In what must rank as one of the most significant weeks in the UK political history, the scriptwriters and panelists of topical comedy quiz show Have I Got News for You (HIGNFY) were always set for a bonanza episode last Friday (20 December) – and Progressive Greetings played a starring role, appearing as the ‘festive guest publication’ on the programme!
“PG has arrived! – it has taken 29 years for the magazine to appear on the programme, but some things are worth waiting for!” stated Jakki Brown, co-owner of Progressive Greetings since 1990, the same year that Have I Got News for You was first screened.
The episode, guest hosted by Charlie Brooker, team captains Paul Merton and Ian Hislop were joined by panelists Emma Barnett and Phil Wang in topical smorgasbord that melded politics, celebrity happenings, a festive flavouring – and a sprinkling of greeting cards.
Having showcased the front covers of three Progressive Greetings’ issues and explaining the magazine’s greeting card focus, which included featuring Emotional Rescue’s ‘Let’s stop card plagiarism’ advert, it was into the ‘Missing Words Round’. This featured a trio of quotes from PG with elements blanked out.
“What always puts a dampener on Christmas?” asked host Charlie Brooker as the first PG teaser. “Elections”, “pissing on your presents” were a couple of the suggestions before it was revealed that it was the threat of a Royal Mail strike that would have been a bane to Christmas card sending.
Sparking Paul Merton into top form, was successfully filling in the gaps on ‘As greeting card enthusiast Maxine’s famous rhyme goes; Don’t be [blank] send [blank]’
Without hesitation, the quick-witted comedian said ‘Don’t be hard, send a card’ quoting a mantra of Isle of Man post office’s Maxine Cannon. Feeling clearly chuffed with himself Paul added: “I had other suggestions…Don’t be soft, have it off” and “Don’t be silly, play with your neighbour”, which would not have been PG appropriate!
The final PG poser was ‘Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without [blank]’.
This time Paul and the other panelists failed to echo the quote which appeared in PG proclaiming that ‘Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without puns in Christmas cards’.
“It is wonderful that Progressive Greetings Worldwide achieved stardom in this highly viewed episode. Good to know that PG has followed in the footsteps of other luminary publications, including Goat World, Arthritis News, International Car Park Design, The Caravan Times and Diarrhoea Digest on the programme!” added Warren Lomax, co-owner of Progressive Greetings.
Above: Have I Got News for You host Charlie Booker and panellists.