David Dimbleby's Best BBC Question Time Moments Ahead Of His Last Show

From brutal honesty to searing put-downs, the octogenarian host has thrilled viewers for years.
David Dimbleby has been a familiar face to viewers of 'Question Time'.
David Dimbleby has been a familiar face to viewers of 'Question Time'.
PA Archive/PA Images

David Dimbleby is to present his final edition of BBC flagship political programme ‘Question Time’ tonight after 25 years at the helm.

The veteran broadcaster, 80, will be replaced in the New Year by news anchor Fiona Bruce.

So as Dimbleby finally signs off on Thursday evening from Southwark, London, we remember some of his best ‘Question Time’ moments.

Schooling Piers Morgan over his language

David Dimbleby drew plenty of applause from an audience in Slough, Berks, when he floored journalist Piers Morgan with a riposte over language.

Morgan appeared to rile Dimbleby when he referred to ‘Question Time’ as a “show” rather than a programme. A flustered Morgan was interrupted by delighted spectators.

Telling audience member he won’t “live long enough” to see Brexit

Dimbleby’s ability to delivery scathing jibes at an audience member’s expense – and get them to laugh along anyway – was perfectly demonstrated in this September 2016 exchange.

Speaking about delays to the Brexit process, then cabinet minister Priti Patel insisted it was not about the speed of Britain’s exit from the EU – to which Dimbleby pointed at the questioner and said: “Well it is for him because he wants action - he’s not going to live long enough.”

Telling Terry Christian he was “boring”

Dimbleby didn’t hold back when attempting to chair a panel which included ardent Remainer Terry Christian.

As Christian began to pontificate on Brexit, Dimbleby swiftly rebuked the controversial broadcaster, by telling him he was “boring”.

“Stop, stop, stop, stop,” Dimbleby said to applause. “You’re getting boring. Boring!”

Asking a shouty Plymouth man to leave the studio

In June 2017, Dimbleby sparked headlines when he asked a member of an audience in Plymouth to leave the studio for repeatedly heckling guests.

“I think you ought to leave, you know,” Dimbleby told the man, prompting a swift exit to audience applause.

Asking a millionaire cabinet minister to justify his expense claims

Shaun Woodward, left, was challenged by David Dimbleby over his expenses.
Shaun Woodward, left, was challenged by David Dimbleby over his expenses.

In 2010, Dimbleby spoke for the nation when he challenged then-Northern Ireland Secretary and millionaire Labour minister, Shaun Woodward, over his expense claim for a mortgage.

Woodward justified his expense claims on account of his not taking a ministerial salary, but the exchange would be remembered as a ‘Question Time’ classic.

Giving the best shade over Brexit

And Dimbleby’s ability to skewer politicians with the most innocent of questions may come to be missed by viewers – as this example from a Belfast recording in 2016 demonstrates.

After listening patiently to an impassioned defence of the government’s handling of Brexit, Dimbleby gently asks then Northern Ireland secretary, Theresa Villiers: “Is it going well so far?”


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