Mock The Week trivia
Dennis also had a second running joke about finding cheaper car insurance. He normally managed to get this into the final round.
Series 1, Episode 6 had to be hastily replaced with a highlights show as many of the audience, the panellists and crew could not get to the studio. This was because the episode was due to be recorded on the 7th July 2005, the day terrorist bombings shut down the London transport network.
The planned episode would have featured Andy Parsons, Greg Proops and Jo Brand as guests alongside Rory, Hugh, Frankie and Dara with lots of discussion of the success of London's Olympic bid the day before, Live 8 and Wimbledon.
The 8 Out of 10 Cats episode which was also scheduled to be recorded in BBC Television Centre that evening did go ahead. The Mock the Week production crew and audience that did make it to the studios helped to fill gaps.
Here is what Andy Parsons said when asked about the Mock The Week scoring:
It's amazing how excited people get. It's completely made up. Basically, they record it, both sides win every round and then they decide in the edit which team actually wins. I have no idea how they decide that and it doesn't make logical sense. You find yourself winning and losing in an editing suite, which we tend not to care about but people at home write in: 'I can't believe how they won that round, there was no sense in it.' People take it far too seriously.
And this is what Andy Parsons said, when asked about whether they get to see the categories before they record Mock The Week:
Yes. Well, they give you some clues. They seem to be desperately worried you won't have anything. But when you have seven people, the chances of nobody having anything to say are remote. When you have seven comics and you throw up a topic, it's like a pack of wolves that hasn't eaten for weeks.
An average episode of Mock The Week takes between an hour-and-a-half to two hours to record. They film for that length of time to ensure that 30 minutes of 'comedy gold' suitable for TV is obtained. Gags that fall flat and jokes that are too rude are cut out of the TV broadcast version.
The stand-up round was originally called 'Wheel of News', but after Have I Got News For You featured a round of the same name, the decision was made to change it. For Episode 2 it became 'Stand Up, Sit Down' and has changed name every episode since.
Some of the stranger names for the round have included:
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's Wheel of News
Ashley Cole Just Sent Me a Picture of His Mock
Don't Put Your Nuts on the Road
Eamonn Holmes is Hungry for Jokes
English Jokes for English People
Mock-tor Quinn, Medicine Woman
Round and Round and Round it Goes, Where it Lands Do Some Jokes
Set Your Phasers to Fun
Unexpected Item in the Gagging Area
As of June 2015, 68 different performers have faced the stand-up wheel, with it having revolved 377 times. Andy Parsons has faced it the most, having stood there on 64 occasions.
The most popular 'If This is the Answer, What is the Question?' category is Sport. As of June 2015 it has been chosen thirty times.
The show's theme tune - News of the World by The Jam - was the only one of the band's songs written by Bruce Foxton. It was first released in March 1978.
Dara O Briain used to begin every show with a monologue about the week's news but this practice ended after Series 4.
Games that have now been retired include:
Ask the Panel
Ask the Politicians
Between the Lines
Bombshell Phone Call
Inside the Mind Of...
Prime Minister's Question Time
During the recording each cast member is given a banana and a mug containing either water or a 'mystery brew' [alcohol]; occasionally they are allowed a chocolate or energy bar.