Victoria Coren Mitchell - Writer, Broadcaster & Poker Player

Out Of The Frying Pan, Into Have I Got News For You

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Oh yes. Question Time last week, Have I Got News For You this week, I feel quite the Britney Spears. But worry not, small coterie of like-minded friends: after the Only Connect final on Monday night, I won’t be on TV for WEEKS. In fact, all I’m planning is one little thing in May (will go up on the news page of this site when the date’s confirmed), and other than that, it will be MONTHS. Back to a quiet life of writing and poker, no more of this prancing about shouting jokes that may or may not work and, whether they do or not, are bound to exasperate some people…

  I’ve just got back from the HIGNFY recording and I honestly don’t know how it went. I think it was sort of fine. Ian Hislop (who was very lovely and kind and caretakey) told me in advance that the worst thing was to be silent and say nothing, so I definitely didn’t do that. I said lots of things, and am entrusting my dignity to the editors, in terms of hoping they’ll broadcast anything that made sense and/or seemed vaguely amusing, and not broadcast anything that didn’t or wasn’t. But you never know.

  I remember once reading some kind of exposé of this show, in which it was “shockingly revealed” that everybody knows the questions in advance and prepares all the answers. NOT TRUE. That’s such nonsense - it really is just like a conversation. About 20 minutes before going in to do the programme, they show you a few images from the first question (because it would be weird if everyone was silent) but they don’t tell you what it’s about and you don’t have time to “plan jokes”. Anyone who does that - and some professional comedians may feel obliged to - can only do it by reading the papers for a few days in advance, guessing what’s going to come up and planning accordingly. Non-comedians, hurray, don’t need to do this because there’s not such an obligation to be funny. Also, they show you the missing words thing (with the words missing), but again they only do it JUST before you go in, to avoid a shocked silence and strange unbroadcastable TV, you don’t have time to flick through papers looking up the answers or anything - and everything else is completely unseen, you just wing it and try to play the game like any other game. You know stuff or you don’t. Obviously the host has a script, but nobody else does, so if you’ve ever wondered if this is a completely rehearsed show, I can promise you that it isn’t.

  Anyway, it’s on tonight (Thursday) at 9pm on BBC 1. I hope it’ll look all right on television. If not, I’m sure I’ll hear about it….  ;-)

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Colin at 3:28 am on April 8th, 2010

Looks like the Coren family had a 100% winning record on HIGNFY before now. What are the odds on this episode making it five wins out of five?

Red Riding Hood at 3:51 am on April 8th, 2010

It went fine! I gathered Ian Hislop was being rather paternalistic - if perhaps too much for your liking at certain points!
Your greatest loss was simply not being famous enough, a fantastic self-depreciating run regarding using and abusing famous fathers seemed to be lost on most of the audience.  Amused that you get flashed the missing words thing - a little acting required in all that blank guessing or has it genuinely left your mind an hour and a half odd later?

A stellar first performance I’d say, particularly (unfortunately) by a woman, many ladies either resort to giggling and girly or defensive and trying far far too hard

The Tim at 9:16 am on April 8th, 2010

Can’t wait! I never thought the show was scripted though I did think that Ian Hislop once said that he and PM knew the questions in advance. You can tell if something is contrived. Quizzes such as QI and - take a random example - Only Connect are clearly not.

Sparkly at 10:20 am on April 8th, 2010

About twenty years ago, a friend of mine was asked by Q. Time to read a specific question as a member of the public in the audience on a show relating to a cricket controversy as he worked at Lord’s, something which surprised & saddened me at the time (not now, everyone knows this kind of thing was commonplace in TV & radio), but I was just curious to know whether you were aware in advance of the questions on QT?

Phil at 10:47 am on April 8th, 2010

So does this mean that there will be another million or so posts on this thread then? Shame this blog is losing the intimacy factor slightly (and a slight increase in folk fluent in moron), but that is more than compensated for by your surge in popularity.
Good for you; it was always bound to happen .

HIGNFY seems more your natural ground than QT; If I watch it you’ll have accounted for 67% of my tv viewing for the week (Prof Brian Cox has the other 33 and a bit) Again, well done! lol

Ginger Pogue at 10:53 am on April 8th, 2010

Can’t wait!!!!!!!!

Victoria Coren at 11:07 am on April 8th, 2010

Oh gosh, RRH, they don’t give you the missing words! They just show you the lines with the words missing, just before the show. I’ll amend the post to make that clear! They don’t give you any answers at all.
  (They don’t tell you the questions on QT either, but if you read the papers it’s quite easy to guess what people will be thinking about).

borisse at 11:57 am on April 8th, 2010

I’m a new fan from Only Connect - loved you on QT - (fart in the lift on the mean-mouthed haters).  I’m currently reading your porn book - - not sure if i’ll run to poker interest tho the german heist was exciting!  Looking forward to HIGNFY - always a fave anyway - and will miss seeing you in the little box in the corner after.  Fantastic to have such an intelligent, funny, beautiful young woman as yourself entertaining me the last few weeks.  Yeh Vicky!

Graham at 12:41 pm on April 8th, 2010

“quite the Britney Spears”?

I don’t think so.
You are far prettier :)

RomanticRecluse at 4:32 pm on April 8th, 2010

HIGNFY is one of the best shows on TV, especially when there’s something for the panel to really get their teeth into.  I don’t know why anyone thinks it’s rehearsed because Paul sometimes shocks himself, Ian sometimes stops himself and a guest or host often gets put on the spot.  I’d say it’s one of the best shows of its era, along with Spitting Image and The Day Today.  I wish there were more topical satirical shows on TV.

Frank Skinner’s presenting a new show called Opinionated which has been described as “Question Time with laughs”.  It will feature two guests and a studio audience and will be on BBC2 in April and May.  There’s not much news about who the guests will be.  Not yet.

Tim Clague at 6:36 pm on April 8th, 2010

You got a new agent or something then? It’s TV mad at the mo.

Billy Mack at 6:56 pm on April 8th, 2010

You feel quite the Britney Spears?
Much better than Brtiney.
She was rubbish
Looking forward to tonight.

Takeanantiemetic at 8:46 pm on April 8th, 2010

Dear Vicky Coren, son of Alan,
A woman with just so much élan,
I’m sure if I’ve got news for you,
It’s that remote love can be true.

(Apologies for not issuing a ‘THIS MIGHT MAKE YOU VOMIT’ warning before posting…)

Steve at 9:45 pm on April 8th, 2010

I dont know if this is the right place, nor do I care. I saw you tonight on HIGNFY, and I love you, in Julia’s sense of the word from George Orwell’s 1984 love. (I hope you get the reference)

‘Tis a shame you haven’t got an email address or a way of direct contact to be honest. I also realize that this comes off a little stalkerish, but oh well, these things had to said.

Anyway, just felt an irrepressible urge to let you know all of the above, I doubt you’ll read this or respond back, but oh well.

Regards - Steve

Archer at 9:50 pm on April 8th, 2010

Just discovered this blog after watching you on QT last week and HIGNFU tonight…have to say am impressed with the mental and aesthetic persona. Even more so as poker, for the large part, baffles me…keep up the great work and more, much more on the tv please.

Reehan at 9:50 pm on April 8th, 2010

Funny, vivacious and sparkling…..

Matt at 9:52 pm on April 8th, 2010

Victoria, having recently seen you on Question Tiime and tonight on Have I Got News For You, there’s only one thing left to say: you are very very funny, highly talented, and extremely beautiful (what a babe!). What a captivating smile, beautiful.


Ross at 9:52 pm on April 8th, 2010

I’ve just watched HIGNFY and you did good!

I have to be honest and admit I didn’t know who you were before,but on the back of your ‘turn’ used the googley internets to find your Cilla Black details (who you are, where you come from, what you do), and now I find myself having enjoyed the show, liking your personality and (rather embarassingly) having a slight crush :-)

Dean Garnham at 9:53 pm on April 8th, 2010

I thought you did very very well…..................for a woman x ;)

plane at 9:55 pm on April 8th, 2010

Must admit that I’d never heard of you until tonight on HIGNFY (at first I thought you were Heather Mills!).

Enjoyed your dryish sense of humour and wish you well for the future

Andrew B at 10:05 pm on April 8th, 2010

Y isn’t worth 5 at Scrabble…

Wil at 10:06 pm on April 8th, 2010

It was a good Have I Got News For You. Still think you and Ian shouldve won. Yah you rock!!

All the best Wil

cloudy at 10:11 pm on April 8th, 2010

Another great job, having never heard of you before QT I’ve become quite a fan!  Look forward to your next thing in May, whatever that is :)

adam at 10:11 pm on April 8th, 2010

well i never, seems i can’t turn on the tv without finding you at the moment. i was worried for you at first but thought you did exceptionally well, contributing to one of the better episodes.
i have to agree with Phil, i rather liked it when it felt like you were our little secret. it feels a bit like an indie band you have discovered suddenly going mainstream. still, don’t let that stop you.
so no more tv for a while, what about R4? i thought you might be on “the unbelievable truth” cos DM lurrves you.

Michael at 10:14 pm on April 8th, 2010

Hello Ms Coren

I thought i’d write a quick note as I enjoy your Observer contributions, finding them very funny and wittily written. I have even tried to improve my poker skills on the back of a couple!  You were very funny on Have I Got News For You by the way!

I just noticed you have a few books out (which I was unaware of previously) and as an aspiring writer wondered if you had any tips about how to get into writing, either as an author or a columnist.

You probably get inundated with numerous similar requests, but any handy insight would be most appreciated (I am a lawyer trying to get out of the law you see).


Mike at 10:15 pm on April 8th, 2010

I’d say a great success. You were effortlessly amusing on a show where guests often get drowned out or eclipsed by the professional comedians. Come back soon!

Bill at 10:33 pm on April 8th, 2010

Why do you suppose iPlayer have billed you as ‘guest panellists including Richard Herring?’ They normally just list the names.

Mark at 10:37 pm on April 8th, 2010

Shouldn’t have worried…you came across just great; warm, intelligent, very funny! Gordon Brown counting to five? Great stuff!

One new reader here…

Best regards.

Matthew at 10:38 pm on April 8th, 2010

Er… mmm… you were brilliant. Relaxed & and very quick, very funny. I wrote a regular column in Australia’s biggest selling daily, and appeared on the Oz equivalent of HGNFY too, until recently moving back to UK after an initial foray here in the late 90’s. Um… evidence below, ‘n stuff.
Anyway, so ... reply for some reason! Maybe.
Or not? Either way, an excellent showing tongiht.


HARDY ON ‘GOOD NEWS WEEK’ -  The Oz ‘HGNFY’ (2 mins)

Owen at 10:46 pm on April 8th, 2010

Hi Victoria! I think you’ve been great on TV the last week! Didn’t realise you were appearing on either QT or Have I Got News For You, but it was really nice to see you give the grumpy old men on those programmes something to think about! The jokes worked, don’t worry :) Hope to see more of your TV work soon

James at 10:53 pm on April 8th, 2010


Just saw you on HIGNFY and you were excellent, don’t worry, really sharp and very funny; sadly as i still have the oldest tv on earth i can’t watch your show on BBC4, otherwise i’d be tuning in. You should be on QI next!

All the best,

The Tim at 10:59 pm on April 8th, 2010

You were brilliant - full of great adlibs – your official coren-ation as queen of panel shows. Much better than Richard Herring and his ill-conceived remarks about Hitler - hope you punched him afterwards.

anthony at 11:01 pm on April 8th, 2010

you’re amazing. i love you xxx

Andy at 11:10 pm on April 8th, 2010

HIGN4U performance enough to want to find your blog! Truly funny and that stern look of yours - great to watch!  Bravo.

Bob Bennet at 11:29 pm on April 8th, 2010

I saw HIGNFY on iplayer tonight, having arrived home too late to see it ‘live’.  I regret to say that i hadn’t heard of you before today, but i thort you were a good addition to the panel.  It made me wonder why they still pay Paul Merton to go along, as you were clearly much better than he!  (bet you can be really caustic when provoked!!)

Reallydecentchap at 11:30 pm on April 8th, 2010

Your dress is undone but your bra is still on? I am now determined to form a new political party with a particularly attractive manifesto!

As for HIGNFY - You were quite fab!

Gavvers at 11:34 pm on April 8th, 2010

Hello, new fluent moron here.  I just caught 3/4 of HIGNFY (100% of my TV this week) and thought you were brilliant!  I’d never seen or heard of you before so thought I’d look you up (isn’t this internet thing great?!)  Very intiguing, think I’ll have to stalk you for a bit.
Anyway, thanks for entertaining me tonight, hope you do again sometime….....

Dan at 11:51 pm on April 8th, 2010

Just watched HIGNFY and have to say you did very well! As one of the previous people said, your insight into how it’s recorded is very interesting! Your ‘I have a mother’ put down to Ian, who is great but can seem a bit snobbish and condescending sometimes, got a laugh in our house! I’m sorry to say that I hadn’t heard of you prior to QT (I’m a university student and the choice of TV or the pub is often a no-brainer!) but thought you held your own there as well. Good job! How did you get into poker btw, if you don’t mind me asking?

Mitchell at 11:51 pm on April 8th, 2010

I hadn’t seen/encountered any of your work before last week’s Question Time, but have since been doing so with great enthusiasm. Congratulations, both performing admirably on ‘Have I Got News For You’ (by being gracious enough to actually know the answers) and looking gorgeous as you did so.

Ms Coren, I am your fan.

Adrian Maddaloni at 12:08 am on April 9th, 2010

Well, Ms Coren, as someone who watches very little TV I must confess I had never heard of you, but knew the surname and assumed there was a connection. You were by far the star of the show for me though. You came across as fearsomely quick witted. I will be looking out for your next similar appearance. It was a treat….

Can I have some money to get an ice lolly? at 12:11 am on April 9th, 2010

I’m not keen on the word baffle. It’s like beards and check shirts, or watching internet tv programmes when you can’t be bothered to move your chair and have the corner of the table in that bit where your rib cage goes all bendy. I don’t like the word “Baffle”. Maybe it’s the two “effs"or something else. It’s not natural. Can you help me get re-housed to Lewes?

Andy at 12:19 am on April 9th, 2010

Just saw the episode….thought it was very good but my oh my you didn’t get your own odd one out right…...I guess you felt sorry for Paul Merton, shame they don’t let you talk a little more as I am sure you would bring a little more sense to the table…...

The Journapist at 1:17 am on April 9th, 2010

You were great - but then I would say that considering my crush on you is such that if I knew where you lived, I’d stalk. Glad the HIGNFY audience had enough sense of humor to appreciate your gags. That Question Time bunch were so undeserving! Richard Herring was on form too so it was one of the better episodes I’ve seen. Must you really take a break from TV?


Keith at 1:44 am on April 9th, 2010

Just to say I thought you were terrific on HIGNFY tonight. Funny, which is of course pretty important in the circs, but you also came across as simultaneously sage and coquettish, which is a good combo. Your performance on Question Time was also refreshing and you could teach those politicians a thing or two about on-screen presence. What with the climax of Only Connect to look forward to on Monday, you’re challenging Joanna Lumley as a blossoming national treasure. Wasn’t sure how I would fill the void after all this TV gold, but now that I learn from borisse (above) that you have written a porn book, I shall be procuring a copy of that a toute vitesse.  All the best for continued success.

kelvin at 2:09 am on April 9th, 2010

Hi victoria, How do i get a signed photo of you? You are gorgeous with a very sexy voice and smile, I watched on Have Got News For You, you are so pretty. Please reply
Thank you

Motor Trade Insider at 7:48 am on April 9th, 2010

Have I got news for you? Well yes quite frankly. Victoria you were a sensation on HIGNFY and sublime on QT and I’ve written a quite strongly worded letter to Lord Reith requesting that you be installed (I know you are not a computer program but I can’t think of the right word) on the QT panel permanently. I am awaiting with interest his detailed response and I shall keep you posted on developments.

Rick at 8:36 am on April 9th, 2010

Well done Vicky, superb as always. I think a rerun of the revolting pedant would now be in order.
I also loved what your brilliant dad wrote, especially in Punch. I still often fondly recall his marvellous item, a few months before you were born I guess, about turning 35 (oh well it’s easier on the downhill side). I must immediately buy Chocolate & Cuckoo Clocks. I think it’s called rekindling the spark of youth, that’s what you do to me.

Ginger Pogue at 8:41 am on April 9th, 2010

Hey there Vicky,

Very well done with HIGNFY, you were absolutely superb and quick witted as always.  Just a real shame that after Monday night you will be off our screens for a fair while.  Personally I think it would be great to see a lot more of you on the old box, but in fairness if it frees up more time for your poker and writing, the things you love, then that’s got to be good.  Very best of luck to you.

P.S. In readiness for Monday…..Come on the gamblers!!!!!!!!

Paul White at 9:28 am on April 9th, 2010

Victoria was fantastic on HIGNFY!
Witty, charming (and a total fox!)
More please!

Alan Parsons at 9:39 am on April 9th, 2010

Saw it last night and it was good to see a guest who actually contributed something.  I bet you are a wicked Scrabble player.

Rhube at 9:39 am on April 9th, 2010

Just saw you on HIGNFY and thought you were awesome. Funniest person on it, and I loved your handling of the Today Programme stupidity. Bit annoyed on your behalf that yours was the only name not mentioned in the blurb on iPlayer, but hey, it led me to find you here and on Twitter.

Victoria Coren at 9:44 am on April 9th, 2010

Morning! Lots of nice comments, hurray, and lots of questions - sorry if I miss some but here’s what I remember:

Signed photos: I never send them! I don’t have any. They’re for proper stars, like Hollywood actors and rock singers, I don’t keep any because I’d feel silly posting them, sorry…

How I got into poker is a long story. Quite literally a long story, which you can buy for a very reasonable price in some bookshops, or by going to the “BOOKS” page of this site and clicking on “For Richer, For Poorer: A Love Affair With Poker” and clicking through to Amazon! The short version is, it’s my brother’s fault.

How to write: I’d never get that past the word count on the site. And it would only be my opinion anyway, which might be wrong (broadly, start with what you know, find your own voice, keep it honest and fresh, that sort of thing). For being a ‘professional’ writer it’s equally important to be super-precise about deadlines and word counts, full of ideas, slightly workaholic and good at constantly generating your own work. But don’t necessarily think about doing that. Writing can be done alongside another job, which makes life safer and easier. I write and play poker - many people do one or the other of those solely ‘for a living’ but they’re both so dangerous, so uncertain and guarantee so little, that if I committed completely to either I’d be constantly nervous of going skint.

Y being worth 5: I’m worried about that. I’ve been playing a lot of Lexulous, several games a day, where it is worth 5. I’m now worried that in traditional Scrabble it’s 4. If so, that’s terrible and will keep me awake for many nights.

And thanks so much to everyone for being so nice and reassuring! You’re all lovely.

Dave at 10:00 am on April 9th, 2010

Thought you were great on HIGNFY last night. Will be watching the slightly longer version over the weekend. However, I really have to point out the error with JULY in Scrabble. It would just be 42 points on a Triple Word square, not 45.

Interesting what you say about writers needing to be super precise about deadlines and stuff. One of the best writers of my generation is Douglas Adams (not the only good writer, I hasten to add!!) and he was dreadful when it came to deadlines, and organisation and grown up things like them. But then he was a bit of a genius, so maybe you can overlook things like that…...

Dave at 10:05 am on April 9th, 2010

Interesting what you say about writers needing to be super precise about deadlines and stuff. One of the best writers of my generation is Douglas Adams (not the only good writer, I hasten to add!!) and he was dreadful when it came to deadlines, and organisation and grown up things like them. But then he was a bit of a genius, so maybe you can overlook things like that…...

Colin at 10:28 am on April 9th, 2010

What a babe!! A sleepless night two weeks running!!

Emancipatedgamer at 10:59 am on April 9th, 2010

Hi Victoria
I have a rather large collection of games - some 1000 plus ( sadly an anorak - but a good-looking non smelly one :-) ) - have you ever thought about playing something else other than Poker and Scrabble - If I knew how I would post a pic of my collection - four walls and an attic full - in fact I had to build a special room just for gaming !



JT at 11:07 am on April 9th, 2010

You’re extremely funny and totally gorgeous…my perfect woman! (except for your politics…)  You’ve made me laugh on your recent TV appearances…thank you!  Let’s hope we get to see a lot more of you on mainstream programmes from now on… ;o)

Adrian at 11:49 am on April 9th, 2010

I saw the programme; I also saw Question Time, and what you have is a gift of pulling thoughts and associations from your feelings and painting them into a shape that is insightful, humorous and worth listening to.  The audience gives you time because you always pay dividends.  You should be proud of yourself.  There are few people I see on TV today who I allow the space to do whatever they want; with some we expect jokes, with some we expect narcissistic re-runs of their life story, with Victoria – we wait, and we join her in where her thoughts are on the day, because she is not trying to be anything.  Yet she always connects to the moment and offers it something that is uniquely her. That’s refreshing.

GrahamW at 12:21 pm on April 9th, 2010

Hi Victoria,

your stint on Have I got News for You was a triumph, as was your appearance on QT.

The look on your face after Richard Herring’s pants/washbasket remark was priceless!

Try getting Britney Spears to do that one.

Fitch at 12:25 pm on April 9th, 2010

Dear Victoria,
      having been laid up in bed the last few days, imagine my delight, when I turned on the TV to watch HIGNFY, in seeing you there.

Are you sure you don’t have curative powers? I feel so much better today that I’m sure I can make it to the pub for lunch!

Thank you so much,

I’ll be your patient for ever,

You were great!

Love Fitchxxx

Cazzbar at 12:30 pm on April 9th, 2010

Well I’m glad that my curiosity got the better of me recently and I put a certain name into Google, OK I admit to choosing the first of its dropdown list options but it did take me here! Loving all the blog action, the thinking man’s Lily Allen.

Just watched a random programme on the telly and you weren’t on it, so worried about your well-being I came straight here. Glad to see you’re fine! But slightly saddened by your lack of future broadcasting appearances, how will I get my VC fix? Watching repeats of Only Connect and still not getting any of the answers? (Having to downgrade my self-certified intelligence rating from “quite” to “not very” is bad enough without having to accept my memory is also on the blink).

Oh well, I think I’ve hit the blog equivalent of the pips…

The Tim at 12:50 pm on April 9th, 2010

I’ve just discovered at my local get-a-life club that while ‘Y’ does score 4 in the original version, it is worth 5 - in Afrikaans and Slovak - throw away those sleeping pills.

Your first name can score 89 points with a triple word (and 50 point bonus) with one borrowed vowel.

The Journapist at 1:00 pm on April 9th, 2010

I’m afraid Y is indeed worth 4 points, but I don’t think anyone noticed. It’s not as if it was on national…er, I don’t think anyone noticed….

Cazzbar at 1:28 pm on April 9th, 2010

haha, I agree with The Journapist. Geographically we’re only a small nation, so I think scrabble-gate went largely unnoticed globally!

Colm at 2:18 pm on April 9th, 2010

Hi Vicky,

Great performance on HIGNFY though I didn’t expect any less.

While it’s great that more people can see how brilliant you are, it is a bit like watching your favourite band or writer become a huge star, you’re delighted for them while being a little envious that you now have to share your favourite with more of the world

Still, even after the current flush of TV appearances have passed we’ll still follow our brilliant, beautiful & funny Queen Vicky to the tune of ‘Victoria’ by the Kinks (or The Fall), even on my own bankrupt, bedevilled little island next door.


Steve Brown at 2:47 pm on April 9th, 2010

Saw you on HIGNFY. You were very appealing and funny. Googled you. Never heard of you . . sorry. Read all about you and as much of your stuff as I could get. You have a brand new fan. Please tell me you sing and write hit songs too.


RomanticRecluse at 5:00 pm on April 9th, 2010

I’m not the world’s greatest poet or poetry critic but I can’t help noticing something in Takeanantiemetic’s poem.  It’s in the first line.

“Dear Vicky Coren, son of Alan,”


Still, it’s the thought that counts.

ytheleus at 7:13 pm on April 9th, 2010

Didn’t know you were on but managed to catch the last 10 mins. I just saw you going on about funerals and laxatives. Did I miss a quip about your knickers? Just thinking that maybe you mentioned them as a kinda follow up to the dress bra gag on QT?

James at 8:04 pm on April 9th, 2010

Good evening Victoria,
        Just watched HIGNFY on Sky+ and was pleasantly surprised to see you on the panel after being impressed by you on QT.
(One of the few panelists I haven’t ended up shouting at the TV at).

Politics is slightly different here in Scotland - but you were a refreshing change and were worth listening to.

I’ll be watching out for your newspaper columns now too, and hopefully look forward to seeing you on TV again soon.

Victoria Coren at 8:21 pm on April 9th, 2010

Oh dear, are FUNERALS rude now? Sorry, yleus, it’s hard for me to keep up. I had no idea how obscene people considered farts and bras to be until after Question Time. Now laxatives, OK I sort of get that, they relate to excreting, we all pretend in polite company that we never do that… but funerals? Since then were they a rude thing to talk about? Conversation is becoming a dangerous place.

Royston Butterscotch at 8:25 pm on April 9th, 2010

Just watched HIGNFY on BBBi Player.  Wow!  What a gorgeous smile! I very nearly dribbled my pie and chips down my chin! Lovely.

Dave at 8:38 pm on April 9th, 2010

You think saying ‘fart’ was bad on QT - you want to try saying it in a sermon in a church…....I was practically excommunicated!!

Perry at 8:55 pm on April 9th, 2010

“The U and K are awful together”

.....Ukelele, is that allowed? I don’t play Scrabble. I don’t think it’s a proper noun, though I have written Ukelele twice with a capital letter (plus, is it written or wrote? I get that mixed up. Scrabble just seems to belittle my lexicon, it doesn’t seem like a nice hobby.)

Jen Berezai at 9:35 pm on April 9th, 2010

Watched HIGNFY through the fog of a migraine, remember being pleased that “that woman off of QT” was on, and laughed (then winced, it hurt!) at the scrabble stuff…then fell asleep. Hope you are going to be on TV a bit more often, think you’re great!

Jenny at 10:07 pm on April 9th, 2010

Just watched HIGNFY and having sadly never heard of you before (times reader but guardian style section is stealing me gradually) was pleasantly surprised they put a woman on who was funny and could hold her own with the satirists (as if that’s a real job). Anyway, I just wanted to say you did make sense and it was good so please go on again.

Tim W at 10:09 pm on April 9th, 2010

You did great Vicky, i think you should be the next host of countdown

Markjb at 10:09 pm on April 9th, 2010

Victoria you were lovely and funny.
Can you persuade Joanna Lumley to stand for election as I will definitely vote for her, and you. xx

Jonty at 10:13 pm on April 9th, 2010

lovely performance, you looked marvellous and were the picture of the 21st c woman. But you are never going to call me so I should probably give up x

Raw Turnip at 10:33 pm on April 9th, 2010

Victoria, you’re an idiot!

Brian at 11:08 pm on April 9th, 2010

U and K? What about unknown, unkind, unkempt, sunk,  clunk, chunk….

Enjoyed your appearance on the show, a lot less baffling than the poker column in the Guardian but I read it anyway!

michael john smith at 11:23 pm on April 9th, 2010

As a convicted spy I regard it as essential intelligence to watch Have I Got News every week. I must say you have by far the best camera reactions I have ever seen on the show. Partly it was eye candy - you are attractive - but you have the skill to know when to use your eyes and mouth at the right time.

I would have to study the recording to be sure what you were doing, but if it could be bottled it would be worth a fortune if sold in Harrods.

Don’t lose your innocence Victoria.  It is your greatest asset.  :-))  xxx

Peter at 12:00 am on April 10th, 2010

Well done, Victoria, another sparkling performance.

Bobby Ollox at 3:24 am on April 10th, 2010

Very lovely smile - am captivated

TomB at 6:17 am on April 10th, 2010

Like many of the others I had never heard of you before HIGNFY, I will be keeping an eye out for you now.  You are a killer!  I look forward to seeing you again.


The Tim at 8:24 am on April 10th, 2010

I just wanted to give a heartfelt thank-you to Victoria Coren for taking the trouble to interact here with what is largely - let’s face it - a rather odd bunch. We’re not all lovely but I do appreciate the sentiment!

Andrew Palmer at 6:02 pm on April 10th, 2010

I had never heard of you - apologies - you were probably the most impressive guest on the show for a good while. I have just watched it on iPlayer - interestingly (or not) you were not mentioned in the credits on the site- perhaps the radio 4 producer had something to do with that…. will now follow you on Twitter et al to see what else you get up to - keep up the refreshing work…

David R at 6:25 pm on April 10th, 2010

I liked you on both QT and HIGNFY. Another recent appearance of yours I liked was when you went on Claudia Winkleman’s radio show a few months ago.

Worried that the interview was becoming too informal and chatty (because you know each other), Claudia then went a bit too far down the impersonal route, when she started by saying:

“Is it true… you were a teenager…?”

Anonymous at 7:46 pm on April 10th, 2010

WTF..on the iPlayer credits for the show: “guest host Alexander Armstrong and guest panellists including Richard Herring.”

Mike at 11:07 pm on April 10th, 2010


si at 2:28 am on April 11th, 2010

Congrats for being one of the funniest and hands-down the prettiest guest on HIGNFY but… you did look a short arse… Hislop’s chair was a lot higher than yours.  Is he really that small?
Next time take a cushion, and a screwdriver.

David R at 2:31 am on April 11th, 2010

I hasten to add that I think Claudia Winkleman will be great as the new host of Film 2010!

Universum at 6:35 am on April 11th, 2010

I thoroughly enjoyed your appearance on HIGNFY I was very glad to see you got stuck in, Ian’s advice was obviously spot on which is something you’d expect from such a long running panelist.
I was quite surprised to find you appearing on programmes of such comedy after having watched Only Connect, you really handle both the intellectual and the funny quite well which is so very rare.
The comment about Scrabble letter point score tickled me rather nicely.

Enjoy the TV break as I can only imagine the pressure, though I imagine with the poker it’s nothing you’re not used to. Here’s to more OC and other TV appearances, I do so like hearing such a well spoken person.
Quite interesting to note the CAPTCHA.

Chris at 6:41 am on April 11th, 2010

Great appearance on the show. As always you were witty, intelligent, articulate, and just a little bit hot…and if this lot hadn’t blown your cover on the scrabble scoring, I’d have believed you there too!

Shocking rule change by the way, but hey ho, if I am forced to use the new rules (at gunpoint?!) at least I can start using my knowledge of mythology to get some gods onto the board!

Off topic, but I agree with you, Ipods are great for poker. I also tried it for the first time at a tourney recently, and may I recommend Sigur Ros for tourney flat periods.

Oh, and you looked great on the show, how could you doubt it?!

Thanks for reading, keep up the great writing, TV appearances & all the rest.

Oh, I don’t suppose you ever come up to “Sunny Scotland”? Hmm, is that a tell? ;)

Rob at 9:18 pm on April 11th, 2010

Superb work on HIGNFY - funny, articulate and really very hot (if that’s not an impolite thing to say to a stranger!).  The BBC really should take note and give you more airtime.  Well done.

Rog at 10:03 pm on April 11th, 2010

Wow, I mean, everytime I switch on my TV, you’re on it! I put QT on, you’re there, I watch Iplayer HIGNFY, you’re there, and to cap it all, I go to my local fish and chip shop and you’re serving! Talk about ashes to ashes….

Seriously, I will switch to the next series of Beauty and the Geek, and you’ll probably be on it.. Is there no end to your talents as an MP?

BernardSumner at 5:08 pm on April 12th, 2010

Piers Morgan was writing his usual ‘I’m brillliant everyone else admit how great I am’ smug Mail on Sunday Column when he compared you to Paris Hilton for your Question Time appearance. Well done Vicky, anyone who upsets the crass Morgan (or the obsequious Morgan if he’s with Simon Cowell) is clearly on the right track.

Jameson Spargo at 9:09 pm on April 12th, 2010

Why is it that the BBC have such talented journalists/broadcasters such as yourself, Charlie Brooker, Mark Kermode and I’m sure many countless others in the past and the present, yet not use the talents of these people to its full extent? BBC Four is not the home for you or the others. Get your act together BBC

TJ at 10:40 pm on April 12th, 2010

You were great, Victoria. Witty and very easy on the eye :) You would be great hosting the programme. I can see you cracking the whip!

Rawturnip Masher at 10:54 pm on April 12th, 2010

Loved your method of dealing with the memorial crashers. I never met your father but from hearing him on the radio and seeing him on the TV, I think he would have been highly amused and very proud.
I see Piers Morgan has slagged you off, well done you!

Kev at 10:59 pm on April 12th, 2010

Right, you’re going to have to stop appearing on these shows because every time you do, I fall a little bit more in love with you and a little bit less in love with everyone else. Please get off my screen and make it easier for me to settle for second best.

Mark at 11:03 pm on April 12th, 2010

I missed this when it was first on - Victoria Coren is by far the brightest and hottest person on TV right now.

Does one have to play poker to be able to try and chat her up (in that most odious of modern phrases)?

Andrew M at 11:07 pm on April 12th, 2010

Just finished watching HIGNFY tonight and found it highly enjoyable. 

You put in a great perfomance and were looking as beautiful as ever.

markanthony at 11:22 pm on April 12th, 2010

First rate entertainment, just what mainstream broadcasting needs, fresh razor sharp mind. I’ll be seeking out more of your work, tc .

RICHARD MILLS at 1:21 am on April 13th, 2010

How do you escape that Voltaire maxim that the gambler loses to chastise himself?

I always, always have that in the back of my mind when contemplating a rash (read brave) move; ie that it would, if unsuccessful, provide a giddy, masochistic, thrill of remorse and self loathing.

Is it just me and a long dead Frenchman?

johnie at 12:02 pm on April 13th, 2010

what impressed me most was your scrabble arithmetic, astonishingly quick. even more astonishing is that people still play it… gg well played.

Wilt at 8:31 pm on April 13th, 2010

Victoria, at the risk of sounding unimaginative for using a couple of tired old cliches, you are both a ‘breath of fresh air’ and a ‘sight for sore eyes’.

If there’s anyone left at the BBC with half the sense they were born with, I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of you in the future.


Kevin at 12:00 am on April 14th, 2010

Know what I said, sorry, special circumstances.
That Kev, who posted yesterday, is not me the original Kevin. The more Vicky the better, as far as I am concerned, on our screens.
I am genuinely pleased that things are now looking even brighter for VC after her recent TV appearances. The BBC ( and everywhere else ) can only benefit from Victoria’s fine, glamorous presence, her spirit of adventure, vivacious and plucky personality. Long may she continue.
I wont be posting anymore at the other place, I have, where Vicky writes, as it has all come to an abrupt end. I suppose it had to happen eventually. I expect Philip? and others, will have to get used to the new situation, in view of VC’s rise to more prominence from her recent TV exposure. Good luck Vicky, all the best for the future.

steven at 1:09 pm on April 14th, 2010

I thought your appearance on QT was very good. I dont agree with all you said but surely that’s the point, to have intelligent people offer opinions for debate?. Also on HIGNFY you were excellent. The look you gave that chap when he commented on the pile of pants waiting to be washed by the wife was priceless. I for one think you should be on TV more. If just one young girl can see you on TV and realise that it is possible to be confident, intelligent, articulate, witty and look great doing so, and thus decides that there is an alternative to aspiring to be in the “glamour” industry or a WAG then you have achieved a wonderful thing. Sorry if that tags you as a role model but young girls today need better than they have.
Good luck on the tables

Ian at 7:48 pm on April 14th, 2010

Victoria, I have been an Observer reader for years, and am a long-standing fan of your column - insightful, beautifully written, witty…. Only when I saw you on Have I got news…. in which I thought you performed outstandingly well…....did I realise just how lovely you are…....and a gorgeous smile, endearing laugh, great charisma, lovely personality…...I am now more of a fan than ever.

Kevin G. Abberley at 11:08 pm on April 14th, 2010

Wonderful and relaxed professional performance. Can’t wait for you to be on HIGNFY again as a contestant and then maybe host?

Ed at 12:08 am on April 15th, 2010

I just watched Have I Got News For You on iPlayer (curiously I *did* see your name in the credits) and felt compelled to drop you a line.

I’m afraid I’m ignorant regarding the poker scene but I was quite mesmerised by your performance.  It’s refreshing to see such a sharp mind coupled with such devastating good looks.  I think I’ve become a fan!

I look forward to more apperances from you in the future.


Jack Butterworth at 10:53 pm on April 15th, 2010

Thought you were really excelllent on HIGNFY. Please lobby for another appearance, preferably as a contestant - really funny!

Peter Palladas at 12:22 am on April 17th, 2010

Knowing the correct Scrabble score for ‘UKIP’ had them reeling. Excellent opener. You were good in what you said and in how you interacted with the rest of the panel. Camera loved you. The guys were not a little in awe of you.

Andreas Stavros at 1:34 am on April 23rd, 2010

Hello Victoria.  I was in the audience earlier this week for the recording of You Have Been Watching and was disturbed to hear you say that you’ve “made up” with Piers Morgan.  That’s really no good at all.  In fact, it unravels all your previous good work.  You simply can’t go through life like that, so pleae don’t let it happen again.  xx

Victoria Coren

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