Have I Got News
Friday, 6 May 2011
Just a tip-off that I’m on Have I Got News For You tonight (9pm BBC One). I’m on Ian’s team again, Ross Noble is on Paul’s team and the host is Alexander Armstrong. We recorded it last night and it seemed to go well. I never really know until I see the finished version on TV (obviously they always record panel shows for longer than they need and edit it down) but it was a big news week and the regulars were on good form - and Ross Noble was hilarious, lots of great riffs from him.
Also, the audience were lovely and warm. Not literally, the studio was freezing. But they were very nice to me. It’s interesting, the first time I did that show I said a few things that I thought were funny but people didn’t really laugh. I thought perhaps I’m just not cut out for this sort of thing. But I have a new theory: that when you’re a new face on panel shows (especially if you’re not a comedian, and MOST especially if you’re female) the audience just feels a bit nervous for you. That must be particularly true on a big cultural-staple show like HIGNFY. They love and trust the regulars, and have favourite occasional panellists, but - quite understandably - worry for new people that they aren’t going to fit in with the family, or just won’t say anything funny or won’t know anything.
Can’t blame them for thinking that, Lord knows it’s what I’m thinking as the cab arrives and I travel nervously towards what feels like certain doom. But last night the audience felt more relaxed when I came on, maybe because they know I’ve done the show before and it wasn’t a total disaster so they weren’t so nervous on my behalf? I was still nervous as hell myself, obviously. As the minutes ticked down before the start, I paced and smoked outside the studio, obsessively playing with my teacup necklace for comfort, like a child’s blanket, terrified I’d fall over on the way in, forget the royal wedding happened, or be shown a photo of Bin Laden and mistake him for the health secretary.
But it all seemed fine! I don’t THINK I said anything spectacularly embarrassing, I said a few things that people laughed at (in the right way…), and in the end I really enjoyed the recording. I hope you do too, if you watch it. And thanks to anyone who was in the live audience last night for being kind and welcoming.