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Have I Got News for You (1990)
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.
Cambridge Spies (2003)
The BBC has once again shown that they can still create top quality drama. While there may be some historical issues with the script, one has to admire the fact that the characters are portrayed accurately and convincingly. Having just seen the last of the four-part series, I can comment that for entertainment value it is top notch.
Sure, some may argue the historical facts are inaccurate, or that the light spun upon the situation is somewhat different to how it was at the time, but much information about the infamous Cambridge spies is uncertain at best - in particular Kim Philby (Toby Stephens) is somewhat a mystery even today. Do not be fooled into thinking that this series is a documentary, it isn't. However, you will be forgiven for thinking that you are watching the actual events, with the locations, pieces and acting all first class.
Watch it with an open mind, as if it is fictional. You will be greatly rewarded, excited and even humoured at how four masterminds underplayed the archaic MI6 for their principals. I'd certainly recommend it.
Overall: 9/10 - Losing the ultimate 1 mark for seeming rushed in parts and sometimes making it hard to understand the relationships between the very complex characters - particularly at the start of the series.