Have I Got News for You: ‘Brutal’ Boris Johnson special episode divides BBC viewers

Satirical show’s tribute to Johnson’s been branded both ‘hilarious’ and ‘disgraceful’

Jacob Stolworthy
Sunday 04 September 2022 12:38 BST
Have I Got News For You mocks Boris Johnson in send-off episode

Have I Got News for You viewers are reacting to Boris Johnson’s “brutal” send-off episode.

As the end of Johnson’s time as prime minister grows nearer, the satirical series recorded a special instalment, titled “Have I Got News for Boris: A Very Special Tribute”, which was broadcast on Friday (2 September).

In true Have I Got News for You style, the BBC series didn’t hold back in roasting Johnson.

Near the beginning of the episode, panellist Paul Merton noted how the BBC had billed the episode as a “tribute”, with Ian Hislop quipping: “Tribute? Funny way to spell ‘good riddance’”. When guest Janet Street Porter stated: “I hope it’s going to be balanced”, Merton replied: “Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.”

Many viewers couldn’t get enough of the episode, which one person branded a fitting send-off”. However, others found the Jack Dee-hosted episode to be disrespectful, and called it “a severely misjudged programme idea”.

“Whoever greenlit the absolute unironic ROAST of Boris on have I got news for you is my new hero,” one viewer wrote on Twitter, with another adding: “The Have I Got News For You #HIGNFY roasting of Boris Johnson as his leaving present is thoroughly outstanding. Brutal. Savage. Hilarious.”

An additional person stated: “I confess I didnt like the idea of a Johnson special on Have I got news for you #hignfy but I should have trusted the team. Should be required viewing for the Tory members before any future vote.”

There were plenty of negative reactions, also, with one person complaining: “I see the BBC has now hit the lowest of the low. A full program aimed at disrespecting the outgoing Prime Minister. Whether you like Boris or not, it is not the BBC's job to sink to this disposable level of broadcasting. I'm referring to Have I Got News For You.”

Janet Street-Porter and Paul Merton on ‘Have I Got News for You’s special Boris Johnson episode
Janet Street-Porter and Paul Merton on ‘Have I Got News for You’s special Boris Johnson episode (BBC)

Another said they ‘didn’t like the tone” of the episode, with others calling it “disgraceful”.

Johnson is set to officially tender his resignation on Monday (5 September), following which he will step down as prime minister. He will be replaced by either Rishi Sunak or Lizz Truss.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in