Could You Survive Going on “Have I Got News for You?”

ENTERTAINMENT

By: Zoe Samuel

5 Min Quiz

Image: BBC One

About This Quiz

This flagship BBC political comedy panel show is consistently one of the most hilarious half hours of any political junkie's week. However, it's often funny at the expense of the hosts and guests, who endure challenging questions and intense mockery from series regulars, Ian Hislop and Paul Merton. As the editor of muckraking rag "Private Eye," Hislop knows all the dirt on the guests and isn't afraid to make new enemies (or provoke existing ones). Meanwhile, Merton, as a Cockney lad done good with almost no formal education, owes nothing to the Establishment, and will happily savage any posh twit foolish enough to think they can outwit him. Thus, any guest the wrong side of the regulars or writers and producers — either due to acting arrogantly during the taping or by being embroiled in hypocrisy and scandal — is going to have a rough night.

Indeed, the rotating show host model is an example of this. Former regular host Angus Deayton quit the show in shame after hitting the front pages for a drug-fuelled dalliance. Deayton gained credit for showing up to work that Friday, where he opened, "Welcome to 'Have I Got News For You,' where this week's loser ... is presenting it." His colleagues blithely raked him over the coals, and since then, there has been space each week for two guests plus a guest-host to brave the "HIGNFY" fires.

Some come away having held their own, playing along and gaining universal applause. Some come across as not themselves hilarious, but charming enough to earn respect. Some look like, frankly, pompous nitwits. Guests face more of a challenge than hosts, but all are ready to risk their reputation for a shot at the laurel of surviving in style. Which of these would you be? Let's find out!

Can you avoid a question with the best of them?

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What other job do you have, besides going on comedy panel shows?

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HIGNFY star Paul Merton is incredibly clever but didn't finish secondary school. What's your highest level of formal education?

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What is the least formal outfit you would be willing to wear on TV?

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Have you ever been caught in a scandal that ended up as front-page news?

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How fast are you with a witty comeback?

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What would you hope to see as the guest publication?

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How many members of the Cabinet can you recognize?

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What sort of public image are you going for?

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Which newspaper do you read most frequently?

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If Hislop and Merton were to try to needle you, would you take the bait?

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Do you mind being the one the audience loves to hate?

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Could you survive "Newsnight" or "Question Time"?

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Which HIGNFY host do you think did the best job?

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Would you be willing to make fun of someone who doesn't really deserve it?

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What sort of relationship do you have with the tabloid press?

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How do you feel about the BBC?

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If you couldn't be famous, would you settle for being infamous?

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What would be your leading motivation for going on the show?

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Which of the regulars do you fear most, Hislop or Merton?

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If your appearance was a total disaster, how long would it take you to emerge from under your duvet?

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How long have you been a fan of the show?

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Which newspaper do you fear coming after you if you were to make fun of them on the show?

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The highest-paid guest in HIGNFY history is Alex Salmond, at £1,800. What would it take to get you on the show?

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What would you say to get the audience on side?

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How would you get in the right frame of mind before taping?

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In what role did you first get famous enough to be considered for the show?

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Do you represent a company or media group who might take issue with what you say on the show?

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Can you make a rehearsed quip sound like it was a spontaneous comeback?

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What technique would you use on Ian Hislop and Paul Merton in the hope that they will help you look good?

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