Victoria Coren Mitchell - Writer, Broadcaster & Poker Player


Have I Got News For You

Friday, 17 April 2015

  I’m hosting Have I Got News For You again tonight (9pm, BBC One). Guests are John Prescott (with Paul) and Alun Cochrane (with Ian).

  We recorded it late last night, after the election debate, and it was an interesting recording - there was some incredible tension between Ian and Lord Prescott. Ian was certainly unafraid to “go to the difficult places”, which is an exciting thing to see after 25 years of that show. It really doesn’t get toothless and tame with time. My emotions as host were a quirky combination of “This will make some very watchable television” and “Oh God, this is socially awkward.” Which seems like the right sort of mix, for a satirical TV show.

  Part of the issue seemed to be that Lord Prescott was perhaps anticipating a hard time: he seemed on the defensive. I was surprised; I would have thought that he (being one of the Big Beasts of modern politics, fairly beloved by the nation - even, for those who always disagreed with him politically, just as a familiar old face in a blander modern landscape - and now over in the Lords beyond the grip of Blair and Campbell) could relax and have fun on the programme. But he was being careful. Funny in places, but very careful. It makes me think there is truth to the rumour that he would be taking a Cabinet post in the event of a Labour victory. Hmm…..

  Anyway, that was only for a section of the show. Other than that there was lots of the normal funny stuff - great lines from Paul, and some really good VT moments. Hope you enjoy it if you watch.

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jim carr at 3:42 pm on April 17th, 2015

Victoria,sorry to here of the untimely death of Dave"devilfish” Ulliott, I wonder if it had been your safe that he and his pals robbed, would you have called it “light-crime”? as you did on “last word? a close proximity to,or a friendship with a former criminal can induce a rosie tint.


The Tim at 12:35 am on April 18th, 2015

Another great performance but I still think you’re better utilised as a panelist with more chance for the spontaneous wit.


Emma t at 9:03 am on April 18th, 2015

Yes that was very sticky between John Prescott and Ian! I loved it. Great show.


Isobel at 10:32 am on April 18th, 2015

I thought Prezzer was a sexist bully- I thought you dealt with it really well, but it made me sad… My boyfriend says you can handle it- that made me even sadder. Someone (maybe a family member) should tell him that people who act like that have mostly been moved into sheltered accommodation by now. You’re a great host.


Philip Davies at 10:49 am on April 18th, 2015

Hi Victoria, you done good as always. Hislop and Prezza ranking on each other - quite funny but I couldn’t really sympathise with either of them. Both came across as competitive bores in their own very class-distinctive ways. Luckily for both, luckily for the show, there is more to them than that. Still - boys, boys. Awful family Christmas, indeed. Yours, Phil


Philip Davies at 10:58 am on April 18th, 2015

Necrotizing fasciitis ??? WTF ? Sorry to alarm you, Victoria, but according to Bing Images, this worst possible disease is a ‘related search’ item if you enter ‘Victoria Coren’ without the married moniker. Following the link produces a heap of images that only a gore-porn gawper, or a medical student, could ever want to dwell on. Funny old world, the internet. I remain, Madam etc. Phil.


Jade-Louise Smith at 1:20 pm on April 18th, 2015

You were a brilliant host Victoria. Very funny and you handled the Ian and Prescott situation well.


David Dickinson at 6:01 pm on April 18th, 2015

Hi, any chance of getting a signed photo of the Gorgeous Victoria Coren Mitchell? Cheers, Dave.


Victoria Coren M at 12:07 am on April 19th, 2015

Hi Dave - I’m afraid I don’t have any pictures to sign - that’s for proper stars, you know, Hollywood actors and pop singers, above my pay grade I think. So I never do them. Thanks for asking though! Best wishes, VCM


Shazzbot at 7:36 pm on April 19th, 2015

Hi Victoria - I’m looking forward to ‘Have I Got a Bit More News For You’ just to see if there’s more of the Ian - Prezza fracas!  I was wondering how you felt as it was happening, so it was interesting to read this blog entry.  Another host might’ve tried to step in and sort it out, but I liked your light touch on the situation.  Let ‘em get on with it.

PS As someone already said, you’re a dandy guest and you usually have some of the funniest remarks.  David M was always my fave HIGNFY host, but you’re running a close second now ... :-)


Kip at 10:18 pm on April 20th, 2015

There was only one genuine funny person on the show, and she was hosting it. Prescott is a knob.


Jan at 11:03 pm on April 20th, 2015

Waited for the extended version to be televised before commenting – We were at the recording and thoroughly enjoyed the tension and the humour.  Loved your energy and enthusiasm – to be so involved makes a great show – better than just reading the autocue.  ‘This is a train ticket to Reading’  just one of the many laughs.  Great interaction between JP and Ian – good to let them run and guessed you were thinking about balance of good tv vs how long should awkward moments last.  Excellent timing from Paul
Hope it’s ok to say how attractive you looked – so very well and happy 


Philip at 12:06 pm on April 21st, 2015

Are you able to confirm my assertion that John Prescott was drunk? I think he was, but then I, also, was drunk, so it’s hard to say.


David Barber at 5:54 pm on April 23rd, 2015

i liked the show but your jest about Hull was a bit below the belt.  The city has had difficult times but is trying to lift itself up by its bootstraps.  Perhaps if you came you would be impressed and would be able to make helpful rather than snide remarks.  Please come, we could put you up for free!


Victoria Coren M at 9:01 am on April 26th, 2015

Hi David. I’m guessing the Hull joke must have made the extended edition, which I didn’t see. I’m sorry! It wasn’t my own joke, but I thought such an old-fashioned TYPE of joke that it was just harmless and silly and nobody would take it as a serious reflection on Hull. I literally could have said the same thing about any other place name in Britain, including Cricklewood (where I was born myself)! It’s just that Hull is where John Prescott is from.

I wondered about it afterwards only because last week was the funeral of my old friend David “Devilfish” Ulliott, one of the great sons of Hull - I wondered if it was a bad time for using the place as a punchline. But Dave made so many jokes himself, that he’d have been horrified for anyone to take seriously.

So: to be clear, nothing against Hull! I’m sorry if you were hurt! God bless the place!

On another note: Philip, I’m as sure as I can be that John Prescott was NOT drunk.


chrisfs at 8:12 am on May 11th, 2015

well if he was hoping for a cabinet position in a Labour government then he doesn’t have to worry about that anymore. he can go back to having fun.


Victoria Coren

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