During the disorientating early days of lockdown, a horrible realisation dawned. Despite the impossibility of either a studio audience being present or the panellists all being in the same room, the BBC was going to persevere with Have I Got News for You?. Ian Hislop, Paul Merton and co would ignore the deathly two seconds of silence during which perfectly presentable quips plunged into the vast, empty chasm of an unstable Zoom connection and press on with their jaunty, topical comedy. This turned out to be toe-curlingly awkward – a graphic illustration of how intrinsic audiences were to the success of certain shows.
And yet, as suboptimal as the situation was, really Hignfy had no choice but to carry on. What else was there? Were the Friday schedules