UK

BBC Question Time Needs Overhaul To Prevent 'Venom' Of Audiences, Ex-News Boss Says

'Some editions have had an ugly atmosphere...'

14/10/2017 19:11 BST
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'Question Time' is the BBC's flagship political programme

The BBC’s flagship political programme ‘Question Time’ should be overhauled to prevent the “venom” of audiences and to combat its “ugly” studio atmosphere, an ex-Corporation boss has suggested.

Roger Mosey, the former head of BBC television news, said “Corbynistas, Nats and Ukippers” can dominate audiences while quieter “moderates” struggle to be heard.

Mosey also suggested reforms to how panellists are chosen to increase the number of impartial experts who can provide context to discussions without political affiliation.

Writing in the New Statesman, Mosey said: “Corbynistas, Nats and Ukippers tend to make more noise than the retreating Blairites or Tory moderates, and some editions – notably the one from Plymouth in the summer – have had an ugly atmosphere.”

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He added: “There is nothing wrong with fervent believers getting stuck in, but the absence of angry claques of the open-minded shouldn’t put centrist positions at a disadvantage.

“I’ve spoken to former panellists who now turn down invitations because of the venom of the responses to them in the studio and on social media.”

He added that the programmes new editor, Hilary O’Neill, should consider inviting more impartial figures who can relate facts of a given subject rather than political representatives from relatively minor parties.

A BBC spokesperson told The Times the programme provides accountability and that it seeks to create a “sometimes lively, but always important debate on the issues that affect them”.

[SEE ALSO: BBC reminds staff of impartiality after Question Time producer shares Britain First post]

[REVEALED: How the BBC chooses its Question Time audiences]