When a guest cancels their appearance on a show at the last minute, you’d assume there’d be a mild state of panic as producers decided what to do next.
But Have I Got News For You made it look easy tonight by replacing former cabinet minister and panellist drop-out Nicky Morgan with a large leather handbag.
It was even mic’d up and everything.
Guest host Gary Lineker introduced the bag by saying: “Because of a falling-out at Downing Street over Theresa May’s £1,000 trousers she decided not to come. So please welcome, Nicky Morgan’s £1,000 leather handbag.”
Paul Merton added: “It hasn’t done much yet… I am hoping it will justify its appearance fee at the end of the programme.” He later quipped: “So far it’s doing better than some of the people I have been sitting next to recently.”
Morgan became embroiled in the embarrassing *trousergate* row when she criticised the PM for wearing leather trousers worth almost a grand – despite owning a handbag much to the same value.
People thought the stand-in was an absolutely hilarious move and they could surprisingly see a lot of potential in it.
Nicky Morgan's handbag is the best guest ever 😂😂😂 on #hignfy— Kate Eastham (@KateEastham9) December 16, 2016
I suspect that handbag would make a better of being Minister of Education than Nicky Morgan #HIGNFY— Martin Kelly (@disableddaddy) December 16, 2016
However, there were some who didn’t think it was that original, as a similar gag was used with a tub of lard in place of former Labour politician Roy Hattersley when he pulled out back in 1993.
The trouble with these tub of lard/handbag gags on #HIGNFY is they're funny for 12 seconds but then make the rest of the episode more boring— Steven McIntosh (@steviefm) December 16, 2016
That handbag has got nothing on the tub of lard, frankly #hignfy— 🇺🇳🇪🇺 James Calbraith 🏴🎗️ (@eadingas) December 16, 2016
But in a true sign of our times, the bag is proving so popular that it’s even got its own Twitter account.
Good work all round.