31/03/2017 00:29 BST | Updated 31/03/2017 01:08 BST

BBC Question Time: Everyone Is Making The Same Ukip Joke

It has something to do with having no MPs.

Ukip leader, Paul Nuttall, on Question Time.

The weekly political knock-about that is the BBC’s Question Time once again included a representative from the UK Independence Party. This time it was Ukip leader, Paul Nuttall, who stepped up.

As HuffPost UK revealed earlier this week, the anti-EU party has a semi-permanent residency on the show.

Ukip appeared on almost one in four of the flagship programmes in the past seven years - despite never having more than two MPs.

Our analysis of the 258 regular Question Time shows since May 6 2010 showed the party had a representative on 24% of the programmes.

But something was different this week.

Last week, its sole MP, Douglas Carswell, resigned from the party, meaning it no longer has a voice in the House of Commons. Ex-leader Nigel Farage has stood unsuccessfully for election to the Commons seven times, in five general elections and two by-elections. Nuttall’s most recent attempt in Stoke also failed.

So no MPs? But a seat on the Question Time panel?

That was two MPs who couldn’t resist during the joke. But the gag was rolled out well in advance.

But its genesis stretches back earlier than Thursday night.

And earlier.

If you’ve finding it tedious, there was a variation on the theme.

Panelists on the show, presented by David Dimbleby, also included Scottish Conservative Party leader Ruth Davidson, Labour MP Lisa Nandy, Unite union boss Len McCluskey and Kate Andrews of the Institute of Economic Affairs.