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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In April 2003, frequent guest panelist Stephen Fry announced that he was boycotting the show following the sacking of Angus Deayton, a decision described by Fry as "greasy, miserable, British and pathetic". See more »
Do I sense that this is another week you haven't been reading the papers?
Absolutely. It's a great burden off my shoulders.
Evidently. And onto ours, by the sounds of it.
What does that mean?
It means the burden passes from yours to his because he has to fill you in on the story, it's not too difficult.
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The popular (and great) British satirical news quiz
Have I Got News For You is a satirical news quiz in which two teams compete for points, by answering questions on the weeks events. The show is often devastatingly funny, extremely witty and is always fresh and topical.
Hosted by Angus Deayton until 2002, the show features two regular team captains, Ian Hislop and Paul Merton who are each joined by a guest. From the second series in 2002 and in to 2003, the show has been hosted by a series of guest hosts, ranging from popular MP's like William Hague and Charles Kennedy to mainstream celebrities such as Charlotte Church and Anne Robinson.
Ian Hislop is the editor of the fortnightly satirical magazine, private eye and is known for being euro-sceptic and anti-football. Throughout the shows history, Ian's knowledge of pop music has been the butt of many jokes from the other two regulars, but he usually takes it in good humour.
Paul Merton, the second of the two captains, is a well-known comedian who works for the BBC in a number of other productions, such as Room 101. His comments during the show are typically off the wall and almost random to the extent of making him the bright star of the show's off-beat humour - particularly if he's on form.
The show's guests include people from all areas of the media - ranging from lords to comedians and from political leaders to actors and actresses. Some of the show's best guests have been the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone (who claimed he was once second in popularity to the pope), Spectator editor and Tory MP, Boris Johnson (who made such a hash out of all his appearances as to be one of the show's brightest and funniest guests), Guardian Columnist and well-known Feminist, Germaine Greer (who made certain to Ian Hislop she was wearing don't f**k me shoes) and the totally mad Eddie Izzard who asked if all the items in the odd-one out were made out of jam.
Many people have claimed that without Angus Deayton, the show could not work and is destined for failure. Two series later, the show is still running as well as it ever has, with the added bonus of the guest hosts being able to shine through and give a wave of freshness to the show. How could ever forget Bruce Forsythe's "Play your Iraqi cards right?'
It's just a show that can never get tired - as the news itself will never get tiresome - there'll always be scandals, lies and Have I Got News For You.
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