Have I Got News For You uses handbag to replace MP Nicky Morgan

Friday 16th December 2016, 12:19pm

  • Have I Got News For You has replaced absent guest Nicky Morgan MP with a handbag
  • The Conservative politician, who was involved in 'trousergate', pulled out of the recording on Wednesday
  • Paul Merton sits next to the handbag for the duration of the show, which will be on BBC One at 9pm
Have I Got News For You. Paul Merton. Copyright: Hat Trick Productions

Have I Got News For You has replaced absent guest Nicky Morgan MP with a handbag.

Producers Hat Trick announced on Wednesday that the Conservative MP had pulled out of appearing on the show owing to "unforeseen circumstances".

Morgan had been booked in September to appear on this Friday's show alongside guest host Gary Lineker and comedian Jon Richardson, but no further reason was given for her absence.

The politician angered Downing Street earlier this week after querying why Prime Minister Theresa May had spent £995 on a pair of leather trousers.

When the Prime Minister was photographed for the Sunday Times in a pair of flared "bitter chocolate" leather trousers, Morgan said: "I don't think I've ever spent that much on anything apart from my wedding dress". The row, dubbed 'trousergate' by some newspapers, dominated several front pages with The Mail on Sunday revealing a series of strained text message exchanges between Morgan and the prime minister's joint chief of staff, Fiona Hill.

However, archive pictures then emerged showing former Education Secretary Morgan entering Downing Street holding a Mulberry Bayswater handbag valued at £950. It is presumably this revelation that prompted the producers to install a handbag as the guest.

In pictures released ahead of the broadcast, the handbag can be seen with a microphone just in case it speaks.

This is not the first time Have I Got News For You has used an inanimate object to replace an absent guest. In 1993, when Labour MP Roy Hattersley failed to appear at short notice, producers featured "The Rt. Hon. Tub of Lard MP", noting it was "liable to give much the same performance and imbued with many of the same qualities".

2:45pm update: Morgan tweeted: "I'd have donated the original bag if asked - it would have better lines than me."

Have I Got News For You. Paul Merton. Copyright: Hat Trick Productions
Have I Got News For You. Paul Merton. Copyright: Hat Trick Productions
Have I Got News For You. Paul Merton. Copyright: Hat Trick Productions
Have I Got News For You. Gary Lineker. Copyright: Hat Trick Productions

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