Have I Got News For You returned on Friday night, but not as we know it.
The topical BBC show was forced to adapt after the coronavirus outbreak, with all members of the panel appearing via video link from home.
The footage regulars of Ian Hislop and Paul Merton, guest host Steph McGovern and guests Miles Jupp and Helen Lewis was then placed in a virtual studio that resembled the regular set, but without the all-important studio audience.
And as much as they were applauded for carrying on with the show in the strangest of circumstances, there was no denying just how damn odd the whole thing was.
This is going to be bloody weird when the repeats come on Dave in 5 years time... #HIGNFY— Kerry 👩🏻🌾 (@myfruitykitchen) April 3, 2020
This is the most surreal episode of Have I Got News For You I’ve ever watched (and I’ve watched it for decades!). Odd without the studio audience but as topical and on point as ever! #HIGNFY pic.twitter.com/jlgmgW7sug— Michael Hardy (@MichaelKHardy) April 3, 2020
Well, #HIGNFY isn't exactly the same with social distancing, but I'm so glad they're soldiering on - oddly comforting to have our favourite programmes finding an awkward new normal along with the rest of us.— Helen Barnard (@Helen_Barnard) April 3, 2020
Thank you. It would have been so easy to cancel this, but we are chuckling away at have I got news for you, so thank you for having a go and broadcasting. It beats watching repeats. #HIGNFY— Michelle Temby (@temby24) April 3, 2020
I switched over to watch #HIGNFY and it gave me a good laugh. A bit strange but it served its purpose and Ian Hislop cracked me up 😂— Craig Mitchell (@craigmitch1991) April 3, 2020
And if you didn’t like it then just turn the channel over 👍
#HIGNFY Under the Circumstances, that was BRILLIANT. I really dont know what people expect, reading some of the comments— Carl Lids (@CarlLids) April 3, 2020
#HIGNFY doing comedy over Zoom and it’s working better than you’d expect. The technical stuff is tricky, sound levels fluctuating, no audience laughter, but they’re making each other laugh and that’s half the battle— Greg Jenner: 'DEAD FAMOUS OUT MARCH 19TH!' (@greg_jenner) April 3, 2020
But the new temporary format wasn’t for everyone, with Piers Morgan claiming he’d had a funnier video call with his friends earlier in the evening.
My village mates' ZOOM session earlier this evening was a lot funnier than this. #HIGNFY— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 3, 2020
You’ll struggle to watch anything more excruciatingly awful in your lifetime than tonight’s #HIGNFY— Alex Littlefield (@A_Littlefield) April 3, 2020
Well #HIGNFY when not filmed in the studio is an unmitigated disaster. Tolerated 3 minutes of it, then had to give up. It just doesn't work at all, absolute shambles. Sometimes technology doesn't help in life, it just makes things far worse ☹️ pic.twitter.com/o8nbx5KS6H— Ⓢⓚⓘⓟⓟⓨ (@pipebrush) April 4, 2020
During Friday’s episode, the panel watched a clip of a family from Watford singing their lockdown-themed version of a Les Miserables song, with Paul delivering the verdict: “Dreadful! Absolutely dreadful.”
Ian replied: “I’m very worried about you Paul.
“Well they keep discovering a lot of new symptoms… one of which is that people have no taste… I mean from your shirt, it’s pretty clear…
“And now, being a really miserable bastard… I didn’t know! But I’d get yourself tested!”
Paul retorted: “You’re calling me a miserable bastard? You’re the man who’s been mentoring me for the past 30 years…!”
Have I Got News For You continues next Friday at 9pm on BBC One.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.