'Have I Got News for You' ~ 'John Lloyd's Newsround' (1990) Pilot

This is a lost fragment of the never broadcast,'disastrous,' pilot show of the long-running current affairs quiz 'Have I Got News For You'

This BBC / Hat Trick Productions pilot show was originally preserved onto one inch videotape. This short clip I discovered on an incompletely-wiped DVCAM digital tape that had been transcribed from the original 1" master videotape. Many of these original BBC master tapes were wiped over and re-used for other programming, and therefore many programmes became lost.

Producer John Lloyd took the chair for this first excursion, which includes Paul Merton and Ian Hislop, but he dropped out and the chair was then taken by Angus Deighton for the broadcast series.

Renamed 'Have I Got News for You,' the first show was broadcast on BBC2 on 28 September 1990. The same topical news events (John Gummer feeding his child a "BSE" beef burger, nudists in a telephone box), were re-used for this first broadcast show. It was then transferred to BBC1 in October 2000. "Myself and Ian, we did a disastrous pilot for it," Paul Merton related later on the South Bank Show. "It was a beautiful summer's afternoon in 1990. Far too nice to be in a television studio, but I think the BBC had already bought it, so that's how it became a series."

It is dificult to believe this clip is from 34 years ago. The heavily-scripted and lawyer-vetted gag formula with framed laughter always remains the same with both Hislop acting as Freddy Grisewood and Merton as Tony Hancock and still earning their BBC pension.



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