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Question Time

January 22nd, 2009 · Posted by Skuds in Life/Politics · 9 Comments · Life, Politics

Despite a personal feeling that the programme has seen much better days, I am still quite chuffed to be going along to Crawley’s Hawth theatre to see Question Time get recorded tomorrow.I am always impressed and amazed by the whole duck effect of making television programmes – with so much frantic paddling underwater to give the impression of smooth movement on the surface.

I have been to a few TV recordings: Saturday Night Live and Friday Night Live with Ben Elton (although obviously they were not recordings, being live. The clue is in the title), some alternative comedy sketch show, Game For A Laugh and an extraordinarily dull and forgettable sitcom starring Patrick Duffy when I was in LA, and a rare edition of Most Wanted on MTV Europe when they had an audience in.

I never got to see the one I most wanted though – the Late Show with David Letterman.  The last time I was in New York the show was having a hiatus so it wasn;t even worth trying.

Even with the bad shows it is interesting to see the mechanics of it all, but I’m sure this one won’t be bad.  One unfortunate thing is that aviation is a topic of enormous local interest, what with Gatwick being on the doorstep, but the topic was done to death last week and is not that likely to crop up again this week.  I’m sure our locals will come up with something though.

The biggest question of all though – has Richard Symonds managed to wangle a ticket?  Now that would make for a real televisual treat.

I see the Lib Dem participant is their spokesman for children, schools and families.  I wonder if the county council’s shameful performance in child protection will crop up…

One worrying detail about it all though.  Apparently when you turn up there is coffee, tea and biscuits available.   Is it wise to pump an audience full of mild diuretics before putting them in a studio for two hours or more?  I suppose they know what they are doing by now, and it makes a change from the cheap wine the comedy shows used to ply you with.

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9 Comments so far ↓

  • Gordon Seekings

    I had the pleasure of going to a recording of Question Time a few years ago when the programme was still London based and when the MP I worked for was due to go on the show. It was an interesting experience.

    Enjoy yourself and I will look out for you “on the box”.

  • skud's sister

    When is the transmission – I’ll break the habit of the last 10 years and watch out for you.

  • Richard

    An otherwise excellent BBC Question Time was marred by the politically motivated comments of a Tory local councillor.

    Personally, I believe any local politician who has the privilege of being in the audience should either keep his/her mouth shut – or be open about who they are.

  • Gordon Seekings

    Does the same not apply for the Bad News Party people who commented and the former (will be?) Labour candidate?

  • Richard

    Who’s that then ?

  • Richard

    And no, Gordon, the same does not apply.

    Lenny Walker is an elected councillor – the other two you mention are not elected.

    What if Laura Moffatt MP was given the same ‘platform’ to comment in last night’s Question Time ?

    Can you imagine the reaction of the right-wing ToryCons who are desperate to win the next local election(s) !

  • Rob Glover

    I do remember with some fondness the Robin Day era – not that I think David Dimbleby is worse than Sir Robin. Far from it in fact, we forget with distance that Robin could be equally rude and abrupt with panellists and questioners. We just I think forgave him more because of his bow tie.
    Instead I do think the panellists were more thoughtful then and the show was less built round “push the populist prejudices”. The debates between panellists were heated, sure. But I think they were more committed to their ideological positions and less concerned with what the focus groups back at head office thought of them.
    When I was 18 I used to go round saying – “Either you are an ideologist, or you’ve given up.” Part of the tragedy of getting older is having to discard bits of your youthful ideology, the certainty that all issues are black and white. Some still are in my mind. But the shades of grey are there of course – they always were – and you realise that often politics consists of muddling through, trying to make the best choice from a murky set of options, not being truly able to foresee the outcome yourself anyway.

  • Skuds

    Robin Day did have his own idiosyncrasies, and it is true that everything was more measured back then. In truth, I can’t think of anybody around who would do a better job than Dimbleby.

    Also, the show may be somewhat dimished but it is a small miracle that it is not much, much worse with our media obsession about interactivity. At least it is not broadcast live, with text messages from viewers scrolling across the bottom and the chair interrupting to raise a point just received via email – although surely that day is not far off.

    Gordon – was there a BNP response of question? I didn’t notice it.

  • skud's sister

    It certainly could be so much worse. I used to at least check out what was coming up on Panorama but now that it covers the same material as Tonight with Trevor McDonald (only about 6 months to a year later) I don’t even bother with that. I’m beginning to think it is becoming the thinking (?) man’s Jeremy Kyle Show.