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Have I Got News for You

 Have I Got News for You
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Satirical Panel Show focusing on politics that has been running since the end of the Margaret Thatcher era, with two series per year. Debuted in 1990. The two team captains are Ian Hislop (editor of satirical magazine Private Eye) and comedian Paul Merton; each team has a single guest contestant. As well as comedians and TV personalities, even politicians have appeared on the show as guests.The show began with Angus Deayton as host, but he was fired after being caught taking cocaine. Twice. With a lady who was definitely not his partner at the time. Who later turned out to be a prostitute in disguise. Who was working for the papers. And That's Terrible. On the episode after this came to light, Hislop brought out the paper and liberally quoted from the article; Merton went one better and wore a T-shirt with the front page of the newspaper printed on it. Beginning with the third episode of the following series, the show began using guest presenters.The show's basic rounds are: The Film Round, where the teams are shown mute footage relating to the week's major stories. The Picture Round. Originally this was the Tabloid Headlines Round, where the players were shown a punny tabloid headline and had to guess what story it related to, but now they are shown a picture concerning a news story and have to guess the story. The way in which the picture is presented changes every week, including the Wheel of News, Jigsaw of News and One-Armed Bandit of News, as well as some versions unique to that week's guest host (see Actor Allusion below). The Odd One Out round, where each team are shown a group of 4 things and have to guess the odd one out. The Missing Words round, where the teams are shown a selection of newspaper headlines with some part blanked out and have to guess what it is, usually coming up with surreal or jokey answers and only on occasion guessing correctly. Some of the headlines are taken from that week's suitably obscure guest publication, which have included Llama Link, Doorknob Collector and The Barbed Wire Collector (which Paul insisted couldn't possibly be a real magazine).
 Have I Got News for You
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2013-01-18T17:30:45Z
 Have I Got News for You
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2016-07-01T12:29:35Z
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British Series
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Long-Runners
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Series of the 1990s
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BBC 2
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WithEuropeButNotOfIt
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DBTropes
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Actor Allusion
 Have I Got News for You
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And That's Terrible
 Have I Got News for You
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Exactly What It Says on the Tin
 Have I Got News for You
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Guest Host
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Honey Trap
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Margaret Thatcher
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PanelShow
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PrivateEye
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Role-Ending Misdemeanor
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RunningGag
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Your Cheating Heart
 Have I Got News for You
sameAs
Have_I_Got_News_for_You
 Have I Got News for You / int_149d3d02
type
Precision F-Strike
 Have I Got News for You / int_149d3d02
comment
Precision F-Strike: The punchline of Paul's story about a badger. There was an amusing moment once when Paul was talking about a TV drama about the discovery of Tutankhanman's tomb that depicted Howard Carter swearing upon seeing the treasure for the first time. Paul just mimed it, and then Ian excitedly jumped in with, "'What do you see?' 'Fucking beautiful things!'" When Alastair Campbell finally got annoyed, he told Ross Noble to "shut the fuck up".
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 Have I Got News for You / int_15f4d539
type
We Interrupt This Program
 Have I Got News for You / int_15f4d539
comment
We Interrupt This Program: In S37E07, a crew member walked up to Ian and whispered in his ear. Ian then announced that cabinet minister James Purnell had just resigned, just as the panel were discussing the various cabinet resignations that has occurred during that week.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_1ed09d5f
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Who Shot JFK?
 Have I Got News for You / int_1ed09d5f
comment
Who Shot JFK?: Merton once recounted a joke of his that didn't travel well: "I always wanted to ask Lee Harvey Oswald 'can you remember what you were doing when President Kennedy was assassinated?'"
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 Have I Got News for You / int_1fa6cbb
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Deadpan Snarker
 Have I Got News for You / int_1fa6cbb
comment
Deadpan Snarker: Paul as well as Angus. Ian is more British Stuffiness, Knight in Sour Armor, and Grumpy Bear.
 Have I Got News for You / int_1fa6cbb
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 Have I Got News for You / int_22c29e50
type
Determinator
 Have I Got News for You / int_22c29e50
comment
Determinator: Ian has appeared in every 'proper' episode of HIGNFY, and is the only person to have done so, to the point of checking himself out of hospital temporarily just to make sure he didn't miss one. (He had to return to hospital the moment the recording was done for surgery.)
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 Have I Got News for You / int_23368a2f
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The Board Game
 Have I Got News for You / int_23368a2f
comment
The Board Game: Yes, really (although now sadly discontinued).
 Have I Got News for You / int_23368a2f
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 Have I Got News for You / int_2625a9f6
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Freudian Slip
 Have I Got News for You / int_2625a9f6
comment
Freudian Slip: In Series 42, Episode 6, guest presenter Dan Stevens was discussing a story about Larry the Downing Street cat, leading to the following:
 Have I Got News for You / int_2625a9f6
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 Have I Got News for You / int_26ad3f51
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Serial Escalation
 Have I Got News for You / int_26ad3f51
comment
Serial Escalation and Rule of Funny: The Tub of Lard episode almost literally ended this way in the final missing words round. Not only was Paul's partner an inanimate object, but the questions posed to his team were given in French, German, Russian, Japanese, and in the last case the entire sentence was missing... and he still won. Have I Got News for You: The Shameless Cash-In Book presented a list of guests and their average score based on how many questions they got correct. The Tub of Lard had scored more points than Roy Hattersley and a string of other MPs, as well as Stephen Fry.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_2a834a44
type
Berserk Button
 Have I Got News for You / int_2a834a44
comment
Berserk Button: Jeremy Hunt (Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport) appears to be one for Nick Hewer.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_2ac8ddd7
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The Scrooge
 Have I Got News for You / int_2ac8ddd7
comment
Jokes about Angus being The Scrooge and about his mainstream celebrity. (Ian, after a question had described Private Eye cartoonist Bill Tidy as a "celebrity": "You're a celebrity, Bill Tidy's got a job.")
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 Have I Got News for You / int_2c317660
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make a to do send a pm add to watchlist drop watch go to watchlist Frivolous Law Suit
 Have I Got News for You / int_2c317660
comment
Frivolous Lawsuit: MP Rupert Allason pursued a libel action against the show for referring to him as a "conniving little shit" in a book based on the series. He lost, and it was pointed out on the next show that he was now the only man in Britain recognised by law as a conniving little shit.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_2dfd3ee9
type
Sophisticated as Hell
 Have I Got News for You / int_2dfd3ee9
comment
Sophisticated as Hell: Ian Hislop claims complete ignorance of popular culture, making questions about — or occasional appearances by — pop stars more entertaining. When Angus Deayton was host, he would sometimes explain who a modern pop group was to Hislop by describing them as a "popular beat combo", a reference to a possibly-apocryphal but well-known story about a judge in the 1960s who was informed about the Beatles in this manner. Occasionally Hislop will subvert this for laughs by displaying surprise knowledge of popular culture, to which Deayton would reply with "That sounds dangerously modern, Ian."
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 Have I Got News for You / int_30e549d2
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UnusualEuphemism
 Have I Got News for You / int_30e549d2
comment
Hislop also managed to call Mandelson a "friend of John Birt" (the BBC boss who made the decision) in a way that suggested it was an Unusual Euphemism.
 Have I Got News for You / int_30e549d2
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 Have I Got News for You / int_313706ca
type
In Memoriam
 Have I Got News for You / int_313706ca
comment
In Memoriam: A 2011 episode was dedicated to the recently deceased Big George, who composed the theme tune.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_3262fb8d
type
Red Shirt
 Have I Got News for You / int_3262fb8d
comment
Red Shirt: The Liberal Democrats in the coalition agreement, according to Paul, after a long metaphor about a Lib Dem/Klingon coalition.
 Have I Got News for You / int_3262fb8d
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 Have I Got News for You / int_33cb705c
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Gretzky Has the Ball
 Have I Got News for You / int_33cb705c
comment
Gretzky Has the Ball: Ian talking about football.
 Have I Got News for You / int_33cb705c
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 Have I Got News for You / int_3420be99
type
KickTheDog
 Have I Got News for You / int_3420be99
comment
Kick the Dog: The initial ribbing of Angus after his scandal came to light was seen as hilarious. The vicious attacks in the following episodes that may have played a role in Deayton being sacked, along with Paul Merton subsequently describing him as "a dull man" and his firing as "not a big deal", were so nasty that Stephen Fry has boycotted HIGNFY ever since.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_374075c4
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Cannot Tell a Joke
 Have I Got News for You / int_374075c4
comment
Cannot Tell a Joke: Neil Kinnock had actually been one of the more reliably funny politicians to have as a guest; then he presented an episode in 2004 and made it a complete trainwreck. It didn't help that the show was recorded not long after it had been announced that he was going to accept a peerage after years of criticizing the House of Lords (Will Self in particular gave him a hard time about that).
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 Have I Got News for You / int_3888561d
type
Totem Pole Trench
 Have I Got News for You / int_3888561d
comment
Totem Pole Trench: Paul's impression of forty-four dwarves on a blind date with an elephant.
 Have I Got News for You / int_3888561d
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 Have I Got News for You / int_3b325f6b
type
Epic Fail
 Have I Got News for You / int_3b325f6b
comment
Epic Fail: Piers Morgan's appearance. He spends the entire episode being spectacularly obnoxious and thin-skinned, threatening to send photographers round to Ian Hislop and Clive Anderson's homes, and at one point tries to bully the audience into laughing at a joke he reused from Eddie Izzard's appearance the previous week. The audience are laughing at him (not with him) throughout all this. Then towards the end he asks the audience "Does anyone like him (Ian)?" The audience proceed to cheer loudly in favour of Ian. Rupert Allison sued the show and the BBC for suggesting that he could be described as a "conniving little shit"... and lost the case. Some time later his name came up in the show and the presenters mentioned this as often as possible. Specifically, they stated that he was the only person to be recognised by law as a "conniving little shit". "It is getting rather sad that I can't win against Paul when he's accompanied by a tub of lard and his questions are in a foreign language!"
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 Have I Got News for You / int_3b72de76
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Take That!
 Have I Got News for You / int_3b72de76
comment
Take That: Against every politician, celebrity, and public figure, ever. In particular, Ian treated the episode hosted by Alastair Campbell as one long Take That against the Blair administration, and Campbell in particular. Regardless of your political alignment, it was spectacular.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_400da298
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Brick Joke
 Have I Got News for You / int_400da298
comment
Brick Joke: In a 2012 episode, one of the questions is about a competition to find a national anthem for cheddar cheese, sung to the tune of the existing British national anthem. Guest host Alexander Armstrong challenges Paul to come up with such an anthem, to which he replies he can't do it at such short notice. Halfway through the next question, he suddenly bursts into his improvised anthem.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_410cba9a
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Working Class People Are Morons
 Have I Got News for You / int_410cba9a
comment
Working Class People Are Morons: Averted in that of over 300 episodes, Paul has won nearly twice as many as Ian, and Ian has won only three out of thirty-nine series — and one of those was Series 11, when Paul wasn't there. A tie-in book presented statistics showing that Ian does answer more questions correctly than Paul, suggesting Ian just gets lumped with all the stupider guests.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_41940d47
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Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere
 Have I Got News for You / int_41940d47
comment
Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: Used as a Running Gag in one episode where Paul announced he'd quit smoking.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_43e6e63e
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F--
 Have I Got News for You / int_43e6e63e
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F Minus Minus: Paul has a CSE ungraded in metalwork!
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 Have I Got News for You / int_47822b3c
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Your Cheating Heart
 Have I Got News for You / int_47822b3c
comment
Your Cheating Heart: Years before Angus's scandal, it was a Running Gag that he was sleeping with Paul's then-wife, Caroline Quentin. Paul seemed to veer between playing along and finding it Dude, Not Funny!.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_4a1f4317
type
Off the Rails
 Have I Got News for You / int_4a1f4317
comment
Off the Rails: Paul's rambling surreal tangents that rapidly move away from the story in question. A good example is when he went from a story about an escaped polar bear to a discussion of how tomato plants are the natural enemy of polar bears, while Ian, joining in, insisted it was in fact potatoes.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_4a9b4396
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Ripped from the Headlines
 Have I Got News for You / int_4a9b4396
comment
Ripped from the Headlines: Understandably averted in a 2012 episode where nearly every reference to the Duchess of Cambridge's pregnancy - one of the biggest news stories of the week - had to be edited out hours before the programme went to air due to the suicide of a nurse at the hospital she was staying at.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_4c892917
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Small Name, Big Ego
 Have I Got News for You / int_4c892917
comment
Small Name, Big Ego: Piers Morgan's appearances, see above.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_4d1b8a4a
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Hurricane of Puns
 Have I Got News for You / int_4d1b8a4a
comment
Hurricane of Puns: The Pot Noodle conversation. (S31E08)
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 Have I Got News for You / int_4da05b5d
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Shout-Out
 Have I Got News for You / int_4da05b5d
comment
Shout Out: Paul gleefully slipped in a nod to Round the Horne when mentioning the switch from the Gregorian to the Julian calendar. One version of the intro, referencing the trouble over the Maastrict Treaty, had a modernised version of the Dad's Army intro with Nazi arrows over Europe aimed at the UK, only with the swastika replaced with the European Union logo...on all the arrows except one. In the Benedict Cumberbatch episode he goes through the names of notable North Korean dictators. When he got to Kim Jong Il, he started singing that he looks "So Ronery".
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 Have I Got News for You / int_4f92cfd2
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AnyoneCanDie
 Have I Got News for You / int_4f92cfd2
comment
Anyone Can Die: As Angus Deayton found. Well, kind of. Maybe just Put on a Bus to other light entertainment shows where he doesn't need to be sanctimonious. Or Dropped A Silly Season On Him.
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Have I Got News for You / int_4f92cfd2
 Have I Got News for You / int_4facc5c8
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Speak of the Devil
 Have I Got News for You / int_4facc5c8
comment
Speak of the Devil:
 Have I Got News for You / int_4facc5c8
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 Have I Got News for You / int_50b27758
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Literal-Minded
 Have I Got News for You / int_50b27758
comment
Literal-Minded: A favorite joke format of Paul's. Here's an example.
 Have I Got News for You / int_50b27758
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 Have I Got News for You / int_513adbf6
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Going Commando
 Have I Got News for You / int_513adbf6
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Answering a question that was obviously aimed at his teammate, such as when Lorraine Kelly was his teammate and had recently been in the news for talking about Going Commando:
 Have I Got News for You / int_513adbf6
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 Have I Got News for You / int_52797c70
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The Tyson Zone
 Have I Got News for You / int_52797c70
comment
The Tyson Zone: "I played my [Richard] Branson card and it turned out to be true." Also invoked by Ian when Tony Parsons (jokingly) claimed Andrew Lloyd Webber had written a musical about the House of Lords called Lords! and everyone believed him.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_53331161
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The Last of These Is Not Like the Others
 Have I Got News for You / int_53331161
comment
The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Often done with the Odd One Out and Tabloid Headlines rounds.
 Have I Got News for You / int_53331161
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 Have I Got News for You / int_5338aa77
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The Exit Is That Way
 Have I Got News for You / int_5338aa77
comment
The Exit Is That Way: Paul's impression of an entry in David Blunkett's diary: Tried to leave the house, walked into the cupboard by mistake. Stayed there for eight hours, too proud to admit my error.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_53986c4e
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make a to do send a pm add to watchlist drop watch go to watchlist The Cuckoo Lander Was Right
 Have I Got News for You / int_53986c4e
comment
The Cuckoolander Was Right: On occasion.
 Have I Got News for You / int_53986c4e
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 Have I Got News for You / int_5443c867
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make a to do send a pm add to watchlist drop watch go to watchlist Recut
 Have I Got News for You / int_5443c867
comment
Re Cut: Have I Got a Bit More News for You, aired the next day (or two days later for series 39-40) on BBC 2, featuring 15 minutes of new material. Series 42 promoted the extended versions to Sunday nights on BBC 1. The first 'Best of the Guest Presenters' DVD features a one-hour version of the first Boris Johnson-hosted episode.
 Have I Got News for You / int_5443c867
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 Have I Got News for You / int_567bd798
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Evolving Credits
 Have I Got News for You / int_567bd798
comment
Evolving Credits: The title sequence has changed many times over the years to reflect recent news events. In later series they change it a little bit at a time rather than all at once - currently, Barack Obama shoots a basketball at a hoop on the Oval Office wall, but whether it goes in or bounces off the rim varies depending on his recent political fortunes. The one common part to all the sequences is that they begin by focusing in on the Palace of Westminster Clock Tower (the one that houses Big Ben) to accompany the "BONG!" at the start of the theme tune.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_56bbc9f0
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This entry is trivia, which is cool and all, but not a trope. On a work, it goes on the Trivia tab. Hey, It's That Guy!
 Have I Got News for You / int_56bbc9f0
comment
Hey, It's That Guy!: Detective Jimmy McNulty, the Fourth Doctor and Doctor Martin Ellingham have all hosted the show, among others. Miles Jupp's appearance in series 40 successfully got "Balamory" trending on Twitter in the UK.
 Have I Got News for You / int_56bbc9f0
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 Have I Got News for You / int_5835e5c3
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Cowboy BeBop at His Computer
 Have I Got News for You / int_5835e5c3
comment
Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: Ian sometimes refers to modern or popular things in a way that suggests he's not familiar with them, although it's likely he's just making fun of his own reputation as a culturally elitist person. Ian tried to bluff his way through talking about the musician Fatboy Slim, prompting Paul to press for more details until he slipped up. Apparently, Fatboy Slim is one of the world's top rave DJs and is responsible for the "Ibiza Sound". When asked about which team a famous footballer plays for, Ian replied: "He plays FOR FOOTBALL!" Strangely averted, however, when Ian went on a rant about Pokémon, correctly naming several of them. He has kids who were in the 5-10 age when the TV series and first movie came out in the UK. And he was outdone on this front by Miles Jupp, whose improvised song "Let's All Go Sex Up That Bitch" is hilarious all in its own right. To the tune of a hymn, no less.
 Have I Got News for You / int_5835e5c3
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 Have I Got News for You / int_5921f3a2
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Bait-and-Switch Comparison
 Have I Got News for You / int_5921f3a2
comment
Bait-and-Switch Comparison: A staple of the autocue jokes. Guest presenters often fail to stealthily approach these, so the audience groans pre-emptively. One example is from series 34, episode 8. Guest host Jack Dee introduces Ian Hislop and his teammate: "On my right, a shameless, womanizing drug addict and wildly flamboyant dresser, and his guest tonight, Russell Brand Another: "On Ian's team this week is someone who spends every week playing a balding old man baffled by the modern world, and next to him is Richard Wilson". One more: On news that a section of the Arctic would be renamed 'Queen Elizabeth Land'; "Cold, remote and shrinking rapidly - the Queen is 86."
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 Have I Got News for You / int_62a73bae
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Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking
 Have I Got News for You / int_62a73bae
comment
A common gag is to list headlines used to cover a certain story and end with the one that's not like the others:
 Have I Got News for You / int_62a73bae
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 Have I Got News for You / int_62b90b5
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Ominous Multiple Screens
 Have I Got News for You / int_62b90b5
comment
Ominous Multiple Screens: One version of the intro finishes with the various scenes making it up all viewed at once by some villains, only for them all to go to static and show the Have I Got News for You title.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_63f56793
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Worst. Whatever. Ever!
 Have I Got News for You / int_63f56793
comment
Worst. Episode. Ever: Paul claims either the one with Neil Kinnock presenting or the "Margaret Thatcher special" with Edwina Currie and Derek Hatton have this dubious honour.
 Have I Got News for You / int_63f56793
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 Have I Got News for You / int_650f661d
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A Winner Is You
 Have I Got News for You / int_650f661d
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A Winner Is You: "So, congratulations to Ian for winning his first series ever. And as a special prize, he gets to appear in the next series."
 Have I Got News for You / int_650f661d
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 Have I Got News for You / int_651be843
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Camp Straight
 Have I Got News for You / int_651be843
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Camp Straight: Ian's impression of the German ambassador.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_67302b17
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Completely Missing the Point
 Have I Got News for You / int_67302b17
comment
Completely Missing the Point: Conservative MP Teddy Taylor once appeared as a guest and seemed to have no idea that it was either a quiz or a comedy rather than a serious discussion programme and just rambled nonstop about Europe to the point where Paul, sitting next to him, mimed hanging himself.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_68dc67fc
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Verbal Tic
 Have I Got News for You / int_68dc67fc
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Paul genuinely does do different voices, but generally just a few stock ones: the main ones are his 'posh rich idiot' voice (donchaknow!), his throaty London Gangster voice, and a disreputable American gold prospector voice.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_6adb1d41
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London Gangster
 Have I Got News for You / int_6adb1d41
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And the opposite, the exaggerated-working-class-London Gangster accent. The funniest was probably when he used it to imitate the Queen.
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BritishAccents
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British Accents: Aside from the obvious use, there is also the accent Merton uses while twisting an imaginary monocle in order to portray and mock posh people as well as other used in parody. Including the Queen as a London cab driver. With her own cut glass accent. And the opposite, the exaggerated-working-class-London Gangster accent. The funniest was probably when he used it to imitate the Queen. Paul went on a hilarious rant when Ian used the phrase "I've been down the collider" after hearing a story about a physicist speculating that the Large Hadron Collider was sabotaging itself from the future.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_6ce8e358
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Straight Man
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Straight Man: Nick Hewer when he is on the show. His usual comedic specialty is simply blandly answering the questions, but in such a way that he still gets big laughs. He's one of the best guests, actually.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_6d0af505
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OldShame
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Old Shame: Peter Hitchens, who appeared in an episode in series 17, afterwards described HIGNFY as being a "repellent programme".
 Have I Got News for You / int_6d0af505
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 Have I Got News for You / int_7208f70c
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Hypocritical Humor
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Something of a hypocritical example in S19E3:
 Have I Got News for You / int_7208f70c
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 Have I Got News for You / int_7303a5f6
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Cluster F-Bomb
 Have I Got News for You / int_7303a5f6
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Cluster F-Bomb: Occasionally, notably the discussion of "fuck-me shoes" in one of Germaine Greer's appearances, which Ian brought up because she'd mentioned them in a column as a sign of low self-esteem. She claimed she herself was wearing "don't-fuck-me shoes." Eventually Paul in joined by wondering "why shoes would want to be fucked anyway" and whether there was such a thing as "fuck-me socks" ("You open them at Christmas and go, 'Fuck me — socks!'") The last "fuck" was bleeped or cut from broadcasts because they were only allotted a certain number by the BBC and exceeded it by one. A further example occured during Robert Kilroy-Silk's infamous appearance, as Paul's guest. By the end of the show, Paul was so frustrated at Kilroy-Silk trying to interrupt him that he repeatedly told him to shut the fuck up - five or six times in a row. The guest presenters DVD showed the uncensored clip, the broadcast show omitted the profanity.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_74e4c62a
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Arch-Enemy
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comment
Arch-Enemy: Piers Morgan to Ian Hislop. And before that, Robert Maxwell to Ian Hislop. Ian gets in a lot of trouble with the libel laws. Hislop is the most sued man in British legal history. "A lot of trouble" is putting it mildly. And everyone against Jeffrey Archer.
 Have I Got News for You / int_74e4c62a
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 Have I Got News for You / int_757d4df
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Viewers Are Morons
 Have I Got News for You / int_757d4df
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Viewers Are Morons: Victoria Coren claimed the BBC's coverage of the Diamond Jubilee Pageant was this, with it being aimed at "some imaginary idiot".
 Have I Got News for You / int_757d4df
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 Have I Got News for You / int_7677bf1c
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MundaneMadeAwesome
 Have I Got News for You / int_7677bf1c
comment
Mundane Made Awesome: Invoked with the latest variant on the Picture Round, the "Large Hadron Collider of News". Guest host Lee Mack describes it as an 'exciting new technical innovation', prompting "oohs" and gasps from the audience. He then reaches under the desk and produces a large plastic red button.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_79f565f4
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KeepCirculatingTheTapes
 Have I Got News for You / int_79f565f4
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Keep Circulating the Tapes: As it is a topical programme, no full releases of series have been made. Many episodes from across the series were available on YouTube until a recent spate of copyright claims put an end to that.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_7f79bad7
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make a to do send a pm add to watchlist drop watch go to watchlist Face Palm
 Have I Got News for You / int_7f79bad7
comment
Face Palm: Both Ian and Paul are fond of doing this. Ian also sometimes does the 'slapping your forehead at stupidity' variant.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_82a600c3
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LampshadeHanging
 Have I Got News for You / int_82a600c3
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For whatever reason, the show has been plagued by accusations of scripting/rigging, which has been the subject of a lot of faux-Lampshade Hanging. The "unbroadcastable" episode contains an intro segment explaining how "every episode is painstakingly directed and rehearsed almost a year before transmission," with a script reading where they go over every single hesitation and inflection, with Ian eventually storming out prima donna-like because Angus won't listen to a suggestion about when to turn his head. When Norman Tebbit claimed that the panellists would never be able to improvise all those jokes, Paul (whose comedic background is in improv and stand-up) responded on the show by saying "When Norman Tebbit said I couldn't improvise, I..." and trailed off as if unable to think of anything. Boris Johnson also reacted to his first uncomfortable appearance as a guest by claiming in his magazine that the entire show had been rehearsed (which, as Paul and Ian point out on the DVD, makes no sense, as then he would have been prepared for the line of questioning that made him look Too Dumb to Live). On his second appearance, when Paul brought it up, he apologized and said it wasn't true, which Ian immediately followed up with "Well said, Bor-is. (peeks at paper) Thank you."
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The Points Mean Nothing
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comment
The Points Mean Nothing: The points are actually awarded on a fairly-straightforward basis, although they're subject to tampering in special cases, like when Anne Robinson awarded Paul's team a point every time Ian annoyed her, or the time the final score was changed to 45-1 against Dr. Phil Hammond, who'd been promised he could host if he won. In early episodes, it wasn't uncommon for Ian to get indignant over perceived unfairness in the scoring. Inverted at least once, following an Odd One Out round that included a question involving Private Eye and a story about a guy in drag whom it turned out Ian had run into: On one occasion when the show had ended in a draw, Ian complained about leaving it at a tie and guest host Jack Dee instantly awarded an extra point to Paul's team. On another occasion when the show ended in a draw, there seemed to be no provision for what to do and Angus had to quickly make up a random tiebreak question: "...what is the capital of Albania?" One episode lampshaded this; Angus read out a letter from a viewer complaining about the seemingly random allocation of the points, whereafter he apologised to the viewer and awarded a point to Ian's team... and he still lost. Invoked when William Shatner messed up the reading of the final scores at the end of his show, causing Ian to say "it's not important!", whereupon Shatner read out incorrect scores. In the episode hosted by Alistair Campbell, Paul's team won 55-2... because Campbell awarded Paul points every time Ian made a dig at the Blair Ministry. One episode in November 2000, the team with fewer points was declared the winners, "as a tribute to our American guest" (said guest being Rich Hall, who promptly called for a recount).
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 Have I Got News for You / int_85a4101f
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make a to do send a pm add to watchlist drop watch go to watchlist Cloud Cuckoo Lander
 Have I Got News for You / int_85a4101f
comment
Cloudcuckoolander: MP Boris Johnson, made slightly terrifying by the fact that he was a Conservative spokesman and is now the Mayor of London.
 Have I Got News for You / int_85a4101f
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 Have I Got News for You / int_87346d73
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Colbert Bump
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Colbert Bump: Lampshaded In-Universe. Everybody is aware that the show is capable of a strong bump (see the YMMV page for examples). Series 44 episode 6, had Rachel Johnson on to promote her new book (it sort of didn't work as the panel ignored her) and Roger Moore admitted that was the "only reason" he was there and showed his new book to the screen. Later on in the episode, it was shown that Ian had taken part in a Greek adaptation of on of his wife's novels and stated that a new one was coming out soon - Moore then showed off his book again to the camera.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_88b56037
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Sarcasm Mode
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Merton: "The visual effects on this programme are so stunning, we're almost doing radio."
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Who's on First?
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Who's on First?: A staple of Merton's humour and it's worked in wherever possible. Which is quite frequently. In another episode, Alexander Armstrong asked Paul which US State Sarah Palin was Governor of. He answered "Alaska" and was then asked when he was going to see her.
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Fascinating Eyebrow
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Occasionally Hislop will subvert this for laughs by displaying surprise knowledge of popular culture, to which Deayton would reply with "That sounds dangerously modern, Ian."
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Accidental Pun
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Accidental Pun
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Big Eater
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Big Eater: Constant jokes about both John Prescott and Eric Pickles being one. Paul noted that the jokes about Prescott are slowly shifting over to Pickles now that Prescott has stepped down.
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Fake Band
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Fake Band: Angus Deayton was formerly in the HeeBeeGeeBees, a parody of The Bee Gees, which is sometimes referenced.
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Knight of Cerebus
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comment
Knight of Cerebus: As soon as the now infamous Jimmy Savile case came up in a recent edition, the joke level plummeted horrifyingly quickly.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_90021ec3
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Rule of Three
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comment
Rule of Three: By sheer chance, Alexander Armstrong hosted the show the weeks Saddam Hussein was captured, Osama bin Laden was shot, and Muammar Gaddafi was killed.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_91e35b1f
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Screwed by the Network
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comment
Screwed by the Network: The 39th series, shown in Spring 2010, was moved out of the Friday slot the show had occupied for nineteen years to a Thursday slot. The reason given for this was so they could show an Election special on May the 6th, the day Britain went to the polls. However, it then turned out that the only available slot for the episode on May 6th was before the polls had closed - which meant that the show would not be allowed to discuss the election at all in case they influenced the way people voted. The episode was hence hastily rescheduled... for the day after, which was of course a Friday. Quite why the BBC thought they could put a satirical news programme on before the polls had closed on election day under broadcasting regulations is beyond anyone.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_92913ab9
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Companion Cube
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comment
Companion Cube The Rt. Hon. Tub of Lard MP.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_92ab0fab
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Captain Obvious
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comment
Captain Obvious: Paul likes to combine this with the Overly Long Gag occasionally. For example, in an episode just before the 2002 World Cup: During one caption competition: "Massive dog." [Beat] "We'll go for massive dog."
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 Have I Got News for You / int_92fe246d
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Vitriolic Best Buds
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comment
Vitriolic Best Buds: Merton and Hislop.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_9741569a
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Take That, Audience!
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Take That, Audience!: Especially in early series, fans of the show are treated as demented lunatics when they're mentioned, and a tie-in book even suggested the typical HIGNFY fan was a psychopath who kept parts of the bodies around his flat as his "friends":
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 Have I Got News for You / int_98f91ab6
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Empty Promise
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Gordon Ramsay told the audience that he would give them a free meal in one of his restaurants if he flubbed his lines three times. He then proceed to do this in the opening monologue. The audience cheered. (He didn't make good on his promise, though.)
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 Have I Got News for You / int_994f3cac
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make a to do send a pm add to watchlist drop watch go to watchlist Catchphrase
 Have I Got News for You / int_994f3cac
comment
Catch Phrase: Paul usually has one for each series. Angus had "No change there" and "In what way?". There are also catchphrases spoken by anyone, such as 'Topical news quiz?' (when a story about something historical comes up). Angus also said in deadpan tones "...is the Wrong Answer" during the Odd One Out round (especially after the player had spoken for a long time and outlined an elaborate theory). Catchphrase Interruptus: Also from "Odd One Out", Angus had the less often use catchphrase that "It/the connection is someone who's not in the pictures" as a singularly unhelpful piece of advice. Paul also went through phases of interrupting or pre-empting Angus's stock lines. There was also " ...allegedly." Angus also had a Mad Libs Catch Phrase "The words 'X' and 'Y' immediately spring to mind."
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 Have I Got News for You / int_99ce2cef
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Inherently Funny Words
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comment
Inherently Funny Words: Paul Merton likes to use "Wolverhampton" as a Punch Line for this reason: Ian obviously likes the sound of "Fatboy Slim", and flings it around when the name of a musician or other celebrity is needed, even though he doesn't really know who Fatboy Slim is.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_9c8bc0f6
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Hilarious Outtakes
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comment
In an out-take shown after the credits, the floor manager tells Boris he'll have to re-do some of his lines. Paul tells him this is perfectly normal for the host, it just depends how far back they have to go:
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 Have I Got News for You / int_9fee0012
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Don't Explain the Joke
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Don't Explain the Joke: One example from the 2010 election special: Also Jack Dee in the first episode he hosted, when Clement Freud asked if Dunkin' Donuts don't taste like toilet bags. "I don't know, because I've never eaten a Dunkin' Donut." [laughter] "Which implies I've eaten a toilet bag." From the outtakes in the "Official Pirate Video," on a picture of Paul in drag for a panto:
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Here There Be Dragons
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comment
Here There Be Dragons: Referenced after it turned out the beaching of the HMS Astute was caused by outdated charts.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_a1fcf815
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Catchphrase Interruptus
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Catchphrase Interruptus:
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 Have I Got News for You / int_a3287edb
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Internet Counterattack
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comment
Internet Counterattack: There was a time when "conniving little shit" was a redirect to "Rupert Allason" on The Other Wiki. The redirect is gone, but he's still the top search result.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_a37d5310
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Worst News Judgment Ever
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comment
Worst News Judgment Ever: Played for laughs a few times; the most triumphant example would be a programme where a story on the rules of Scrabble changing to allow real names was covered as "the story everyone's been talking about" before the story about the 2010 UK general election being called. Also often the source of humour in the "one of these headlines is not like the others" occasional gag. Sometimes there's a good reason for this, like the papers owned by Rupert Murdoch pointedly not covering a story that involves another part of his media empire being embarrassed. Several episodes have coincided with a week of very slow news, with the result being that normally insignificant stories get higher promenience; one example was series 36 episode 6, where the stories in the second round consisted of a haunted sofa, a drawing of a spider somebody had sent as payment for a gas bill, a woman who'd been training for a mission to the South Pole by sitting in a refrigerator and a man who'd converted a double-decker bus into an "all mod cons base for holidays". Ian and Paul spent the entire round in sheer disbelief of the worthlessness of the "stories".
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 Have I Got News for You / int_a382b6a2
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Author Appeal
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comment
Author Appeal: Paul is an expert on The Beatles and silent films, which occasionally comes up. For a fuller list of Paul's interests, see the last episode of Room 101, with Paul as the host and Ian as the guest, where Ian hilariously trolled Paul by making all his disliked items things he knew Paul loves.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_a3b10a8c
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Memetic Sex God
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Memetic Sex God: In-universe, Angus Deayton was referred to as "TV's Mr. Sex".
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 Have I Got News for You / int_a3de079d
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Unexpectedly Obscure Answer
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comment
Unexpectedly Obscure Answer: Most commonly in the missing words round.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_a539dcf8
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Guest Host
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comment
Guest Host: After Angus Deayton's scandal, he left the show and they have been doing it ever since.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_a731ce16
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Actor Allusion
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comment
Actor Allusion: When Bruce Forsyth was a guest presenter, the show turned into a parody of Bruce Forsyth's Generation Game and Play Your Cards Right, the latter as "Play Your Iraqi Cards Right", a reference to the "deck of death" to the utter bewilderment of Hislop and utter delight of Merton. His second appearance featured incidental music from Strictly Come Dancing, and ended with the points revealed in the style of that show. Hislop later described "Iraqi Cards" as being quite possibly the most tasteless thing the show had ever done. It could have been worse — the writers wanted to call it "Play Your Kurds Right". This has happened with several guest hosts to different extents: Jerry Springer's episode featured descriptive captions for the panellists and his trademark 'final thought'. Also, Paul suggesting they have a lie detector test, and Ian suggesting a fight. Nicholas Parsons did a Just a Minute round. Joan Collins' episode featured a spoof of the Dynasty opening sequence (using the shots of the team captains from the first ever episode) It also happened with guests, like the spoof Mastermind rounds. Dominic West had the "Squad Car of News", because of his role on The Wire. Benedict Cumberbatch had The Round of the Baskervilles. Anne Robinson's guest hosted episode ended with "exit interviews" of Merton and Hislop in the style of The Weakest Link. BRIAN BLESSED: "In the news the polls continue to slide for Gordon Brown, and some people think he's dead and buried. But I think the opposite, I i: GORDON'S ALIVE!!!" Tom Baker appeared by being "transported" in via TV special effects, complete with TARDIS noise. He then proceeded to introduce the show thusly: William Shatner opened the show with the background sliding open like automatic doors with a familiar ssshtk sound, and the host's chair had been modified to resemble the captain's chair on the Enterprise. Then there were lots of little phrases hidden throughout the show relating to Star Trek. He even did a song round, reference to his singing career. Also all the guests did their best to bring up Star Trek at every opportunity. When Sir Roger Moore hosted, the James Bond allusions started before the opening credits, with Ian stroking a toy Right-Hand Cat. Also, when Sir Roger comments that an Archbishop needs the patience of a saint, a halo appears above his head. At the end of the episode where Daniel Radcliffe hosted, a stinger showed him turning Paul Merton into a toad. This exchange in series 44, episode 5 (extended). Ian's editorship of Private Eye is brought up a lot.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_a8bc356
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DoubleStandard
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comment
Double Standard: When Alexander Armstrong called an MP a "bit of a shagger" and a Femme Fatale Russian spy "a bit of a slag", everyone pointed out that the language used showed more than a little misogyny.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_a9b4101e
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make a to do send a pm add to watchlist drop watch go to watchlist Mad Libs Catch Phrase
 Have I Got News for You / int_a9b4101e
comment
Angus also had a Mad Libs Catch Phrase "The words 'X' and 'Y' immediately spring to mind."
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 Have I Got News for You / int_a9e10b04
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Country Matters
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comment
Country Matters:
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 Have I Got News for You / int_ab4543d5
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BritishNewspapers
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comment
British Newspapers: Often mocked. Headlines from these are used for the "Tabloid Headline Round", where panellists attempt to guess which news story a horribly punny tabloid headline is referring to. A common gag is to list headlines used to cover a certain story and end with the one that's not like the others:
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 Have I Got News for You / int_aba24ceb
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Suspiciously Specific Denial
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Suspiciously Specific Denial
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 Have I Got News for You / int_ac325918
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Medium Awareness
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comment
Medium Awareness: Several jokes have revolved around the way in which the show is edited or broadcast. Environmental activist Swampy, who seemed to be high during the show, got quite confused in a conversation with Angus, giving a series of incoherent and nonsensical responses. Angus promptly reassured him "don't worry, that'll edit together perfectly". When the show moved from BBC 2 to the more mainstream BBC 1, Angus opened the show by reassuring viewers that this wouldn't change anything about the show's presentation. At which point, a line of can-can dancers suddenly dance past the panel in full costume, then leave, and nobody says a word or mentions them again. Sion Simon once answered a question about a news story by mistakenly suggesting the subject was one of those "militant farmer" types. In fact, the farmer was innocent, and Simon worried that he had accidentally libelled the man. Angus agreed and suggested that Simon might soon be hearing from the farmer's lawyers, so Simon gave an on-air apology, to which Angus said "No, it's too late. Because we'll edit out the apology." Paul Merton occasionally suggests that they just drop the whole quiz format and just make amusing jokes for half an hour, especially when the quiz itself degenerates into a joke fest (such as them making a barrage of jokes about President Hu's name sounding like "who", or spending several minutes making Pot Noodle puns). He has on a few occasions experimentally tried to challenge the show's format, such as deliberately not watching or reading any news for a week, or teaming up with the like-minded Ross Noble in an effort to score zero points for the entire episode. (They succeeded.) Jokes are also sometimes made about the fact that the show is filmed on Thursday, shown on Friday, and repeated on Sunday. This allows the panellists, mostly Merton, to get a huge amount of humour out of causing confusion over which day it's supposed to be when the viewer is watching it. This also means that if there's an event which happens in the day between filming and airing, such as an election, the panellists won't be able to say anything about its outcome, since they won't know about it; however, they normally find ways to make fun of this as well, such as deliberately giving every possible outcome on the grounds that one of them will have to be correct, or giving the outcome that everyone knows will happen, while making it obvious it hasn't played out yet. Humour is also often made about the host's use of the autocue, since while it's common knowledge that one is being used, it's not often acknowledged. Panellists will sometimes mock the host for fluffing his lines, and Boris Johnson refused on a few occasions to read the autocue because he felt the jokes were too risky. In an out-take shown after the credits, the floor manager tells Boris he'll have to re-do some of his lines. Paul tells him this is perfectly normal for the host, it just depends how far back they have to go: In one episode, the then Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy got out of answering an embarrassing question by reading Angus' autocue. In another, Paul managed to get the answer to a question by reading the autocue, as it had come up on the screen early. Gordon Ramsay told the audience that he would give them a free meal in one of his restaurants if he flubbed his lines three times. He then proceed to do this in the opening monologue. The audience cheered. (He didn't make good on his promise, though.) One 'repeated on Dave' joke finally appeared in a 2011 episode to do with the war in Libya. Until then the show had avoided , unlike other BBC comedy programs, making any reference to it. Another 'repeated on Dave' joke appeared in a 2012 episode on Jeremy Hunt's job: "if you’re watching on Dave in a year's time, the executive director of B Sky B". 2012 has also had Paul saying, "It's one hundred days until the Olympics, or if you're watching on Dave, three years since. And what an Olympics it was." And a couple of weeks later, there was a story about a plan to bury nuclear waste under the Lake District. Experts had said that it would be almost harmless in two million years, to which host Kathy Burke said, "So if you're watching on Dave, all clear!" For whatever reason, the show has been plagued by accusations of scripting/rigging, which has been the subject of a lot of faux-Lampshade Hanging. The "unbroadcastable" episode contains an intro segment explaining how "every episode is painstakingly directed and rehearsed almost a year before transmission," with a script reading where they go over every single hesitation and inflection, with Ian eventually storming out prima donna-like because Angus won't listen to a suggestion about when to turn his head. When Norman Tebbit claimed that the panellists would never be able to improvise all those jokes, Paul (whose comedic background is in improv and stand-up) responded on the show by saying "When Norman Tebbit said I couldn't improvise, I..." and trailed off as if unable to think of anything. Boris Johnson also reacted to his first uncomfortable appearance as a guest by claiming in his magazine that the entire show had been rehearsed (which, as Paul and Ian point out on the DVD, makes no sense, as then he would have been prepared for the line of questioning that made him look Too Dumb to Live). On his second appearance, when Paul brought it up, he apologized and said it wasn't true, which Ian immediately followed up with "Well said, Bor-is. (peeks at paper) Thank you." Merton: "The visual effects on this programme are so stunning, we're almost doing radio."
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 Have I Got News for You / int_ad804da3
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Identical Stranger
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comment
Identical Stranger: When Elton John cancelled on the show at the last minute, they replaced him with a professional lookalike called Ray. Ray will never let you down. Unlike Elton. Bastard.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_ad89023b
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IncrediblyLamePun
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Incredibly Lame Pun: Beloved of both Ian and Paul. Frequently, the studio audience doesn't know whether to laugh or groan. For example: In a discussion on a breed of Nazi-created cattle being introduced to the UK in 2009, Paul Merton stated he was looking for a cow pun and Cowstapo wouldn't do the trick. He eventually came with: "Watch out for the bull, he's Goering!" Something of a hypocritical example in S19E3: When Obama visited the UK in May 2011 he took part in a staged BBQ with the Prime Minister, the host asked the panelists to come up with the worst pun possible to explain the scene. The best/worst they got was "Obamaque".
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 Have I Got News for You / int_b2e56f03
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Uncanny Family Resemblance
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comment
Uncanny Family Resemblance: Boris Johnson's father Stanley when he appeared on the show. He resembled him fairly well in appearance, but the trope really came into play when he opened his mouth and started talking in exactly the same manner.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_b664b599
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Fun T-Shirt
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comment
Fun T-Shirt: Many of Paul's, most notably the "I Drink Cooper's Creosote" shirt from the Tub of Lard episode and obviously the one of the front page of the News of the World with the Angus-and-a-hooker headline, but he's also worn a couple promoting his other shows. Otherwise, he's been known to wear impossibly tacky shirts.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_b7586225
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Put on a Bus
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Maybe just Put on a Bus to other light entertainment shows where he doesn't need to be sanctimonious. Or Dropped A Silly Season On Him.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_bb9658b
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Continuity Nod
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The Kilroy-Silk game show clip got a Continuity Nod in the first episode of Series 39.
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Cool Old Lady
 Have I Got News for You / int_bbea1760
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Cool Old Lady: Baroness Trumpington in spades.
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Obfuscating Stupidity
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comment
Obfuscating Stupidity: Paul Merton feigns stupidity, but possesses a razor-sharp wit that regularly trounces Ardingly-educated Hislop, and just about every other panelist who's appeared on the program.
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Team Dad
 Have I Got News for You / int_bde23742
comment
Team Dad: More than one contestant has jokingly called Ian 'Dad'. He claims that he told Charlotte Church to go to her room, but it was cut out.
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Meaningful Name
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Meaningful Name: Invoked by Ian during a segment on Bernie Madoff:
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Flame War
 Have I Got News for You / int_c26eb65d
comment
Flame War: Any discussions of Russell Brand's appearance on the show on any chat board inevitably descend into an argument between HIGNFY fans and Brand fans (who only watched that episode because he was in it) over whether Brand was remotely funny.
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Driver of a Black Cab
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comment
Driver of a Black Cab: When they discussed Guy Goma, the guy who showed up at a BBC news studio looking for an IT job but was mistaken for the tech writer Guy Kewney and Pushed in Front of the Audience, Andy Hamilton said that it had been initially reported that Goma was a taxi driver by trade, but he knew that was false because "a taxi driver would have talked much more authoritatively about something he knew nothing about." Another time it came up was when the Caption Competition at the end of the episode pictured the queen sitting in the driver's side of some kind of black vehicle, which Paul interpreted as the city having to take on more part-time drivers during the Christmas season: [posh accent] "I'm not going south of the river this time of night. You must be jokin'." Another example was when it was revealed that Prince Philip owned a black cab, which was a particularly good fit as he is known for making gaffes about other countries' peoples.
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This entry is trivia, which is cool and all, but not a trope. On a work, it goes on the Trivia tab. One of Us
 Have I Got News for You / int_c4e9e5b3
comment
One of Us: Paul wore a The Prisoner jacket in one early episode that aired when Channel4 were beginning to repeat the series.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_c6105617
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Our Lawyers Advised This Trope
 Have I Got News for You / int_c6105617
comment
"Allegedly."
 Have I Got News for You / int_c6105617
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 Have I Got News for You / int_c848b3ff
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Left It In
 Have I Got News for You / int_c848b3ff
comment
Left It In: Frequently used. Double Subverted on one occasion: a panelist asked if a line he worried might be libellous could be edited out. When told, "No", he sincerely apologised. Paul Merton instantly said "Now that bit, we'll edit out."
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 Have I Got News for You / int_cf6e363c
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Dream Sequence
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comment
Dream Sequence: Once, in a Big Lipped Alligator Moment-esque fantasy of Merton, featuring Merton and Hislop skipping through a field. The footage was later re-used in a Dynasty parody when Joan Collins was the guest host.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_cfacc807
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Too Soon
 Have I Got News for You / int_cfacc807
comment
Too Soon: Especially the show which aired immediately after the BBC issued strict instructions that no programme was to raise the matter of Peter Mandelson's private life in any way... "We're not allowed to say on The BBC that Peter Mandelson is a hom...eowner." Immediately followed by Merton — "What's wrong with gay people owning homes?" The News Quiz, a radio programme from which Have I Got News for You was originally adapted, did a similar gag stating that "We are unable to say that (classical music fragment) is (another classical music fragment). As the BBC were very much locking the stable door after the horse had bolted (and possibly mounted another horse along the way), everyone knew exactly what was being said. Hislop also managed to call Mandelson a "friend of John Birt" (the BBC boss who made the decision) in a way that suggested it was an Unusual Euphemism.
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Have I Got News for You / int_d6ae789b
comment
Suspect Is Hatless: In the Odd One Out round, Angus' occasional catchphrase "the connection is someone who's not in the pictures".
 Have I Got News for You / int_d6ae789b
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 Have I Got News for You / int_d955d017
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Book Dumb
 Have I Got News for You / int_d955d017
comment
Book Dumb: Paul likes to bring up that his only qualification is a CSE ungraded in metalwork. "If anyone's interested, I can make a trowel." (He points out on the DVD commentary that he cannot in fact make a trowel. He sucks at metalwork, that's why he got ungraded.) At one point Paul correctly guessed some missing headlines from the guest magazine about steelworking.
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Odd Couple
 Have I Got News for You / int_da688327
comment
Odd Couple: Paul and Ian, who have visibly mellowed toward each other over the years. In early episodes much was made (well, by Paul anyway) of the difference in their education and backgrounds, and they were much more competitive.
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Insult to Rocks
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Insult to Rocks: An example from the extended version of Series 42, Episode 4:
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Writers Cannot Do Math
 Have I Got News for You / int_dacf52ee
comment
Writers Cannot Do Math: When one guest referred to Gordon Brown as "the 52nd worst Prime Minister" another pointed out that would make him the best Prime Minister. In the same episode, guest host Martin Clunes read out a quote from The Mirror that asked how long David Cameron would be the 53rd Prime Minister.
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 Have I Got News for You / int_dded067a
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Comically Missing the Point
 Have I Got News for You / int_dded067a
comment
Paul deliberately misintepreting a comment on the wrongness of his answer as a stage direction. E.g. when asked how much something had cost he stated a too-low sum, was told, "Higher," and repeated the same sum in a falsetto voice. Or this.
 Have I Got News for You / int_dded067a
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Playing Against Type
 Have I Got News for You / int_df3fc535
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Playing Against Type: Intentionally done with several of the guest hosts, as people such as Boris Johnson are placed in a position where they are expected to keep order and move the show along smoothly.
 Have I Got News for You / int_df3fc535
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 Have I Got News for You / int_df50ec44
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My Name Is Not Durwood
 Have I Got News for You / int_df50ec44
comment
My Name Is Not Durwood: Sheila Hancock kept calling Angus "Andrew" on her appearance, which - inevitably - Paul took up as a Running Gag for the next few episodes. There was also this exchange between Janet Street-Porter and Ian in one episode:
 Have I Got News for You / int_df50ec44
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Humiliation Conga
 Have I Got News for You / int_e1aa42b5
comment
Humiliation Conga: Angus, on the show after the aforementioned prostitute/honey trap/cocaine scandal broke. When Lembit Opik appeared on an election special just hours after losing his seat in Parliament, the panellists attempted this but his self-deprecation (such as asking if the recording could be hurried up so he can get to an appointment at the Job Centre) meant he ended up coming off very well.
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Godwin's Law
 Have I Got News for You / int_e37253b7
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Godwin's Law: When Janet Street-Porter and Eddie Izzard are taking issue with the rules of the Missing Words Round:
 Have I Got News for You / int_e37253b7
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Fast-Forward Gag
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comment
Fast Forward Gag: In a round on The Official Pirate Video, Angus mentions that since the show is on video you can fast forward through the boring bits. He goes on to explain the next game the panel will be playing and the film is sped up and his voice is made to sound like he is on helium and is unintelligible. He makes several odd hand gestures and eventually produces a fire extinguisher before the show returns to normal speed.
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Younger Than They Look
 Have I Got News for You / int_ea8e6a65
comment
Younger than They Look: Believe it or not, Ian was only 29 when the pilot was made. (Paul was 32.) Inverted in recent years, as Paul has aged much more noticeably than Ian.
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Excuse Question
 Have I Got News for You / int_ebc7a025
comment
Excuse Question: Paul Merton likes to recount that he was once watching one of those breakfast shows and the question was, "Which comedy double act consisted of Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker? A) The Two Ronnies, B)..."
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Rummage Sale Reject
 Have I Got News for You / int_ebf9643a
comment
Rummage Sale Reject: Some of Paul Merton's more questionable outfits. Ian once accused him of wearing 'the top half of a gorilla costume'.
 Have I Got News for You / int_ebf9643a
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 Have I Got News for You / int_eceef357
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Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?
 Have I Got News for You / int_eceef357
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Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: A Running Gag about Jason Donovan, due to his being overly defensive when accused of being otherwise by the tabloid media.
 Have I Got News for You / int_eceef357
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 Have I Got News for You / int_ed04fa59
type
Shaped Like Itself
 Have I Got News for You / int_ed04fa59
comment
Shaped Like Itself: "He's an online shopper... so he does a lot of shopping online..."
 Have I Got News for You / int_ed04fa59
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Take a Third Option
 Have I Got News for You / int_eda8b36a
comment
Take a Third Option: Whilst reading from the autocue, Jeremy Clarkson read out "An Iranian clerk", whereupon Ian Hislop said that it said "cleric". Clare Balding then insisted it said "clerk", and a brief argument ensued about whether it was "clerk" or "cleric". When Clarkson started reading again, he said "an Iranian chap..."
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RunningGag
 Have I Got News for You / int_ee2ee36
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In 2005 there was a Running Gag by Paul that Ian was going to be the next Doctor from Doctor Who after it was announced that Christopher Eccleston would leave after one series. This culminated in the final episode, which ended on a shot of the Doctor and Rose Tyler 'regenerating' into Ian and Anne Widdecombe.
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Man of a Thousand Voices
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Man of a Thousand Voices: Parodied with a Running Gag in the latest series, with all of Ian's impressions of people in the news (from Pakistani villagers witnessing the death of Osama bin Laden to Cheryl Cole) sounding exactly like Yorkshire playwright Alan Bennett. Paul genuinely does do different voices, but generally just a few stock ones: the main ones are his 'posh rich idiot' voice (donchaknow!), his throaty London Gangster voice, and a disreputable American gold prospector voice.
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Don't You Dare Pity Me!
 Have I Got News for You / int_f3bd0acc
comment
Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Invoked by guest host David Mitchell in Series 42, Episode 5:
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make a to do send a pm add to watchlist drop watch go to watchlist I Want My Jet Pack
 Have I Got News for You / int_f9250075
comment
Paul Merton's academic achievements consisting of a CSE ungraded qualification in metalwork; his attempt to fit the word "jetpack" into every episode of one season; and his insistence that then-leader of the Conservative Party, Iain Duncan Smith, was actually two people, "Iain and Duncan Smith, the first pair of identical twins to hold joint leadership of a major political party". Iain Duncan Smith's full name turns out to be George Iain Duncan Smith.
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Insistent Terminology
 Have I Got News for You / int_fb0b194c
comment
Insistent Terminology: In S43S09:
 Have I Got News for You / int_fb0b194c
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Overly Narrow Superlative
 Have I Got News for You / int_fb880eb0
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Overly Narrow Superlative
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Direct-to-Video
 Have I Got News for You / int_fbe5e3ef
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Direct-to-Video: Two special episodes in the 90s, Have I Got Unbroadcastable News for You and The Official Pirate Video.
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Writer Revolt
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comment
Writer Revolt: When Merton was teamed with disgraced ex-MI-5 agent David Shayler displayed on a television satellite feed with a two-second delay, he refused to play along for the first half of the show (due to Merton's strong belief that timing is the most important part of comedy, which a two-second delay greatly interfered with) and even turned the television off at one point. Stephen Fry treated said ex-agent quite viciously as well, beginning by referring to him as "David Traitor" and going from there.
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JustAMinute
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comment
Nicholas Parsons did a Just a Minute round.
 Have I Got News for You / int_fed782a1
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 Have I Got News for You / int_fee981b5
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The Wiki Rule
 Have I Got News for You / int_fee981b5
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The Wiki Rule: Here.
 Have I Got News for You / int_fee981b5
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 Have I Got News for You / int_ff6bf720
comment
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Invoked by Ian Hislop after Jeffrey Archer was accused of perjury and the panel could finally speak openly about him. A straight example from 2007: sometime DJ, TV presenter, well known charity fundraiser, and extremely creepy old man Jimmy Savile was mentioned. Jokes were made. Jokes that insinuated things about him, for laughs. Oh, how we laughed. Then in 2012, Savile died, and abuse victims started coming forward...
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Have I Got News for You

The following is a list of statements referring to the current page from other pages.

 BRIAN BLESSED
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Have I Got News for You
 Bruce Forsyth
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Have I Got News for You
 Contributor's Page make a to do send a pm add to watchlist drop watch go to watchlist CA Lieber
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Have I Got News for You
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Elimination Statement / int_f456943c
 HAVEIGOTNEWSFORYOU
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Have I Got News for You
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make a to do send a pm add to watchlist drop watch go to watchlist I Want My Jet Pack / int_f456943c
 Contributor's Page Nausicaa make a to do send a pm add to watchlist drop watch go to watchlist
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make a to do send a pm add to watchlist drop watch go to watchlist Who's On First? / int_f456943c
 make a to do send a pm add to watchlist drop watch go to watchlist Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me
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make a to do send a pm add to watchlist drop watch go to watchlist Is This Thing Still On? / int_f456943c
 Have I Got News for You
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make a to do send a pm add to watchlist drop watch go to watchlist Translation: Yes / int_f456943c
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make a to do send a pm add to watchlist drop watch go to watchlist Recut / int_f456943c
 Contributor's Page Revelo make a to do send a pm add to watchlist drop watch go to watchlist
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 Contributor's Page make a to do send a pm add to watchlist drop watch go to watchlist Rocking Socks
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 The ITV Panto
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Have I Got News for You
 Have I Got News for You
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Please don't list this on a work's page as a trope. Artistic License - Geography / int_f456943c
 Who Do You Think You Are?
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Have I Got News for You
 Music: Charlotte Church
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Have I Got News for You
 Series: Annually Retentive
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Have I Got News for You
 Series: Black Mirror Series Two
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Have I Got News for You
 Series: Rev
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Have I Got News for You