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Top 10 Have I Got News For You Moments

VO: Richard Bush
Written by Aaron Cameron Who’s making the headlines today? Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 “Have I Got News For You” moments. For this list, we're savouring the funniest and most memorable moments from the long-running topical news quiz. Guest hosts, one-off games, classic quips, and heated exchanges are all in contention for this one. Special thanks to our user scsutton1 for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Have I Got News For You Moments


Who’s making the headlines today? Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 “Have I Got News For You” moments.

For this list, we're savouring the funniest and most memorable moments from the long-running topical news quiz. Guest hosts, one-off games, classic quips, and heated exchanges are all in contention for this one.

#10: Benedict Cumberbatch Takes Over

Of course, since Angus Deayton parted company with the show, the guest hosts have been one of the biggest draws. But Benedict Cumberbatch was better than most. Kicking off series 40, Cumberbatch had recently become a household name for his role in “Sherlock” - but he hadn’t yet been branded as the ‘sexiest man alive’. Still, with Victoria Coren Mitchell and Jon Richardson as guests, he was on top form. His reaction to the Chilean Miners was a highlight, as well as the many “Sherlock” puns.

#9: Brian Blessed on Petrol

There will never be a noisier national treasure than this guy. Hosting the show for the first time, Blessed passionately yells his way through the topics of the day. Finding laughs with every punched-up punchline, Brian strikes gold when the conversation shifts to the petrol crisis. Starting with a slight against the Scottish, he goes onto read the headlines as only he can. It’s about time he got a slot on the 10 O’Clock news, don’t you think?

#8: Ann Widdecombe Vs. Jimmy Carr

Ann Widdecombe was a sitting MP when she hosted the show for a second time - but after this episode she vowed never to return. With a political legacy including the opposition of LGBT issues, as well as supporting blasphemy laws and the death penalty, her reputation preceded her - and the panel had a field day. Ann barely tolerates team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton, but she saves most of her scorn for Jimmy Carr. Naturally, Carr responds with sarcasm and innuendo.

#7: “Fruitcake or Loony” with Nigel Farage

Drawing on a David Cameron comment aimed at UKIP supporters, Stephen Mangan is the driving force for this moment, posing as a panel show host for a quiz with a difference. Although not wishing to label his party faithful as either, Farage plays along in good humour, all the while seeming brilliantly bemused. And despite the shocking summaries given to each supporter, the smile never leaves Nigel’s face.

#6: Ian Hislop Vs. John Prescott

To the 2015 election, and John Prescott’s on the panel - for a debate that’s even more politicised than usual! The Labour manifesto is hot off the press, only some party members seem unsure about what’s in it. So Victoria Coren Mitchell riles Prescot by downplaying his pledge cards. And then it’s over to Ian, who gets into a heated argument with the former Deputy PM. The bickering only subsides when John sends Hislop an ominous look. This is not a man to be messed with!

#5: Boris Johnson Gets Confused

As guest or host, you can always rely on Boris Johnson for a gaffe or two. Here, he stumbles through the “Odd One Out” round, turning what should be a simple answer into an epic struggle. The discussion on shoes quickly turns into a surreal ramble, which has Paul Merton questioning the very fabric of time and space. And, while Johnson eventually pulls the chaos to a close, the panelists and audience are left wondering what the heck just happened.

#4: “Ian Told Me”

October 2011 saw Jeremy Clarkson lift a lengthy super-injunction, enabling journalists to finally speak about an alleged affair. But, as this clip proves, it seems that the scandal was already hot gossip behind the scenes - and Paul Merton had a reliable source. He drops Ian Hislop in it, thereby potentially putting his colleague into legal trouble. One perfectly timed phone call later, and Ian goes quite quiet all of a sudden.

#3: Paul’s Unfunny Joke

It’s quite rare that Paul Merton gets it wrong. But here he manages to mangle two jokes during one ‘odd one out’ round, prompting awkward murmurings from the audience. So Paul sets out for a hattrick, before realising it’s impossible. In a few short seconds, he digs himself out of a hole, and majestically mocks Angus Deayton in the process. Genius.

#2: Ian Hislop Vs. Piers Morgan

Piers Morgan can be a controversial character even at the best of times, but here we see the former newspaper editor put under intense scrutiny - in the form of Ian. Angered by Piers’ reporting techniques, Hislop traps his opponent in a brutal battle of wits. And there’s only one winner. Morgan mutters a few feisty lines, but Ian has an answer to everything. In the end, Morgan resorts to a thinly-veiled threat, before sparking an ill-advised popularity contest with the audience.

#1: Angus Deayton's Sex Scandal

Final episodes can be an emotional affair, but Angus Deayton’s was far from sentimental. The original “Have I Got News For You” host host was dismissed from the show in 2002, when news broke of his involvement in cocaine-fuelled relations with a prostitute. His last ever episode came following a second scandal, but the most memorable moments are from an earlier episode, when the story first emerged. Naturally, Ian brings the article to recite from, while Paul goes to even greater measures to ridicule his host.
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