Ross Noble: Mock the Week is “terrible” and the jokes are planned in advance

The comedian reveals why he hates the BBC1 show, claiming the "off the cuff" gags are in fact pre-planned

Comedian Ross Noble has revealed why he has never appeared on BBC2 current affairs comedy Mock the Week – because he thinks the spontaneity is faked.


In an interview in the new issue of Radio Times magazine, Noble, who has taken part in BBC1 series Have I Got News for You scores of times, was asked to explain why he had never appeared on the rival show fronted by Dara O Briain.

“Because it’s terrible,” said Noble. “If you watch Mock the Week, watch when the camera goes wide, look at the scripts – they’ve got pages and pages of them. You watch Have I got News for You and they show a wide shot, there are no notes there.

“You watch Mock the Week, there are A4 pages spread out if you look at the desk in front of them… When you see spin the wheel, what subject could be coming up now and you do a little bit of stand-up about it. It’s really weird that when the wheel spins, the topics that come up usually relate to something that is in that person’s act… I’ve not been on that show but they clearly get them in advance.”

The BBC and Mock the Week producers Hat Trick declined to comment on Noble’s claims.

The comedian’s show Freewheeling starts tonight on Dave. 

Read the full interview with Ross Noble in the new issue of Radio Times, on sale now