David Dimbleby enjoys freedom from impartiality as HIGNFY host

David Dimbleby has said he did not “let off steam about policies or politicians” while making his Have I Got News For You presenting debut.

But the veteran journalist and broadcaster did say has used the opportunity to “take a wry look at how things are”, as he took on his first presenting role since retiring from the BBC’s Question Time at the end of last year.

Dimbleby described the chance to host the current affairs comedy panel show as an “intriguing invitation”, and one that gave him the chance to shake off the “impartiality” of his former job.

Have I Got News For You
Ian Hislop, David Dimbleby, Stacey Dooley, Henning Wehn and Paul Merton (Mark Allan/Hat Trick Productions/PA)

He was joined on the show, which will air on Friday, by team captains Paul Merton and Ian Hislop, with Strictly winner and documentary maker Stacey Dooley and German comedian Henning Wehn the guest panellists.

Speaking ahead of filming the episode Dimbleby, 80, said: “The satire is fun and quite a different gig from the impartiality of Question Time.

“I don’t plan to use it to let off steam about policies or politicians, but I will certainly take a wry look at how things are.

“I have been a fan of the programme since the beginning.

Have I Got News For You
Dimbleby said he would take a ‘wry look’ at the political landscape (Mark Allan/Hat Trick Productions/PA)

“I like the fun of it and I think it’s good to tease politicians – which does not mean I don’t respect what they do. You wouldn’t get me doing their job in 100 years.”

Dimbleby, who was replaced by Fiona Bruce on Question Time after 25 years at the helm, said he is enjoying his break from current affairs, but added: “I don’t expect it will last.

“I have various plans in the pipeline, but none yet embarked on. I am focused on Have I Got News For You – that’s enough of a challenge for this week.”

Dimbleby has also shared his joy at having Dooley on the show, as he enjoys her “fearless and forthright style of interviewing”.

Have I Got News For You returns to BBC One on Friday at 9pm.