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Friday, 13 December, 2002, 09:39 GMT
Kennedy in Deayton hot seat
Charles Kennedy
Kennedy's appearance will be screened on Friday
Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy asked the nation to get used to him being in charge when he became the latest guest presenter of Have I Got News For You.

Kennedy revealed he would "love" to be Prime Minister as he took the hot seat on the satirical TV quiz show.

The MP, who has earned the nickname "chat-show Charlie" for his regular TV appearances, is the latest stand-in to host the BBC One show following the sacking of Angus Deayton.

Opening the penultimate show of the current series on Friday, Mr Kennedy told the audience: "Tonight I'm in charge - people of Britain, get used to it."

Ian Hislop, Angus Deayton and Paul Merton
Deayton (centre) was the butt of colleagues' jibes

Asked by panellist Paul Merton if he would like to lead the country, he replied: "I would love to be Prime Minister. Absolutely."

Kennedy later joked about the "Cheriegate" affair.

"I think it's funny that the Conservatives can get so upset that con-people can get so far in life," he said.

"This is the party that tried to run Jeffrey Archer as Mayor of London."

When asked what he thought of Tory MP Boris Johnson's stint as guest host, Kennedy replied: "I can't comment. I never watch this show. I have better things to do."

The MP has been a guest on Have I Got News For You six times, including twice as a party leader.

Jeremy Clarkson
Clarkson will host the last show of the current series

He will be donating his appearance fee to the Highland Hospice in Inverness, which serves his Ross, Skye and Inverness West constituency.

Angus Deayton was fired after revelations about his private life made him the butt of jokes from team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton.

After Deayton's sacking, producers opted to use guest presenters until a full-time replacement could be found.

According to a poll on Thursday, half the British public actually want to see him back as the show's permanent host.

Weakest Link presenter Anne Robinson did not receive a single mention in the Yahoo poll, even though she had the highest ratings - an average of 7.3 million - when she hosted the show.

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson will present the final show of the current series next week.

See also:

08 Dec 02 | Politics
10 Nov 02 | Entertainment
30 Oct 02 | Entertainment
30 Oct 02 | Entertainment
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