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EDITIONS
Thursday, 23 May, 2002, 22:45 GMT 23:45 UK
Deayton admits: I'm this week's loser
Have I Got News For You host Angus Deayton
Angus Deayton was pilloried for his off-screen antics
Angus Deayton admitted he was a "loser" and faced merciless ridicule from his Have I Got News For You co-stars when it was filmed on Thursday.

The host of the satirical news quiz looked clearly uncomfortable during his first show since a Sunday newspaper claimed he had sex with a prostitute and snorted cocaine in front of her.

Team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton both brandished copies of the newspaper and left Deayton keeping 'score' on how many jokes each made at his expense.

Guests Ken Livingstone and comedian Dave Gorman also made quips about Deayton, who has a baby with long-term partner, Lise Meyer.

'Smug git'

Deayton attempted to pre-empt the inevitable gags when he introduced the quiz by saying: "Welcome to the show. This week's loser is ... presenting it."

Paul Merton
Paul Merton shows off his new T-shirt
He continued: "The words pot, kettle, smug, git, good and kicking all come to mind."

Hislop and Merton were not to be outdone though, making sure their colleague's discomfort continued throughout filming.

At one stage, Merton unveiled a T-shirt featuring the front page of the newspaper.

And as the host tried to ask the first questions Merton interrupted, saying: "The story I'm interested in Angus, you and this prostitute, how did you get away without paying her?"

Hislop then pulled out a copy of the News of the World and started reading it out.

"'He made me groan all night.' What were you doing, reading the autocue?"

'Bad news'

As Deayton continued to squirm Merton told him: "I am surprised you had the nerve to turn up, you knew what it would be like."

The host replied: "I did, because of you two."

London Mayor Ken Livingstone joined in with the comment: "This is a day that Stephen Byers could have leaked more bad news."

Deayton added: "All week."

Italian escape

The News of the World said Deayton did not realise the woman, Caroline Martin, was a prostitute and had simply "chatted her up".


I think he got properly set up and he obviously feels a bit of a fool

Matthew Freud
In an interview with the newspaper Ms Martin claimed she had a "two-night affair" with the star.

She said she did not realise Deayton had a long-term partner and claimed they had swapped telephone numbers before meeting up at a hotel in Manchester and then again in London.

She described their encounter in detail, alleging Deayton used cocaine in front of her.

Following the revelations, Deayton and his partner flew off to Italy to escape the publicity, but he vowed he would go ahead with the show as usual.

'Set up'

Publicist Matthew Freud told BBC News Online his client dreaded filming Friday's edition of the quiz.

"He's expecting a pretty rough ride," Mr Freud said, adding that Deayton's mood was "remorseful".

"I think he got properly set up and he obviously feels a bit of a fool."

Deayton has hosted the programme, alongside regular team captains, Private Eye editor Ian Hislop and comic Paul Merton, since it began in 1990. It is now in its 23rd series.

The programme will be screened on BBC1 at 9pm on Friday.


Angus Deayton, given a hard time in tonight's Have I Got News For YouOdd one out?
The inside track on Deayton's mauling
See also:

20 May 02 | Entertainment
17 Aug 01 | Entertainment
22 May 01 | Entertainment
24 May 02 | UK
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