Steph McGovern Defends Have I Got News For You's 'Weird' Return To Our Screens

This week's episode – which saw the panellists satirising the week's news from their own homes – got a mixed reception.

TV presenter Steph McGovern has spoken out after the unique return of Have I Got News For You received mixed reviews.

On Friday night, Steph took on presenting duties when the topical panel show returned to our screens, but with a twist.

For those that missed it, because of social distancing guidelines, the entire show had to be done over video-link, with the entire panel satirising the week’s news from the comfort of their own homes.

Their image was then placed in a virtual version of the show’s set, with a rather surreal result.

The set of Have I Got News For You as depicted in this week's episode
The set of Have I Got News For You as depicted in this week's episode

However, as anyone who’s spent the last few weeks doing team meetings over Zoom or Google Hangouts (or, even more stressfully, attempted to put together a virtual “pub quiz”) will tell you, these video-links don’t always exactly run smoothly.

In the end, the episode received a mixed response from viewers, with Steph speaking out the following morning on her Twitter page, pointing out that while it may have been a “weird” watch for some, that’s what people should come to expect in the current climate.

Steph McGovern
Steph McGovern
Grant Pollard/Invision/AP

Am in my kitchen. Or as I like to call it now, Television Centre,” she wrote.

“Thanks for messages abt HIGNFY. It’s been going 30yrs with same format so I think it‘s great that [production companies Hat Trick and Electric Robin] tried something different to keep it on air.”

She added: “It was weird but so is life at the mo.”

The coronavirus pandemic has hugely impacted a number of industries, including television.

Production has been suspended on several daily shows in the UK, including ITV’s Lorraine and Loose Women, while all four of the country’s key soaps – EastEnders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks – have also shut down filming for the foreseeable future.

Other shows like This Morning and The One Show are still going ahead, but with huge adjustments, including social-distancing between presenters and guests being interviewed via video-link.

Have I Got News For You continues next Friday at 9pm on BBC One.

Make the most of your time in lockdown with a daily dose of celebrity news and guides to the best shows. Sign up to the entertainment newsletter.