Press clippings Page 33
Isn't it about time they settled on a permanent host for this topical news quiz? As enjoyable as some of the guest hosts can be, I'd much rather have a consistently good presenter to return some stability. But, alas, Fern Britten was in the hot-seat for this first episode (cue a few digs at her recent gastric band controversy). Worryingly, despite the fact we're living through a fascinating political time (presidential debates, fuel prices, the credit crunch), this premiere episode wasn't particularly funny or insightful. A few moments stood out (like Hislop fancying Sarah Palin), but it was otherwise a dry start. They even poked fun at a two-month old clip of Boris Johnson at the Beijing Olympics! Is that topical comedy?Dan Owen, news:lite, 19th October 2008
Twice a year, in our best handwriting, we compose a message to whoever is playing the role of Father Christmas at the BBC production meeting comprising one single plea:
Hire a permanent f***ing host for Have I Got News For You! Sadly, once again our entreaty has fallen on deaf ears, and we have yet another series where the quality will be as capricious as the moods of Nero, often determined by the standard of guest presenter.
After watching the first in the new series, I'm increasingly of the opinion that the guest presenter idea has run its course. I wish they'd settle on a permanent host. And no matter what anyone says, I still think it was better when Angus was in it.Cool Blue Shed, 18th October 2008
Satire! It's great. Except for when it's not, obviously. Then it's rubbish. That Have I Got News For You manages consistently to avoid the potholes routinely occupied by its contemporaries (to wit: crudeness, the triumphs of ego over comedic esprit de corps, Jason Manford, etc) is testament not only to the chemistry between long-serving team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton, but to wit so sublime it can turn a one-liner on Gordon Brown's incisors into a dazzling nugget of incontrovertible topical wisdom.
It's an amazing series 36 for this topical panel show and, obviously, going by an 'if it aint broke, don't fix it' philosophy, Messrs Hislop and Merton are back as the regular team captains.James Stanley, Metro, 17th October 2008
The long-running satirical panel show returns for a new run with perennial team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton all present and correct. It never ceases to amaze that this show remains as fresh as ever after 18 years on air and always earns its keep in the schedules.Mark Wright, The Stage, 17th October 2008
Whatever genius came up with the idea of letting Brian Blessed host an episode needs a hefty pat on the back and a firm handshake to boot. The man was pretty much single-handedly responsible for the funniest episode of the show in some time.Simon Brew, Den Of Geek, 6th May 2008
Now in its 18th year and 35th series, Have I Got News for You is without doubt the little Radio 4 parlour game that could. Its success is due partly to its topicality, but mostly to the genuine rivalry between team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton (Merton in particular hates to lose).Abi Grant, The Telegraph, 18th April 2008
The high profile sacking of Angus Deayton from his role as host on Have I Got News For You has left the BBC with something of a problem. As with many shows, the topical news quiz worked because of a specific chemistry that had built up over many years between the presenters.Stuart Ian Burns, Off The Telly, 8th November 2002