Mock the Week cancelled: which comedians have been on BBC show with Hugh Dennis, and how to watch old episodes

Mock the Week has been cancelled after 17 years and more than 100 guests, with the final season set to air this autumn

BBC comedy panel show Mock the Week was first broadcast in 2005 when Tony Blair was still in power.

The show has been on air through the tenure of five Prime Ministers and satirised scores of scandals.

The series made light of current affairs, using the previous week’s headlines as the basis for a light-hearted quiz and freestyle comedy show.

Dara O’Brian has hosted Mock the Week since 2005

On 2 August the BBC announced that the show would air its 21st and final season this autumn, with the show’s cancellation planned to make room for new content.

Host Dara O’Brian said: “The storylines were getting crazier and crazier – global pandemics, divorce from Europe, novelty short-term prime ministers. It couldn’t go on. We just couldn’t be more silly than the news was already.”

More than 100 comedians have been guests on the show over its 20 season run - and many used the opportunity to launch successful careers.

Which comedians have been on Mock the Week?

After news of its axing came out, Dara O’Brian referred to Mock the Week as ‘Dara and Hugh’s Academy for Baby Comedians’ because of the numbers of up and coming performers who cut their teeth on the show.

By the end of season 20, 118 comedians had joined Dara to cast a wry eye over topical events.

Hugh Dennis is the only comedian to have been a main guest on every season of the show, appearing on 174 episodes in total.

Though Dennis is as synonymous with the show as Dara, he is also known for his role in the sitcoms Outnumbered and Not Going Out.

Hugh Dennis and Lee Mack in Not Going Out

Dennis also starred in the dark comedy series Fleabag, and had a cameo appearance in the latest James Bond film, No Time to Die.

Andy Parsons was the next most prolific comic on the show, appearing on the first 14 seasons.

Since leaving the show, Parsons has produced three stand-up tours - Live and Unleashed, Peak Bullsh*t, and Healing the Nation.

Frankie Boyle was long associated with Mock the Week, though he left the show after the seventh season. He has since fronted several dark comedy shows including Frankie Boyle’s Tramadol Nights and New World Order.

Other well-known comedians who had guest appearances on the show over the years include David Mitchell, Jo Brand, Frank Skinner, Sue Perkins, Sandi Toksvig, and Sarah Millican.

But many comedians who appeared on Mock the Week were relatively unknown at the time.

James Acaster cut his teeth on Mock the Week

Russell Howard is one of the show’s greatest success stories - after his stint on the show he started on Russell Howaerd’s Good News and has since appeared on many other comedy shows including Taskmaster.

Other Taskmaster alumni, James Acaster and Ed Gamble both first appeared on the show just as their careers in comedy were taking off.

Sophie Duker, Lucy Porter, Rob Becket, and Josh Widdicombe were also green when they first took a seat on the Mock the Week panel and have all gone on to have promising careers in comedy.

How can you watch old episodes of Mock the Week?

Following the news that Mock the Week will cease creating new episodes after the next season, many fans will want to know how to watch previous seasons of the show.

Episodes 3-12 of season 18 and 7-9 from season 20 are currently available to watch on UKTV Play, while episodes 7-13 from season 20 are available to watch on BBC iPlayer for four months.

For older episodes, YouTube is the best port of call for on demand viewing - there are plenty of full episodes, compilations, best bits, and bloopers available to watch on the site.

You can watch old episodes on Dave - episodes generally air Tuesday-Friday at 10pm and Mondays at 10.40pm.