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Have I Got News for You!

by Michael Ford last modified 21 May, 2021 04:13 PM

It's not every day that a local magazine gets featured on a popular national TV programme, but that's exactly what happened to our Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers last week.

Have I Got News for You!

Original photos courtesy HIGNFY/ Hat Trick Productions Ltd

Guild Master Robert Wellen explains:

"Out of the blue, in mid April 2021, I received an email from Vicky of Hat Trick Productions Ltd, a Researcher on Have I Got News for You. At first I thought it might be a scam, but having phoned Vicky I realized it was genuine.

"Vicky had written:

We are interested in featuring your newsletter ‘Face to Face’ on our programme. ‘Have I Got News for You’... each week we have a ‘Missing Word’ round where newspaper headlines from the week are read out with a vital word missing for the panel to guess the word which has been removed. It is tradition for a guest publication to be featured alongside this. We would like to include ‘Face to Face’ in this feature.

"Having consulted colleagues I signed the licence agreement and waited. At the beginning of May, I received the following from Vicky:

I’m delighted to be able to confirm that ‘Face to Face’ (the official newsletter of the Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers) will be used in this week’s recording of our brand-new series of Have I Got News for You, broadcast on BBC One at 9.00pm on Friday 14th May 2021. The programme will then be available on the BBC iPlayer on demand service for 30 days. Our guest host this week will be Romesh Ranganathan and joining team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton will be comedian Jo Brand and author Lemn Sissay.

Have I Got News For You- host Romesh Ranganathan
Host Romesh Ranganathan

"I alerted the membership! This e-mail from Vicky was accompanied by a warning that we might not get into the ‘prime time’ show on BBC1, in which case we might get into the extended programme on BBC2 the following Monday, or we might end up ‘on the cutting room floor’.

"Fortunately, as it turned out, we got into the BBC1 prime ‘cut’, broadcast to the nation on 14th May 2021. Romesh (if I can call him that now!) introduced Face to Face as the guest publication, showing the front pages of the last three editions, and after a brief quip, showed the caption 'Everyone learning to bell ring knows that ______ is essential', a misquote of a slightly obscure opening line from an article on simulators by our own Chris Bush (now available for celebrity appearances) in the Spring 2019 edition.

 Have I Got News For You- guest publication cutting

"Panellist Jo Brand (lapsed ringer) suggested ‘an A&E reasonably close by’ as an answer, on the basis, she revealed, that she used to be a bellringer (Big Ideas Company take note, a possible front woman for a future national ringing recruitment campaign!). She also informed us that ‘it’s very dangerous’."

Have I Got News For You- guest panellist and former bellringer Jo Brand
Panellist and former bellringer Jo Brand


"Paul Merton made a witty comment that could not be repeated unless you are reading this after the 9.00pm ‘watershed’. A few rude comments about an anonymous group of ringers, and the programme moved on."

So what was the answer?

'Everyone learning to bell ring knows that rope time is essential.'

Robert adds,

"Therefore, Face to Face can claim to be ‘As seen on TV’!"

Watch on BBC iPlayer here (you will need to log in).

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