Review: Have I Got News For York

If there is one thing York is particularly good at, it’s student media. And that being said, when ComedySoc announced the first Have I Got News For York of the year, it was hardly going to be lacking for material.

YUSU’s recent failure (arguably) to successfully implement their Give It A Go scheme was the subject of much derision, as was Vision’s own limited range of unrelated stock images. It is generally understood that most aspects of the university are fair game for mockery.

Even Nouse got a mention – although that was only to forgive the panel’s ignorance: “Oh, it was in Nouse so you won’t have read it.”

‘Celebrity’ guests of the evening included Alasdair Middleton, a member of this year’s all-male University Challenge team, and YUSU Activities Officer Chris Wall. Following the format of the television show of similar name, the rest of the panel was made up by team captains, Mike James and Garry Holland, and host, Lucy Walters.

The show did however lack, for want of a better word, ‘banter’, possibly as a result of the host adhering too closely to the points system. Also, the constant ribbing of Chris Wall from the host for his position in the easily ridiculed student’s union did feel a little contrived at times.

The show was preceded by university comedy group The Shambles with a series of side-splitting improv skits. Outrageously funny, these short scenes are a staple of ComedySoc Wednesdays and were certainly the highlight of the evening.

One set saw three ‘Shambles’ (their self-ascribed collective noun) act out the same scene multiple times but with wacky variations each time based on sporadic suggestions from the audience, resulting in Michael Caine accents of varying accuracy and a fireman climbing down a chimney to sell some bouncy balls with the help of Barry Chuckle. Like I said, wacky.

Overall, a thoroughly good evening rife with laughter, even if it was littered with a tad too much Vision-bashing… for this reviewer’s taste anyway.

The next Have I Got News For York is expected to take place in Week 10.