Had tickets last night to watch Have I Got News for You being recorded with two comedians I can’t honestly say I have ever heard of (Lee Mack and Kevin Bridges), along with the bombastic leader of the UKIP party, Nigel Farage.

Described as “half man, half foghorn”, I wasn’t sure if this was going to be a classic HIGNFY car-crash type programme where he was strung up for ritual sacrifice, or if he would come out fairly well.

For the record, standing in a queue outside the TV studio for 90 minutes in the bitterly freezing cold wind was not fun.

Anyhow, for a politician to appear on the show can quite literally make or break a career, and I suspect that Nigel Farage will come out of this fairly well – subject to the editing suite gods being nice to him.

For someone who comes across on TV as being quite rude, he was genially self-deprecating on the show and took the mocking in good humour. However, he only ever seemed to join in when politics was mentioned. As soon as anything non-political was talked about he effectively vanished from the set.

I suspect he might be the sort of political person I have met on occasions – whose entire life is driven by their political cause. Which actually makes them quite dull for casual conversation over a pint.

A slight misunderstanding about a the “Tory’s secret weapon” did lead to the idea that Boris Johnson might be pregnant. A horrific idea! There was also a long-running joke about Ian Hislop being gay which may or may not make the edits as there was another running joke, aptly about laughing hyenas which might be better.

The recording itself was slower than usual and was a bit like a car constantly stuttering along – never quite getting up to normal speed, but getting you to the end eventually. Fortunately, there was plenty of comic material, so the end result should be quite good.

The recording is normally done on a Thursday night for a broadcast on Friday, but this series has been bumped off the Friday night slot for some TV drama show. Horrors!

A final oddity last night was the size of the audience. There are typically two blocks of seats either side of the stage, and another block directly in front – all of which can be seen on the show during the credits, but two blocks of “crap” seats to either side were missing last night. Odd that.

More tickets for later in the series will be released on the Hatrick website – details about booking tickets here.

P.S. When UKIP was founded, I initially thought it was pronounced as You Kay Eye Pee. Opps!


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  1. Matt says:

    The missing blocks of seats might explain why a sizeable number of people in the queue were turned away after waiting in the wind for an age? I was one of the last to get in to the studio and I was queueing from 5.50pm.

    I understand that Hat Trick over-allocate tickets to ensure a full house but it seemed excessive to have 100+ people make their way to the South Bank only to be waved away. Plus there was all those extra unused seats at the back behind the curtain..

    Was my first time at a recording and thoroughly enjoyed it.

  2. Laura says:

    The booking situation is ridiculous. They are overbooking by around 300 people. Last night they kept around 150 people waiting until half an hours after filming had started. The organisation is shambolic and people should think very hard about whether they are prepared to queue for two hours on two occasions (as you are likely to have to return twice) to see the show.

  3. erica broiwn says:

    still don’t no how to get tickets please enlighten me

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