Top 10 Have I Got News For You guest presenters

Since the departure of Angus Deayton, HIGNFY has thrived on top talent in the hot seat. Here's Dave's faves.

Damian Lewis

10. Jerry Springer

Pure evil, in a loveable kinda way, Jerry was more ringmaster than host, but then he wouldn't have it any other way. Luckily we didn't discover that Paul was actually a mother of three, or that Ian was betrothed to a Shetland pony, but we did find out Jerry can whip up a crowd of Guardian readers just as well as he can a mob of 12-fingered squirrel-eaters.

9. Des Lynam

So smooth you could pour him on ice and serve him to posh ladies, Des has been a long-time lothario of the small screen with his glinty eyes and suggestive moustache. We haven't the faintest idea what he did as guest host because we were lost in the whirlpool of his charisma, but we're sure he was great. He probably said something topical, and by God we laughed.

8. Damian Lewis

Damian Lewis has guest hosted the HIGNFY five times, with the Homeland star proving a smah hit with both team captains Hislop and Paul Merton and viewers alike. His appearances have been so successful that producers even wanted him to host the upcoming US version of the show – although his contractual obligations scuppered that plan. Boo!

7. Tom Baker

Tom's appearance as a guest, back in the day, went a long way to establishing him as the cult-hero, best-bit-of-Little-Britain and all round madcap overlord of the voiceover we know today. As presenter he made a big entrance, appearing as if from nowhere (proving the Beebs's special effects haven't changed much since he was Doctor Who). Edged out only by Brian Blessed in the charmingly unhinged stakes.

6. Boris Johnson

If being good on a panel show is enough to get you elected to high office does that mean we'll one day be a slave-race overseen by a tyrannical Frankie Boyle? Or perhaps you need to be a bumbling old-Etonian with floppy hair to do what Boris did after HIGNFY made him a star. Hopefully his mayoral duties won't stop him making a prize boob of himself in future episodes.

5. Jeremy Clarkson

Most people on HIGNFY skewer each other with their razor-sharp wit but Clarkson thought it'd be easier to use an actual weapon. Turning a pencil into a WMD after Hislop made a crack about one of his columns, Jeremy left him red-faced - literally - with blood running down his cheek. As fans of senseless violence we applauded, though witty Clarkson would still get on our list without the Ian-maiming.

4. Alexander Armstrong

While Ian and Paul could hardly be described as bits of rough, there's no denying the show became decidedly less posh after Angus' departure. Then came Alexander Armstrong - a man so genteel his nappies were made of tweed. Hosting the show more times than any other guest he's well on his way to becoming the next Angus. All he needs now is an unfortunate run-in with a lady of negotiable affections.

3. Ann Widdecombe

Ann turned up like a stern headmistress but, much to our amazement, was soon generating an incredible degree of sexual tension in the studio. Sure, Ian and Paul pretended it was all for laughs but we reckon they went home nursing a guilty crush. One of the guests, cheeky chap Jimmy Carr, went too far though leaving poor blushing Ann swearing off the show for good.

2. Bruce Forsyth

We were surprised to see Brucie behind the famous desk, proving he wasn't just catchphrases and cha cha cha. Perhaps he was trying to show he could be down with the kids, although to call Ian and Paul 'the kids' may fan the flames of the 'Brucie's lost his marbles' debate. Worth his place in the list for 'Play Your Iraqi Cards Right' alone.

1. Brian Blessed

A strange mix of terror and delight gripped us when the loudest man in the world barged into the HIGNFY studios like a Viking chieftain. Hislop and Merton were reduced to blinking bystanders as Brian didn't so much present the show as unleash a sort of verbal Demolition Derby from his massive god-like gob. It was a rare treat, but we're not sure we'd survive a rerun.

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