| 19.8°C Belfast

Ian Hislop jokes ‘miserable’ Paul Merton should be tested for Covid-19

The duo will return for a new series of Have I Got News For You filmed from home.

Close

Ian Hislop and Paul Merton (Ray Burmiston)

Ian Hislop and Paul Merton (Ray Burmiston)

Ian Hislop and Paul Merton (Ray Burmiston)

Ian Hislop jokes that Paul Merton should be tested for coronavirus if one of the symptoms is “being a miserable bastard,” when Have I Got News For You returns to television.

The satirical show will return for a new series on Friday night, with the two team captains, host Steph McGovern and guests Miles Jupp and Helen Lewis all filming from their own homes and then beamed into a virtual studio.

Explaining the new set-up, Merton will say: “I’m currently sitting in one of the rooms in my house, staring at the television and wondering why I can’t get any other channels apart from Ian Hislop.

Close

Paul Merton and Ian Hislop (Ray Burmiston)

Paul Merton and Ian Hislop (Ray Burmiston)

Paul Merton and Ian Hislop (Ray Burmiston)

“So I’m a bit bothered and rather disturbed by what’s happening!”

Hislop will add: “This is a mixture of Zoom, Google Hangout and House Party, all of which I’ve been on almost constantly and I think you’ll find it works quite well. I’ve put it all through a feed through the back of… Paul. So it works a treat!”

Executive producer Richard Wilson previously told the PA news agency that it should look like the stars have appeared on the set of the show – “a bit like Princess Leia does when R2D2 plays that message – we are aiming for that effect.”

He added: “The Whitney Houston tour, except it’s about the news and there is no singing.”

During the episode the panel will watch a clip of a family from Watford singing their lockdown-themed version of a Les Miserables song, with Merton delivering the verdict: “Dreadful! Absolutely dreadful!”

Hislop replies: “I’m very worried about you Paul.

He adds: “Well they keep discovering a lot of new symptoms… one of which is that people have no taste… I mean from your shirt, it’s pretty clear…

“And now, being a really miserable bastard… I didn’t know! But I’d get yourself tested!”

Merton retorts: “You’re calling me a miserable bastard? You’re the man who’s been mentoring me for the past 30 years…!”

Have I Got News For You returns to BBC One at 9pm.

PA