28 Facts About Ian Hislop


Ian Hislop has appeared on numerous radio and television programmes and has been a team captain on the BBC quiz show Have I Got News for You since the programme's inception in 1990.


When he was five months old, Ian Hislop's family began to travel around the world because of his father's job as a civil engineer.


When Ian Hislop was 12 years old his father died; his mother died when he was 32.


Ian Hislop applied to read philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford, but changed to English literature before arriving at Magdalen College.


At Oxford, Ian Hislop revived and edited the magazine Passing Wind, for which he interviewed Richard Ingrams, who was then editor of Private Eye, and Peter Cook, then the majority shareholder.


Ian Hislop joined the publication immediately after leaving Oxford, and became editor in 1986 following Ingrams's departure.


Cook, reportedly drunk after the lunch, instead announced Ian Hislop was "welcome aboard".


Ian Hislop is credited as the author of the recent Private Eye annuals.


Ian Hislop even had a puppet of himself, which sometimes appeared as a background character in sketches.


Ian Hislop has been a team captain on Have I Got News for You since it began airing in 1990.


Ian Hislop is the only person to have appeared in every episode of its run, even filming an episode in the seventh series in spite of suffering from appendicitis.


Ian Hislop presented one episode of the BBC's Great Railway Journeys, in which he travelled in India.


In May 2007 he presented a programme on BBC Four, Ian Hislop's Scouting for Boys, celebrating Robert Baden-Powell's book which inspired the Scout movement.


Ian Hislop has written and presented factual programmes for Radio 4 about such subjects as tax rebellions, female hymn composers, scouting and patron saints of Britain and Ireland.


Ian Hislop has been a screenwriter for comedian Harry Enfield.


Ian Hislop has presented several programmes for BBC 4, dealing with topics such as the Beeching Axe and the role of the Poet Laureate.


The latter, Ian Hislop's Changing of the Bard, launched the May 2009 BBC 4 Poetry season, and Hislop recounted the history of the post from the first official holder, John Dryden, to the then recently announced first female, first Scot and first openly bisexual laureate, Carol Ann Duffy.


Ian Hislop was noticeably angry that the matter had been raised.


Later in the same year, Ian Hislop gave the prestigious George Orwell Lecture at London's UCL.


Ian Hislop has been recognised for his broadcasting career, having produced TV and radio documentaries on immigration and the First World War.


Ian Hislop is married to Victoria; they have two children, Emily and Will.


Ian Hislop's wife has a career as an author, and in 2010 Ian Hislop played a small role in the Greek television series The Island, which was based on his wife's bestselling novel.


Ian Hislop's son Will is an actor, writer and stand-up comedian.


On 4 September 2009, Ian Hislop appeared at "The Gathering", organised by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, at Canterbury Cathedral to discuss religion, society and journalism, among other issues, in front of an audience of about 1,000.


Ian Hislop has mocked all major British political parties during his career.


Ian Hislop has been highly critical of the leadership of the European Union, calling for a referendum on the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe in a 2003 recording of Have I Got News for You.


However, referring to Britain's vote to leave the European Union, Ian Hislop said on Question Time that "after an election or a referendum, even if you lose the vote, you are entitled to go on making the argument".


In 2019, an outtake from Have I Got News for You went viral, featuring Ian Hislop saying that he would like to see Boris Johnson "have a fair trial, with a desirable result of him being in prison forever".