This long running BBC panel show has to date (2016) clocked up 51 series since it began in 1990. The format is loosly based around the BBC Radio 4 News Quiz, which began in 1977.
During its first 10 years, the programme was shown on BBC Two. When in 2000, the BBC moved its nightly BBC One news bulletin, the BBC Nine O’Clock News, from nine o’clock to ten o’clock, a gap was left in the schedules, and so Have I Got News for You moved to a new 9pm slot on Friday nights. At this time it also moved to BBC One. It has remained in this slot since, apart from two series in 2010 when the show was broadcast on Thursday nights.
The success of Have I Got News For You is often thought to be one of the reasons for the increasing domination of panel shows in British TV comedy. The show remains one of the genre’s key standard-bearers and in recognition of this, received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2011 British Comedy Awards. It was the first time the honour had been bestowed upon a collective instead of an individual or double act. Another award followed in 2016 when the show received a BAFTA in the Comedy and Comedy Entertainment Programme category.
In recent years, the late-night weekend repeat has occasionally contained extra material from the week’s recording. From 2007, this became a permanent feature with the repeat having a running time of 40 minutes. This then became titled (in the TV listings) Have I Got a Bit More News for You.
The show was originally hosted by Angus Deayton, but after he became embroiled in contraversy surrounding his private life he was eventually dropped. Since then there have been a series of guest presenters, possibly the most memorable being Sir Bruce Forsyth with his Play Your Iraqi Cards Right. Bruce often cited his guest presenter spot as resurrecting his career.
The show is split into four rounds over which celebrity contestants on two teams are grilled over the week’s top stories and news.
Ian Hislop and Paul Merton (team captains)
BBC2: 1990- 2000
BBC1: 2000 – present
Produced By: Hat Trick Productions for BBC
Original Transmission Dates: 28th September, 1990 – Present