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Hilarious, totally-irreverent, near-slanderous political quiz show, based mainly on news stories from the last week or so, that leaves no party, personality or action unscathed in pursuit of laughs. Hosted by Deayton, with team captains Hislop (magazine columnist) and Merton (comedian) joined by, typically, a comedian and a politician, journalist or news figure - although an absent Labour politician was once famously replaced by a tub of lard! Regular rounds of Caption Competition, Odd One Out, What Happened Next and Missing Words are interspersed with running jokes: Deayton's senile mother, Hislop's Jimmy Somerville impersonation, the firm belief that all politicians are crooks... Written by
Cynan Rees <email@example.com>
Paul Merton was absent for the eleventh series because he felt that the show had gotten into a bit of a rut and hoped things would get shaken up. The tactic succeeded, and the show has since been much more popular as a result. He also appeared in the first episode of that series as Ian Hislop's guest. He returned for the following series. See more »
I felt I should write this as the previous review had no mention of Angus Deayton's departure.
Though this should have been a tragedy for this great show, something good has come out of it, with a guest host every week. 'Have I got News for You' is a dependable British Comic institution. I can be found faithfully on a Friday night in front of my TV set, watching and laughing. The basic formula is: one guest host (expected to make obligatory self-derogatory remarks) two captains (almost without exception the comic geniuses that are Ian Hislop and Paul Merton) and two guests (who are expected to make jokes relevant to their fields, For many people it is a matter of choice, but I prefer Paul Merton's humour to Ian Hislop's.
The animated title scene is perhaps the worst part of this brilliant show- and it is only half a minute! The other problem is that because this is so topical, it cannot survive like Blackadder has, it lacks that timeless element. Generations to come would have to read up on some news reports to understand the jokes.
Sometimes, the guests can be superb, or less so, but the programme is carried solely on Merton and Hislop, and rounds such as the one where a newspaper is taken and a series of words blanked out are guessed.
On a more serious note, this is not a quiz show in the vein of Who wants to be a Millionaire or University Challenge- this is for fun. Some who are not entirely up to speed on current affairs may not enjoy all the jokes.
So if you find life tragic enough and long for a bit of humour, do watch it, because they've got news for you!
(I couldn't resist it)
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