Best known as a Have I Got News for You? team captain and Room 101 host, Paul Merton came to prominence in the 1980s as a founder of The Comedy Store Players and Julian Clary's writer.
Quick-witted improvisational skills, surreal humour and dry delivery made him a star of Whose Line Is It Anyway? which led to regular appearances on radio favourites I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue and Just A Minute, as well as a Channel 4 sketch show and several Hancock remakes – generally seen as unsuccessful – for ITV.
Despite his many successes elsewhere, it was on Have I Got News for You? that he found his finest vehicle, giving him the perfect forum for his powers of comic invention, powers he demonstrated to memorable effect when former Labour Deputy Leader Roy Hattersley's last minute non-appearance led to Merton's barnstorming performance while captaining a tub of lard.
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