When I heard that David Dimbleby was leaving BBC’s Question Time (QT), my reaction was not “Ooh, I wonder who is going to replace him?” I did come up with one suggestion, which was Andrew Neil, but I know that’s not going to happen because – and you can hold your breath now – the next presenter is going to be a woman. The BBC is rightly dealing with the imbalance of the sexes and the policy continues by installing women in virtually every position that comes available by essentially having all women shortlists. This may not be wholly true but it feels like it. Having given the matter due consideration, I have come to my decision: don’t have a new presenter. Just scrap the bloody thing.
I have not watched QT for donkeys’ years because I can’t stand it. They now have five guests instead of four and the format is exactly the same. Get a couple of politicians, a minor celebrity or alleged comedian, someone from the shady Taxdodgers’ Alliance and Nigel Farage and they fail to answer questions from the invited audience, at least the politicians fail to answer them. By the time you have sat through an hour of people you largely disagree with, cursing every time the right wing nutter says something right wing and bonkers, you have learned absolutely nothing new.
Why not, instead, get a decent late night BBC1 politics show on a Thursday evening, hosted by – here I go again – Andrew Neil, where he interrogates the high and mighty, not necessarily all from politics and gets them to actually answer questions and pile into them when they don’t? A bit like the Andrew Marr Sunday morning show but one presented by a man with a forensic brain who isn’t afraid to call a spade a spade, or a liar a liar?
I am simply not interested in the basket case far left attacks on Neil and the BBC for his so called right wing views. The man is entitled to hold his own views and share them with us on twitter and the Spectator. I never have the slightest issue with matters of balance because, like the best broadcasters, he is able to separate his own views from the job in hand. Just like the left of centre John Cole when he was the Beeb’s political editor.
Question Time is dead and should have died a long time ago. The BBC won’t kill it off but they should.