Anti-LGBT politician Ann Widdecombe was the ‘worst Have I Got News For You presenter ever’
Ann Widdecombe, an extreme opponent of LGBT equality, has been labelled the worst ever presenter of Have I Got News For You by panelist Paul Merton.
The former Conservative MP twice hosted the popular BBC panel show, but was labelled “arrogant” after she returned the show.
Team captain Merton told Radio Times: “My worst experience was when Ann Widdecombe hosted it the second time.”
The politician apparently battled nerves to host for the first time in 2006.
“Then the programme is edited and her friends see it and say, ‘Oh, you were very good on that’,” Merton said.
“Second time she comes on she’s telling the producer what jokes will and won’t work.
“She turned to me at one point and said, ‘Come on, be amusing; that’s what you’re being paid for.’
“Even as I say it, it sends a shiver through my heart! It’s like, the arrogance of the woman, you know? Suddenly she thought she was Victoria Wood!”
Widdecombe was reportedly angered by a Jimmy Carr gag at her expense, following her second appearance in 2007, and claimed that “no amount of money” would encourage her to repeat the experience.
The revelation comes after broadcast regulator Ofcom received more than 100 complaints about her “homophobic comments” on Celebrity Big Brother.
Widdecombe took part in Celebrity Big Brother earlier this year alongside drag star Courtney Act and several other LGBT housemates.
The Conservative politician repeatedly clashed with Courtney Act, real name Shane Jenek, on the show over her “homophobic” views.
Widdecombe criticised Jenek’s “lewd” behaviour with fellow housemate Andrew Brady, calling the pair “disgusting” and telling Brady that his mother and grandmother would be ashamed of him for the homoerotic flirtations.
Ofcom has since rejected 128 complaints about “sexual orientation discrimination” in the episode that aired on January 25, in which Widdecombe nominated Brady for eviction, as well as a further nine complaints about homophobia in other episodes.
There were also two complaints in the “Transgender discrimination/offence” category about earlier episodes, likely relating to housemates’ reactions to transgender contestant India Willoughby.
Widdecombe and Janek also clashed when Widdecombe rolled her eyes as the drag star discussed sexuality with housemate Wayne Sleep.
Shane had challenged Ann, saying: “Wayne and I for us as gay men who have been personally and historically mocked by heterosexualised society… what part of your heart is missing?”
Speaking to other contestants, Shane added: “She’s rolling her eyes at much more than just the immediate conversation.
“As much as that’s funny, that’s someone’s grandmother or their mother or someone’s parents disapproving of their gay child.”