David Mitchell


Have I Got News for YouYes, we were fortunate enough to see the recording of "Have I Got News For You" again. We had much better seats, but I doubt if you will see us on screen in the establishing audience shots at the beginning and end. We were in the bank of seats right behind Ian Hislop, I always had the impression that when Ian looks at the audience that he looked at the central bank, but no - he cranes right round to look at this chunk of crowd.

There were rumours during the day that Lorraine Kelly would front the show, and then a rumour that it would be newsreader, Anna Ford.

Jo Caulfield was the warm up act again, doing much the same schtick, and she introduced the participants. First Ian Hislop, then Paul Merton and then the host. It was Anna Ford. They were joined by David Mitchell (I didn't know the name, but the face rang a bell) and by Bob Marshall Andrews QC MP (Labour).

It was a very different show to Boris'. Both were excellent, but they were different. Anna Ford had obvious slick professionalism when it came to using the autocue, but was much more guarded.

Some choice quotes, fewer than with Boris - and I think most of them will stay in. Some of these are key lines which start or end a particularly amusing bit.

Merton: In what way do you think he's Bonkers? Andrews: Who? Merton: Tony Blair. Andrews: He's not Bonkers, he's neurotic.

There was then a discussion of the definition of a neurotic and a psychotic. This was wonderful, and I would be surprised if it was cut.

Ford (talking about a conservative statement): They really shouldn't allow Boris to answer questions.

Ford: Archer's Literary Agent has agreed that 'his latest novel is not one of his best'. There was a stunned silence as everyone present seemed to collectively consider which of his novels could be considered 'best', and what this implies about the quality of his latest. Everyone then started laughing.

Ford (in a deep voice): You Are A Nutter!

Bob: .... and I didn't enjoy it, but that's politics! (talking of the actions of another MP upon his person)

Hislop: Mysoginistic Troubadours of Hate Merton: Everyone's got a bad album.


There were some retakes, one of which was due to the lawyer worried about something Bob said. This was hilarious, probably the best bit of the entire recording - and due to the legal thing unlikely to be shown. I won't relay it here.

Paul Merton was in good form during the retakes, acting the 'luvvie' and hamming it up very successfully.

Ford: It's never like this on the News! Merton: It would be if we were on!