Hislop and Merton are both known for making political quips on Have I Got News For You, with Hislop having been a team captain on the BBC programme since its inception in 1990.
During their recent interview with Alex Jones and Ronan Kemp, however, the pair made a joke that put everyone in the studio on edge.
The duo were asked how they come up with content for Have I Got News For You, to which they explained the hosts usually “know what’s gonna come up” meaning that they can plan around it.
Hislop continued: “Except when something absolutely bizarre happens, like Liz Truss is Prime Minister – then you’re on your own.”
After a moment of silence, Merton added: “Oh did you feel that nervousness that went around the room then...?”
Kemp managed to brush off the awkwardness, joking: “Let’s put it this way, we leave the politics to your show!”
Merton replied: “Sorry, it’s a live show, I’m worried now about saying things.”
After the episode concluded, viewers praised the hosts of The One Show for keeping the show on track after the impromptu joke.
“Alex Jones is working hard to keep Paul Merton and Ian Hislop on track tonight on The One Show. Well done on a hard job Alex,” one person wrote. “Great show tonight.”