Ian Hislop
HIGNFY stats
Appearance type: Team captain
Broader curriculum vitae
Profession: Editor

Ian David Hislop (born 13 July 1960) is the editor and part-owner of British satirical magazine Private Eye. He has also appeared on many radio and television programmes, most notably as a team captain, opposite Paul Merton, on the BBC current affairs quiz Have I Got News For You.

Early lifeEdit

Hislop was born in Mumbles, Swansea in Wales, to a Scottish father and a Channel Islander mother of English descent. When he was five months old, his family began to travel around the world in accordance with his father's job as a civil engineer. During his infant years, Hislop lived in Nigeria, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong. On his return to the United Kingdom, Hislop was educated at Ardingly College, an independent boarding school, where he started his satirical career, directing and appearing in revues, and also becoming Head Prefect. He then attended Magdalen College, Oxford, where he graduated with a degree in English literature in 1981.

At Oxford he founded and edited the magazine Passing Wind, in which he interviewed Richard Ingrams, who was then editor of Private Eye. He joined the latter immediately after leaving Oxford, and became editor in 1986 upon Ingrams' departure. It was revealed in an interview with The Independent that this was despite opposition from Eye hacks Peter McKay and Nigel Dempster, with the former taking the magazine's majority shareholder, Peter Cook, out for lunch in an attempt to dissuade him from appointing Hislop. However, Cook pressed on, and his new editor sacked both McKay and Dempster from the magazine without hesitation.

Ian Hislop - Oxford-educated

Ian Hislop - Oxford-educated


When Hislop was 12 years old his father, David Hislop, died; his mother also died when he was quite young. His mother was born in Jersey and left in her late teens. She was 11 at the start of the German occupation of Jersey in 1940. Hislop did not know his grandparents.

Hislop's paternal grandfather, David Murdock Hislop, died just before Hislop was born. He was Scottish and became a deacon at a Presbyterian church and a school headmaster at Newton Academy in Ayr. In World War I he fought in Northern France with the 9th Highland Infantry.

Hislop's maternal grandfather, William Bellows, was originally from Lancashire. He joined the army in 1895 and fought in the Second Boer War with the Royal Lancashire Regiment in major campaigns including the Battle of Spion Kop. He moved to Jersey to serve as a sergeant having signed up in 1906 for another ten years in the army.

Have I Got News For YouEdit

Ian Hislop

Ian Hislop

Hislop is the only person to have appeared in every episode of Have I Got News for You's eighteen year history, despite suffering from appendicitis (Episode 7x7) during one episode and having to go to hospital immediately afterwards. His satirical views and broad knowledge of politics complement the wry surrealism of fellow panellist Paul Merton, and this interaction contributes greatly to the success of the show. Hislop often suffixes potentially slanderous statements with "allegedly", although this provides little or no legal protection.

Apart from one episode, where Hislop and Merton swapped places (and dress styles), he has only ever sat in the far right seat (far left from the audience's point of view).

Personal LifeEdit

Ian is married to best-selling novelist Victoria Hislop, author of The Island. The couple have been married since 16 April 1988, and have two children, Emilia born in 1990, and William, born in 1992. They live in Sissinghurst, Kent.