Way back in the 1990s, the producers of TV programmes used to get to write their own synopsises for episodes that would be used in the Radio Times. This was particularly interesting when it came to comedies. Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, writers of Red Dwarf, liked to slip in extra jokes: here’s a good one from the original broadcast of “White Hole”, and one from “Better than Life” that subsequently ended up adapted for use in an episode the following year. David Renwick, writer of One Foot in the Grave, deliberately submitted highly misleading descriptions; the ‘unlikely love affair’ described in the synopsis for the first showing of “The Exterminating Angel”, is in fact Margaret trying to set up Mr Swainey on a date, whilst Victor ‘taking to the road’ refers to his new job as a chauffeur.
Whilst having a good laugh at some of these, I thought: What about non-scripted comedy shows – more specifically, panel shows? Did the producers of those ever think to muck about with their listings in such a way? So I trawled through the BBC Genome for every mention of Have I Got News for You it had, and here’s what I found.