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Just when the pundits are urging Charles Kennedy to get serious, the Liberal Democrat leader announces that he is to host Have I Got News for You.

Obviously Mr Kennedy's media advisers have decided that the only way that Radical Charlie is going to be allowed to command half an hour of the nation's attention at peak viewing time is to park him between Ian Hislop and Paul Merton. They are right about that; but there are grave risks to this move.

Newsnight it ain't. Even with Mr Kennedy's natural authority, there is a distinct possibility that he will find himself red-faced with embarrassment. So no change there, then. Dangerous, unscripted phrases such as "bottle of Scotch", "single transferable vote" and "site value rating" could easily crop up. What's the betting that the first question in the first round will be "What's the head of a supposedly credible political party doing on a telly comedy show?"