Paul Merton is one of the regular team captains on popular satirical programme, Have I Got News For You (the other being Ian Hislop). He specialises in off-the-cuff wit, particularly with his ability to stretch any situation to the breaking point of credibility. He delivers jokes with a mournful looking face, similar to the approach of Jack Dee. This is ideal for shows such as Paul Merton’s Improv Chums, but has not always been successful in his sketch shows. Although his sketch shows are highly amusing, they have not given him the recognition that his appearances on Whose Line Is It Anyway and Have I Got News For You have.
During Angus Deayton’s reign on Have I Got News For You, I rarely saw a smile on Paul’s face. Of course, that was always part of his charm, but it was also perhaps due to the fact that the two never really got on. Since Angus Deayton’s “departure”, he seems to enjoy the presence of some of the guest presenters, most notably Boris Johnson, Bruce Forsythe, Kirsty Young and Nicholas Parsons.