Paul Merton and Ian Hislop could do a sketch show together: “The chemistry is certainly there”

The Have I Got News For You team captains have been working together for 28 years. Could they make it as a comedy double act?

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 20:00:01 on 22/11/2017 - Programme Name: Just A Minute - 50th Anniversary - TX: n/a - Episode: Just A Minute - 50th Anniversary (No. 1) - Picture Shows:  Paul Merton - (C) BBC Studios - Photographer: Charlie Clift

They may captain opposing teams on Have I Got News For You, but Paul Merton and Ian Hislop reckon if they worked together they could make an excellent comedy double act.

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A new magazine photoshoot for Radio Times features Merton and Hislop in bed together in homage to Morecambe and Wise. In another shot, Private Eye editor Hislop poses as a newspaper vendor, with Merton as his customer in a pinstripe suit and bowler hat.

On the suggestion that they should team up for a sketch show, Merton said: “I think that’s something that we probably could do, because of the relationship between me and Ian, and the fact we’re very different.

“We’re physically different, educationally different, and that’s what a lot of double acts have. I was dressed in the bowler, Ian was doing his best at a working-class accent.”

“It’s terribly good,” confirmed Hislop.

“Circa Kind Hearts and Coronets,” Merton continued. “‘Cor blimey, guv’nor.’

“So, yes, maybe we will do something one day. The chemistry is certainly there. Maybe a Comic Relief thing, or a Christmas one-off…”

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Read the full interview in Radio Times magazine, out now