Actor and comic Alexander Armstrong has spoken of his disappointment at not landing a full-time presenting role on the BBC's Have I Got News for You.
Armstrong was a guest presenter on Have I Got News For You three times
He was a guest presenter on the quiz after Angus Deayton was sacked over tabloid stories about his private life.
Armstrong was a favourite to land the job, but producers decided to stick with a roster of guest presenters.
He told the Radio Times he was "exquisitely disappointed" not to get the permanent position.
Armstrong, who is appearing in ITV's Life Begins, said he was upset because the decision not to hire him took more than 18 months.
"Every time I was told 'no', I got over it. Then I was told, 'actually, hang on....'," he told the Radio Times.
"I don't blame anyone. In fact, I suppose I should be grateful - I was never put in the position where I might have become the person who 'brought the programme down'," he said.
He insisted he was not behind rumours that he was a favourite to host Have I Got News For You, after guest-hosting three times.
"It was fairly clear for a while that they wanted to find a full-time presenter," he said.
"But sadly, for me, the success of guest presenters then became extremely apparent."
Charlotte Church, Anne Robinson and Michael Parkinson have been among the guest presenters on the show since the departure of Deayton in October 2002.