I watched this all the way through for the first time tonight; what a sad excuse for a topical quiz. Lazy jokes, repetitive themes, delivered by some of the smuggest comedians in Britain. The regulars are just awful: I suspect Frankie Boyle is itching to break out the Madeleine McCann and rape jokes, so has to make do with some guarded references to sex offenders instead. Hugh Dennis should know better than to stoop to this. Dara O'Brian is a poor man's Angus Deayton. And please, Michael Macintyre? Someone needs to tell him that you can get away with laughing mid-way through one of your own jokes when you're 10 years old, but not as a middle aged man on prime time TV. It wouldn't be so bad if the jokes he was laughing in the middle of were funny; but they just aren't.
All of the above could be forgiven if it wasn't for the unremitting self satisfaction - the panel spend 10 seconds making the joke, then the next 20 sitting with their arms folded, looking like a who's just learnt how to use the potty. The occasional funny moments only serve to remind me how good Have I Got News For You is - it's just so much better in every way. It's such a shame that this dumbed down, gutted version still gets commissioned.