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Have I Got News For You - A Comedy Topical News Quiz

Updated on April 27, 2008
Top: Angus Deayton, Left Bottom: Ian Hislop, Left Right: Paul Merton
Top: Angus Deayton, Left Bottom: Ian Hislop, Left Right: Paul Merton


Just a couple of funny moments from the show, for your reading pleasure. Suffice to say, they're much better seen live than read from a screen, unless your brain has impeccable comic timing.

Angus Deayton: Yes, this is the Pokémon phenomenon that has swept the UK. One school in Berkshire has banned Pokémon after instances of bullying to obtain the rarer cards. The bullying has finally stopped however, now that Mr. Hunt the geography teacher has the complete set.

Angus Deayton: Revisionist historians now claim that far from being mad, Joan of Arc may have been a victim of food poisoning. Makes sense, I can't tell you the number of times I've eaten a few dodgy prawns and ended up commanding the French army.

For those existing outside the British Isles, the panel show Have I Got News For You may be a yet undiscovered comic treasure. For the past 18 years, since its inception in 1990, the show has been making light of important world affairs, and for the first six years of its legendary run, the core cast of Ian Hislop, the editor of Private Eye Magazine, Paul Merton, a brilliant and too little known British comedian, and Angus Deayton, a comic actor and television presenter appeared in each and every episode.

The happy trio were broken up for the first time in 1996, when Paul Merton took a year off from the show, and then again permanently in 2002 when Angus Deayton was fired after tabloids reported that he had indulged in adulterous drug fueled behavior. Ian Hislop has appeared on each and every episode for the past 18 years however, refusing to allow anything to come between him and his commitment to the show, including a nasty case of appendicitis which sent him to the hospital immediately after the taping of the show.

Hislop holds the dubious title of being the most sued man in Britain, a result of his sometimes cavalier but always witty comments, and his aggressive, fearless attitude to news journalism.

Paul Merton is known for a broad range of work including being host of Room 101, another excellent television show where celebrities come on the show and nominate the things they most hate for banishment into Room 101, as well as a documentary series on China, his stand up tours, and his ability at improvisational comedy.

The format of Have I Got News For You is simple, each team captain has one guest, which may be an comedian, celebrity, or somebody in the news, and the two teams then compete against one another in a series of rounds which are:

The First Round: In which teams view silent video clips representing news events and comment thereon.

The Picture Spin Quiz: A spinning picture is shown first up close, and then spins out with more of the picture coming into the frame until one of the teams buzzes in and identifies what story the picture represents.

The Odd One Out Round: Not unlike Seasame Streets' "three of these things belong together, three of these things are kind of the same, but one of these things just doesn't belong here, now it's time to play our game, it's time to play our game" game, the odd one out round involves working out which picture from four shown does not belong with the others.

The Missing Words Round: In the missing words round, headlines are taken from major newspapers, and one guest publication of an obscure nature, for example "Inkwells Monthly" or "Cranes Today". The headlines are shown to contestants with one or more words missing, and it is the job of the contestants to fill in the gaps.


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    • profile image

      funky23 6 years ago from Deutschland

      awesome post thank you for the good read !

    • kephrira profile image

      kephrira 8 years ago from Birmingham

      I love this show, always watch it when its one.

    • Hope Alexander profile image

      Hope Alexander 9 years ago

      Thanks for your comments The Indexer, just one correction to them, Hislop had, at last count that I'm aware of, lost every single suit bar one.

    • The Indexer profile image

      John Welford 9 years ago from UK

      Hope, Thanks for this! HIGNFY has been a must-not-miss favourite in my family for as long as I can remember.

      Just two things to add:

      Since Angus Deayton's, departure, the quiz has always been chaired by a different person each week, although many have appeared several times. These have included some quite prominent people, including fairly senior politicians who find themselves reading autocues that poke fun at themselves or their parliamentary colleagues. A number of politicians have been able to come across as human beings after all, and they clearly enjoy the experience. Others, however, have been too stupid to realise that they are the butt of the joke!

      The second thing to make clear is that Ian Hislop's court appearances have not resulted from HIGNFY comments, but from the stories run by his satirical but hard-hitting magazine "Private Eye", to which I have been a regular subscriber for many years. He has never been afraid to expose dodgy dealings and politicians with a hand in the till, and the vicitms have often felt forced to sue Hislop and Private Eye in attempting to clear their name. However, they lose as often as they win!