Wednesday 28 April 2021 by Lucas Wilde

Paul Merton may be forced to retire controversial “Arlene Foster” character


Paul Merton as Arlene Foster

Paul Merton may have to give up one his most enduring comic creations.

The longtime panellist of Have I Got News For You has portrayed the role of the ridiculous politician, Arlene Foster, for many year now.

“Ah well, it was a good run while it lasted,” commented Merton, removing the bare minimum of make-up he requires to convincingly portray Arlene Foster.

“The character really took off during the blink-and-you-miss-it Theresa May years. She was Prime Minister once, do you remember?

“Anyway, Arlene/me got some real traction then. Remember when we got a billion pounds to side with the government and then half the time we didn’t do that at all? Proper funny that was.

“Some people still don’t understand that was a joke, or that Arlene Foster is just me, Paul Merton, pissing about in a dress. I mean how could you NOT have seen that?

“She has the same constant expression I do whenever someone I don’t like tells a joke on Have I Got News for You – which is nearly everyone, now that I’m a bit older.”

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