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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 29 October, 2002, 08:44 GMT
Deayton's future in doubt
Have I Got News For You host Angus Deayton
Deayton was ridiculed for the second time this year
Angus Deayton's future as presenter of BBC TV's Have I Got News For You is in doubt following continuing revelations about his private life.

Last week, for the second time this year, the 45-year-old squirmed his way through the satirical show as the butt of fellow performers Ian Hislop and Paul Merton's merciless barracking over newspaper reports of his cocaine use and encounters with prostitutes.

Paul Merton
Paul Merton mocked Deayton following initial revelations in May
Head of entertainment Jane Lush is to meet Deayton, who has hosted the show since 1991, and his agent, Peter Fincham, on Tuesday.

Caustic comments

A representative of Hat Trick Productions, which makes Have I Got News for You, will also be at the meeting but the BBC is not saying where or when it is taking place.

This afternoon's meeting follows one this morning between the BBC and Hat Trick, and talks with Mr Fincham.

The BBC is understood to believe Angus Deayton's position as presenter of Have I Got News For You may have become untenable.

But it is keen not to part company entirely with one of its biggest stars and most popular presenters.

Following initial revelations in May, the corporation decided to allow Deayton to continue presenting the programme, in which he makes caustic comments about people in the public eye.


This scandal adds to the humour

Nicola Fern, Scotland
The reports about him visiting a prostitute and taking drugs became the main story in Have I Got News For You.

The BBC decided he could continue as the programme's presenter but executives said they would monitor the situation.

In June Deayton obtained a High Court order stopping a newspaper publishing more details about his private life.

But nine days ago Sunday newspapers published claims by Deayton's former mistress involving three-in-a-bed sex sessions and a prostitute.

'Step down'

"Now more allegations have emerged, the corporation is saying 'we have got to look at this again'," the BBC's media correspondent Torin Douglas told BBC Radio Five Live.

The current series of Have I Got News For You is due to end in December.

"There are newspaper reports that say the BBC will ask him to step down," said Mr Douglas.

"I don't think they will do that. I think they will put cards on the table and say 'this is not working' when the presenter becomes the main story of a programme like that, which is meant to be making fun of people in the public eye."

 VOTE RESULTS
Does the private life of a TV presenter matter?

Yes
 15.44% 

No
 84.56% 

272 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

See also:

29 Oct 02 | Entertainment
29 Oct 02 | Entertainment
17 Jul 02 | Entertainment
09 Jun 02 | Entertainment
24 May 02 | Entertainment
24 May 02 | UK
20 May 02 | Entertainment
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