Ian Hislop reveals “extraordinary moment” Iain Duncan Smith cried in new BBC documentary

"IDS actually broke down. He we wept in front of me," says the Have I Got News For You panellist of the former Work and Pensions secretary


Ian Hislop has revealed the “very extraordinary moment” that former Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith broke down in tears in front of him.


The Have I Got News For You panellist was interviewing the Tory politician for a new BBC documentary, Workers or Shirkers? Ian Hislop’s Victorian Benefits, when Duncan Smith cried on camera.

“It was a curious thing,” Hislop said in the new issue of Radio Times magazine. “IDS actually broke down. He wept in front of me. It was a very extraordinary moment.”


The documentary is scheduled to air this Thursday 7 April on BBC2. In the interview, Duncan Smith recounts meeting a 19-year-old woman who had given up hope of working. Wiping away tears, he says that the woman reminded him of his daughter.

Hislop said that he did not try to comfort the politician, explaining, “No, I just watched him cry. We’re sitting in the Department for Work and Pensions talking about his desire desire to increase the lot of those without any privileges or start in life and he starts welling up.”

Duncan Smith resigned from the Cabinet in March, saying that the planned cuts to disability benefits were “indefensible”.

Read the full interview with Ian Hislop in the new issue of Radio Times magazine, in shops and on the Apple Newsstand from Tuesday 5th April. And read the tribute to comedy great Ronnie Corbett, featuring exclusive photographs and much more.