Dara O’Briain could not resist a savage dig at  Andrew Neil who suggested Mock the Week “deserved to be cancelled”.

The BBC announced this week that the hit comedy panel show will be cancelled after a 17-year run.

Following the news, O’Briain said: “That’s it folks, the UK has finally run out of news.

“The storylines were getting crazier and crazier – global pandemics, divorce from Europe, novelty short-term prime ministers. It couldn’t go on.

“And so, regretfully, we are closing the doors on Dara and Hugh’s Academy for Baby Comedians.

“We just couldn’t be more silly than the news was already.”

While the news was a disappointment to fans, broadcaster Neil did not agree.

The 73-year-old tweeted: “Mock the Week deserved to be cancelled,” as he linked to a Spectator article in which the show was described as  “well past its time”.

O’ Briain could not resist hitting back in an apparent dig at his short stay at GB News.

The host tweeted: “Still, at least I didn’t bail on it after two weeks and f*** off to my house in France, eh Andrew? All the best! X”

The show first aired in June 2005. Series regulars have included Hugh Dennis, with other comedy stars including Chris Addison, Frankie Boyle, Rory Bremner and Russell Howard previously featuring.

The upcoming eight episodes of the popular programme, airing in the autumn, will be the last, marking its end after 21 series and more than 200 episodes of the show.