Ian Hislop is coming to Cumbria to present a new comedy show.

The star of Have I Got News for You presents a series of sketches with jokes hundreds of years old - but he insists they are still as funny as ever.

Hislop is famed for his razor-sharp wit and poking fun at the well-connected and well-to-do on the hit TV show and as editor of the much-loved satirical magazine Private Eye.

Now he is fronting a new exhibition that is a British Museum Spotlight Loan called The Golden Age of Satire.

It features scathing political cartoons from the Georgian period, which mock politicians and Royal Family and made the idea of lampooning authority popular.

Crowds used to gather to catch a glimpse of the latest cartoon and the ‘Establishment’ tried all they could to shut down their publication.

“There were reported crowds of a thousand people waiting for a drawing and they would send the police in to disperse the crowd.

“The Royal Family and the government were always trying to find ways to shut them up in the courts and the Prince Regent, who was quite dim, said he would just buy up all the prints, not realising that they would just print more!”

Though the cartoons date from 1780 -1810, modern viewers will recognise many of the characters and subject matter .

“The chief character is the Prince Regent who is a ridiculous, licentious libertarian with floppy blond hair, it was a period of long Tory rule, the country was going through a crisis and the cartoonists were testing the limits.”

Hislop reckons we’re currently enjoying a golden period of satire, thanks to the chaos of Brexit, Donald Trump and the politics of Britain.

That view is backed up by the fact that Private Eye currently sells 232,000 copies every fortnight while Have I Got News For You is now in its 58th series and still attracts more than 6million viewers.

“Everybody says ‘you have had it easy for the past few years’ and it is true,” he laughs.

The exhibition was first shown at the British Museum and is now touring the country. It stops off at the Beacon Museum in Whitehaven and tomorrow Hislop and co-curator, Tom Hockenhull from the British Museum will give a talk on the prints.

The works by James Gillray, George Cruikshank, Thomas Rowlandson and Richard Newton drew attention to the worst excesses of the British monarchy between 1790 and 1820.

Set against a feverish atmosphere of reform, revolution and war, these prints held a mirror to the most dysfunctional and unpopular institutions of the time.

Hislop says there is plenty for modern crowds to appreciate in the etchings.

“For a start, the artwork is so brilliant,” he says.

“Some of the jokes are just straight out funny, even now. They are not subtle, none are surprising, but they are still quite funny.

“And it is slightly reassuring for us that we are not living in the worst times ever.”

The Golden Age of Satire is at The Beacon until January 12 and there will also be a range of workshops and events.

Museum director Elizabeth Kwaznik said: “We could not have timed this collaboration with the British Museum any better, as dissenting voices are currently in overdrive with satirical reflections on Brexit.”