Former Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart has been confirmed as the host of the first episode of the new series of BBC1 panel show stalwart Have I Got News For You.
The actor, who played Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation and four feature films over a 15 year period, will preside over the teams headed up by Ian Hislop and Paul Merton when the new series returns on Friday 21st April. Their two guests have not yet been confirmed.
Stewart’s appearance will delight Trekkies, but of course he is not the first commander of the Enterprise to chair the show.
Who can forget William Shatner’s unforgettable appearance in 2012 when he entertained audiences with ad-libs and a shocking revelation about the north Devon seaside town of Ilfracombe (see below)?
Stewart said he was delighted to land the job on the comedy news quiz which has been running since 1990 – with Hislop never missing one of its 446 episodes.
“A long awaited and anticipated moment in my career has arrived,” Stewart said. “I am to host the season opener of Have I Got News For You. I could not be more delighted.”
The upcoming series will run for nine episodes and is expected to include a sprinkling of new hosts and guests alongside appearances from long-running favourites such as Alexander Armstrong, Jo Brand and Victoria Coren.
Have I Got News for You returns to BBC1 on Friday 21st April at 9pm
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years. After a two year stint on local newspapers in the mid 1990s, he spent more than 5 years as the broadcast reporter at the Stage newspaper. Following that he enjoyed staff reporting positions at the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times breaking stories and writing features before settling as a full time freelance writing for an array of newspapers and magazines - but mainly for the Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.