Jeremy Clarkson to host the first episode of the new series of Have I Got News For You

After pulling out of the last series in the wake of the Top Gear fracas scandal, the presenter will host the satirical panel show in October

Jeremy Clarkson will take the host’s chair on Have I Got News for You six months after pulling out of the BBC1 panel show following the Top Gear fracas furore.

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The presenter, who is taking a new motoring show to Amazon Prime with compadres James May and Richard Hammond, will be in the hot seat in the first episode of the new series on 2nd October.

Clarkson will join team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton and Pointless host Richard Osman, who has been confirmed as one of the two guests for the opening episode.

When Clarkson was due to present in the last series, Jimmy Mulville, the boss of the independent production company Hat Trick which makes the show, joked: “Maybe we will get the producer on so he can hit Jeremy Clarkson live on television.”

He said that a Clarkson appearance on the show would make ”great television”, adding: “Have I Got News for You tries to have a bit of mischief so we will see if he can come on, I am not sure they know he is due to be on.”

After he pulled out of his scheduled appearance on Friday 24th April, Hat Trick issued a statement that said: “On reflection, Jeremy Clarkson has decided not to host Have I Got News For You. We fully expect him to resume his hosting duties later in the year.”

A source on the show told RadioTimes.com that one joke they had planned for Clarkson in April was to present him with a hot meal of steak and chips – the alleged cause of his confrontation with producer Oisin Tymon which led to his sacking from Top Gear. 

RadioTimes.com asked the BBC and Hat Trick for a comment but no one had responded at the time of publication.

The upcoming series is the fiftieth run of the show which first aired back in September 1990 with Angus Deayton as host.

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In those days Margaret Thatcher was still Prime Minister, East Germany was still a viable country and hardly anyone had even heard of Jeremy Corbyn… or Jeremy Clarkson for that matter.