Reed Producer
Richard Wilson Executive Producer
Katie Taylor Executive Producer
Jon Ellis Editor
Daniel Keevil Editor
Matt Roberts Editor
Graham Barker Editor
Kirsty Robertson 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

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