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Boris Johnson getting Foreign Secretary job gave me personal crisis, says Hislop

The Private Eye editor thought ‘Oh no – this can’t have happened’.

Have I Got News For You star Ian Hislop said he had a “personal crisis” when Boris Johnson was appointed Foreign Secretary last year.

The broadcaster, who has been the editor of satirical current affairs magazine Private Eye for three decades, said that in a time of such political unease, it was the former mayor of London’s new role that impacted him more than anything else.

Of a recent time he felt he became unfocused, Hislop told the Radio Times: ”It was when Boris Johnson became Foreign Secretary.

“Yes, things had been bonkers. I mean, there was a moment when we thought Andrea Leadsom might be prime minister.

“But with Boris I had a personal crisis. I thought, ‘Oh no – this can’t have happened.’”

Johnson, who had been London’s mayor for eight years but had no experience of central Government, was appointed as Theresa May’s Foreign Secretary in July 2016, just two weeks after he quit his battle to become prime minister himself.

Satire-loving Hislop has appeared as a team captain on the BBC’s panel show Have I Got News For You since 1990, opposite comedian Paul Merton.

But the 56-year-old has also admitted to nearly feeling “ashamed” over how well Private Eye is doing presently because “satire is the one industry” that is succeeding.

He said: “Current times are being very kind to us. Other people are being laid off and we’re putting on numbers.

“I’m almost ashamed of it, but satire is the one industry to do well.”

Mocking the fake news phenomenon, Hislop said: “More people buy Private Eye than attended Trump’s inauguration. Fact. Possibly.”

He said, of US president Donald Trump: “Extraordinary. A president that tweets late at night and who cares what Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ratings (for The Apprentice) are?

“A president that is prepared to lie, to contradict himself within the same sentence and to dismiss out of hand what’s evidently true.”

Hislop said: “When we talk about Trump on Have I Got News for You, I am chomping to tell you about the difference between what he promised and what he can deliver.

“Paul decided that Trump was so ghastly he would only answer questions about Toblerone.

“Paul’s attitude isn’t the same, he feels it in different ways to me.”

Read the full article in the Radio Times, out now.

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