Popular news quiz with team captains Paul Merton and Ian Hislop, guest host Sue Perkins and guest panellists Nick Hewer and Jack Whitehall.
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I'm Sue Perkins, after rigorous analysis
At St Mary's Hospital, as he arrives for his annual check-up,
there's embarrassment for one patient as a film crew spots him with his stool sample.
And after successfully walking in a straight line to convince the police he's sober,
one drink-driver gives the game away as he gets back into his car.
Must try that.
With Ian is a comedian and actor for whom things are going pretty well at the moment,
because it's only a few more sleeps- until Christmas,
and he's been a very good boy this year.
Please welcome the unfeasibly young and beautiful Jack Whitehall.
With Paul is the new host of Countdown
who previously worked for 21 years for Amstrad,
making him the only man who thinks the Countdown clock
is advanced technology.
Please welcome Nick Hewer.
And we start with the biggest stories of the week.
Ian and Jack, take a look at this.
This is Britain alone.
Is there a snub coming? It's a big, big story.
It's finding a solution to the euro crisis.
That's Nick Clegg. He was on the Andrew Marr Show. He said"under no circumstances" he'd go on,
and then he did.
They said they were going to come to a deal, and then they didn't.
We managed to veto it. Yes, we did. That's it, yes.
David Cameron used the British veto during the euro crisis summit.
Does anyone know how the Sun portrayed the PM on its front page on Saturday?
Was it Churchill,
but without a cigar? Without a cigar.
Because you're not allowed to smoke now. No. There he is.
There was an indication of increasingly frosty relations
between Britain and France in the body language.
I read about a missed handshake opportunity. Is that it?
Here they are. Sarkozy saying hello to
Pat Butcher there.
She just got told.
It wasn't just body language.
Sarkozy said that Cameron behaved like a "petulant kid,"
or an "obstinate kid."
He's a rude little man, and so pleased with himself.
He can look at the French people, square in the face, and say, "That's the sort of chap I am."
Is it wrong to say Sarkozy
finds it quite hard to look anybody in the face?
Looks them square in the knee.
Absolutely! Now, all of Europe was fed up with Britain after the summit.
What did German MP, Alexander Graf Lamsdorff,
have to say about the row?
GERMAN ACCENT: "This time we win."
It is a bit unfair.
After all, invading Poland wasn't such a brilliant idea,
but we don't bang on about it, do we?
Yes, we do!
So, how was Cameron referred to by one French diplomat?
You've mentioned, obviously, that Sarkozy said he was an "obstinate kid".
I don't know what that is in French.
FRENCH ACCENT: Obstinate kid.
I bow to your greater linguistic skill!
I'm teaching a language course at the moment. Very easy.
So far, we've had French and German. Impressive. It's very easy.
"A man who goes to a wife-swapping party..."
FRENCH ACCENT: "..without taking his wife."
That's a classic French insult, isn't it?
And also, I've tried that.They don't even let you in the door.
It's a definition of optimism.
Attending a wife-swapping party? Without a wife.
You been to lots of those, Nick?
No... That's how we met, isn't it? Do you remember?
I'm having a little stab at it, though.
It is an optimistic thing to do. I remember that as well.
So, Friday morning, go through the chronology of this.
Friday morning, Nick Clegg gets a call.
And says, "Yes, there was no other option. We had to use the veto."
By Sunday, he's "bitterly disappointed."
What's happened in that three days?
We should hear from the horse's mouth.
This is Nick Clegg talking to Andrew Marr about that fated incident.
Can I ask you, during those nine hours of negotiation late into the night,
at any point, did the Prime Minister call you and speak to you about it directly?
I spoke to the Prime Minister after- the summit was concluded, of course.
So not during the negotiations themselves?
Of course not. He was locked in a nocturnal negotiation.
I was locked in my flat in Sheffield.
So he's been "locked in his flat in Sheffield",
but in case we're worried as to exactly what happened, thankfully,
Channel 4 News staged a reconstruction of what happened that evening.
Early that morning, Mr Cleggwas in his Sheffield constituency.
He had approved the government's negotiating position for the European summit,
but at 4am, he was woken by a call from Brussels.
So somebody said, "We've got an actor, but he doesn't look anything like Nick Clegg."
"Fine. Put a sheet over his head, and let the foot do the acting."
Do we know who was Cameron's role model throughout these EU negotiations?
It was Enoch Powell who suggested or thought that
if you spoke with a full bladder, dying to go,
that you gave your words a sense of urgency,
and apparently Cameron did this, had a full bladder while he was negotiating.
He was desperate to go to the loo.
It's true that Enoch Powell actually said:
That was in his famous "Rivers of Piss" speech.
So we've done Friday, all through the weekend. Now he's changed his mind.
Nick Clegg goes missing when Cameron comes to the Commons to defend his decision.
Why was that?
He said he didn't turn up because he thought it would be a "distraction".
And that everyone might laugh at him, which again is one of the few things he got right.
But he's not a distraction. He's Nick Clegg.
If David Cameron turned up with Rihanna, I'd probably be looking at Rihanna.
But Nick Clegg could turn up to the House of Commons, completely naked,
save for a lit flare in front of his manhood, and Istill wouldn't even know who he was.
But you'd never forget him, though, would you? No, I wouldn't forget him!
So, Ed Miliband tries to put Cameron on the spot in the Commons,
and at one point, Miliband told the Speaker, "I haven't finished with him yet."
Yes. How did Cameron and Osborne react to this threat?
Did they go, "Oooooh!"?
Make those sort of noises?
It's the Geoffrey Howe sort of argument again,
being beaten with a dead sheep.
An attack by Miliband is a dead mouse, probably. Really? Yeah.
Have you met Ed Miliband?
I have. Tall, arrogant, weak handshake. That's it.
And I'm a Labour voter. Would you have voted for his brother, then?
I didn't meet the brother, but I met some of the others. Oh, dear.
So the Daily Mail have accused the BBC of not being impartial,
and the Mail's impartial lead story- on the front page of their paper read as follows:
The Daily Mail are writing stuff like that, cos they must feel weird
cos there's nothing to hate about.
There's all this anti-European stuff going round, they don't know what to do.
Jan Moir's probably sat at her desk
praying that Elton John dies in suspicious circumstances.
He just needs to die - she'll manufacture the suspicious circumstances!
One thing's for sure, come Eurovision Song Contest, we're screwed. Yeah.
They hated us as it was,
and now we could resurrect The Beatles and send them, we'd still get nul points!
Is that such a bad thing? I do like the Eurovision Song Contest.
I get annoyed cos they always say it's political as well.
Now it'll get even more so.I reckon we just go tough on them.
Moldova say, "We're only sending you two points this year."
"Well, fine, we're sending you two of them Tomahawk missiles."
Just as soon as we find out where the hell you are.
I went to Moldova once. Oh, yes?
Moldova is the place
where the Terylene eiderdownthat slips off the bed still exists.
You know those terrible things? I thought you were being nostalgic!
You put the eiderdown on,and it goes straight onto the floor.- Even that doesn't want to be there.
Politics as normal goes on. We catch up with Adam Werritty. Do you remember Adam Werritty?
He was Dr Fox's friend. He gave an interview to the Spectator this week.
Amongst other things, we found out what his plans are for New Year's Eve.
He's going to spend it with the Foxes. Yes, he is!
They're very forgiving.
Is he a friend of Dr Fox's, like William Hague had that friend?
You should have a chat to our lawyer about that one!
How do you spell innuendo?
You're doing Countdown, you should brush up on these things.
Don't talk to me about that. I see all these letters...
I think, "Oh, my God,"
and I get "cat". Yes.
And then some kid says, "cataclysmic".
Yeah. There's only nine letters, isn't there?
I don't know.
Yes, he is indeed. He's going to be round at the Foxes'.
It's just staggering how naive some of these senior politicians can be.
Yes, he is indeed. He's going to be round at the Foxes'.
It's just staggering how naive some of these senior politicians can be.
Staggering. And then Cameronbrings in Coulson into Number Ten.
The sort of bloke you wouldn't have in the house.
Samantha Cameron was spotted shopping this week.
Does anyone know where she went to make purchases?
She went to IKEA. This was an austerity bid, wasn't it?
She bought some flat-packs, and we're meant to believe
that her and David lay them all out- and count the number of screws,
and say, "Look, there's one missing there."
There's pictures of her, she's posed. It was a set-up! Of course!
Because they've just spent 80,000 quid on curtains or something,
and someone said, "Get down to IKEA and make it look as though you're like the rest of us."
You're so cynical, Nick!
You're going to tell us some of those apprentices are really quite good! They are!
They're not, you know!
I'll die for them! Would you?
Is it cos Sweden's one of the few countries that are with us
with this whole anti-Europe thing?
So, trying to keep them sweet, going to IKEA, buying up a bit of that. Thinking.
Thinking ahead. 12 points coming our way! Yes, get in!
But it wasn't all doom and gloom. On a positive note,
this is what Andrew Neil was doing on his Politics Show this week.
We leave you with news that the music for the 2012 Opening Ceremony
will be overseen by a techno-rave outfit called Underworld,
who famously provided the soundtrack to Trainspotting.
Remember that? That was a gutter story of illegal drug-taking
on an Olympic scale.
Don't let the performance-enhancing substances bite.
MUSIC: "Born Slippy" by Underworld
Nurse! Nurse! Make them stop!
My wife used to go out with him. What?!
This is David Cameron's Christmas bonus for the bankers,
with his brave refusal to allow Europe to make them pay for the mess they've caused.
Not that we're taking sides. When asked about Nick Clegg's
conspicuous absence in the House of Commons, David Cameron replied:
He should never have let him off the lead.
It's only a matter of time before there's a YouTube video
of Cameron in Richmond Park, shouting,
"Cleggy! Cleggy! Jesus Christ! Cleggy!"
Party leaders sent out their Christmas cards.
Nick Clegg's card depicted himself as a snowman.
An appropriate choice, as he won't last beyond January either.
Paul and Nick, take a look at this.
Scandalous. These are glove puppets we're looking at.
Those are small children inside.
There's the lovely David Attenborough, with a bee on his finger.
That's a bogey. Is it?
When you said that, the Director General of the BBC came up. Was that deliberate?
What happened was that it's impossible to get footage
of newly-born cubs in the den with the polar bear
because the polar bear would kill the cameraman or the cubs,
so they had a shot of a polar bear and some cubs in a specially built shelter
that had been built in a Dutch wildlife park, and used that material.
Some people said they felt cheated by this. There were 32 people.
In the age of Twitter, 32 people complained, out of 8 million that watched Frozen Planet.
And one who complained was the polar bear.
He said, "He was nowhere near me, I didn't see any cameras."
Last thing you want to do is sneak up on a polar beer with its cubs. No.
I've seen human women giving birth get pretty annoyed.
A polar beer, I imagine, would be apoplectic.
I was a bit disappointed.
He said afterwards, "We're making movies!"
I thought, "No, you're making a documentary,"
and the point of that is that they've gone to the wild and filmed that.
If I found out that crocodile had jumped up
and attacked the wildebeest crossing the river,
and they said, "Oh, that was in Scunthorpe,
"we did that in a zoo..." You wouldn't be disappointed
to find that happened in Scunthorpe. You'd be intrigued.
I'd be thrilled, you're right.
I'm with Mr Merton.
Are you? I know you are, you're sitting over there.
Not least because my wife comes from Scunthorpe.
And that's where she met Andrew Neil - in a wildlife park, wasn't it?
This is the piece of footage that we're arguing about. Yes.
On these side slopes, beneath the snow, new lives are beginning.
The cubs are born blind and tiny.
An early birth is easier on the mother, who is barely awake.
And in the Netherlands! Yes!
A polar bear is a polar bear. People are reacting like they've talced a cat.
So Sir David Attenborough was voted Britain's what five years ago?
Most trusted man. He was. Which is odd, as now we know
he's a pathological liar.
One online commentator has said this to the BBC:
Do you know what the bears involved in the scandal are up to now?
They've got a few adverts. Glaciers mints, yeah.
Huggies, the mother, she's had more babies.
One of the cubs in the programme has his own show
at a wildlife park in Inverness in Scotland.
And...the other cub is doing fine as well.
LAUGHTER DROWNS SPEECH
David Attenborough made it into soup.
"This delicious bear!"
What did Mark Thompson attribute the newspaper fury about the pandas to?
He said it was revenge for Leveson,
cos the BBC's been saying the papers have behaved badly
and they've been keen to find something
where the BBC's behaved badly.
Mark Thompson did wonder:
Back at the press inquiries, what was handed to the Select Committee inquiry into phone hacking?
Was this the e-mail to James Murdoch which he didn't read?
Yes. He said he received it and it said, "There's loads of reporters
but he didn't get that far.
When you're chief executive
of a company and the lawyer writes to you and says there's trouble, you don't read it(!)
No. It was the weekend, as he said. Saturday.
He can't work seven days a week. Give the guy a break.
I think the Leveson Inquiry would be so much better if it was
conducted by Nick and Alan Sugar. Them sat there,
Nick giving the death stare eyes, that cold gaze.
Alan Sugar wagging the finger shouting at them
and Karren Brady could patronise them.
That's a bit unfair.
"She's very sharp," he said, covering his arse.
This is the news that the BBC didn't send a cameraman into
minus 60 degrees to poke a long pole with a camera attached
into a polar bear den, endangering their life
and the lives of the polar bears.
Not that we're taking sides. The row has damaged the reputation
of the BBC, but that will be nothing compared
to the scandal when ITV viewers find out those aren't real meerkats.
Also this week, the infamous News Of The World reporter
Mazher Mahmood has been giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry.
During his tabloid career, he entrapped dozens of celebrities by dressing up as a:
He is still in work,
dressing up as a polar bear for BBC documentaries.
Now, Round Two, the Large Hadron Collider of news.
We fire high-speed news particles at each other and analyse the results.
Buzz in when you know what it is.
OK, Paul and Nick? That's the Hadron Collider. Yes.
It's this Higgs boson particle,
which... I don't understand it, not many people do.
They have an idea it's in the vicinity.
They're not sure exactly where it is.
They know roughly where it is.
They're hoping it will emerge next year.
In a flat in Sheffield? Yeah.
The Times says the scientists have had:
What is the indication? What is it?
Is it a disembodied voice? "I am the Higgs boson, you cannot find me."
Why was that Swedish?
They use a particular analogy.
It's an analogy between Margaret Thatcher and the Higgs boson.
I know, I see your horror there. This is used by scientists. It says:
This is obviously pre-Eric Pickles.
What happens next is a rumour is started and passes
through the room:
I don't understand it!
I went to a party where she was once.
Yes! Was she carrying a lot of mass at the time?
A big handbag. That will be it.
If you don't understand this, we've got Professor Steve Jones,
one of the Telegraph's science correspondents.
What he had to say on the subject on Wednesday:
That's good. Yeah. That's refreshing.
Elsewhere in science,
Radio 4 has asked listeners to submit fiendish questions
to put to Stephen Hawking in its most cerebral quiz ever.
A lot of the questions can be seen online.
Shall we have a go at a couple? Why not?
Yes. Yes. But they'd be behind you.
It's one of those things you used to get at school.
"If it takes a man five days to run a bath,
how many apples, and a bunch of grapes?" I don't know.
Ask him. I don't know. Why bother me? I wouldn't know.
At a rate of knots. Constellations are disappearing daily.
Yeah. Is the correct answer.
What exam board do you represent again?
..says the professor very succinctly.
Fingers on buzzers.
Here's another one. Buzz when you know what it is.
Mr Goodwin. Yes. Has he had a leg removed
for crimes against the state?
You couldn't get a picture that made- you look like more of a banker.
The Financial Services Authority have produced a report
on how Royal Bank of Scotland collapsed.
They've come to the conclusion that it was his fault.
He tried to buy a Dutch bank.
Everyone said, "Don't buy the bank,
"because they have real problems."
He said, "No, I think it will work out well."
The rest of the board said "Good idea.
"We'll do whatever you say and take- the cheque." It went belly up.
The bank was bailed out by us to the tune of 46 billion quid,
26,000 people were robbed of their jobs, and it helped to bring the economy to its knees.
The answer to this would be to ask your old mucker Mr Sugar, would it not, Nick?
Lord Sugar. Lord Sugar. Do you think so?
What was the question?
It's like Countdown. Wake up!
Just because the audience is asleep doesn't mean you can be.
What a terrible thing to say about the Countdown audience.
Some of them are still alive. Honestly(!)
I think the answer to all the recession stuff would be to ask
Nick's old boss, Lord Sugar.
How does this region get out of recession?
That's when he was a government spokesman. He was meant to help small businesses.
They caught him off-guard. He wasn't feeling very well.
He came back and gave a great, full explanation
of what should have happened. How's that?
Yeah(!) Pretty nauseating.
Amongst the many people criticised in this report,
Sir Fred Goodwin copped some flak.
According to the Mirror, Sir Fred's- style could only be described as
"brutal", with the RBS executive wing known as "the torture chamber",
where Goodwin would hold "morning beatings"
every day at 9.30am to intimidate and humiliate executives.
Morning beatings?! They used to say meetings,
but terrified employees called them "morning beatings".
So he didn't actually physically attack people every morning? No.
He's not Max Mosley, for goodness' sake.
You're flirting with danger, aren't you?
What do we know about his engagement with his employees?
He had an affair with one of them. Yes.
He took out an injunction to try and stop anyone knowing.
How did that go?
I may have just broken it.
The inquiry cleared just about everyone of everything.
I'll tell you what, Sugar would have- got to the bottom of all this. That's Lord Sugar.
Time for the Missing Words round, which this week features as its guest publication
In A Nutshell, the official magazine of the Squirrel Lovers' Club.
Like squirrels themselves, it's not often READ.GROANING
To be or not to be a squirrel, that is the question?
JACK: To have my grandparents for Christmas
or not to put up with racism for the next ten days.
It's the classic yuletide dilemma. Yeah.
Is that true of your grandparents? Yeah.
The answer is:
This is the fierce debate raging amongst squirrel lovers
currently coursing through the pages of In A Nutshell
over the best way to feed the cute-looking, bushy-tailed roadkill.
The same issue also features the following front-page apology.
And that, News Of The World, is how you do an apology. Next:
There's a train coming.
And of course, chuck-chuck-chuff-chuff-chuck
is also Cilla Black after the Blind Date reunion party.
I shoved an acorn up me arse.
The weather's been pretty stormy this week. Here's a response from Scotland.
Lord. Oh, my God! Trampoline!
So, the final scores are
Paul and Nick have four points,
but Ian and Jack have five. Unbelievable! Unbelievable.
SPEECH DROWNED BY APPLAUSE
I'm very grateful.
I leave you with news that, as the funfair comes to Mogadishu,
it's a productive day on the rifle range for two Somali pirates.
Unions brace themselves as Number Ten unveils a new advisor
with responsibility for Work And Pensions reform.
And as an inquiry is set up to investigate alleged faking of BBC wildlife documentaries,
one key witness agrees to testify as long as she's granted anonymity.