‘Nearly came to blows’ Fiona Bruce delves into ‘very tense’ Question Time encounters

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‘Nearly came to blows’ Fiona Bruce delves into ‘very tense’ Question Time encounters

Question Time returns to BBC One this evening as Antiques Roadshow favourite Fiona Bruce reprises her role of mediator on the often hot-tempered ne

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Question Time returns to BBC One this evening as Antiques Roadshow favourite Fiona Bruce reprises her role of mediator on the often hot-tempered news show. Joining her on the first show of the new series is Kate Green, Nels Abbey, James Heappey, Nadra Ahmed and former GB News chairman Andrew Neil along with a live audience for the first time since the Covid pandemic began. With heated debates and clashes inevitable, Fiona joined The One Show’s Sam Quek and Gethin Jones to relive some of the particularly fiery moments from years gone by.

“You’re back with a live audience,” Sam said as she kicked off the discussion. “That must make such a difference to you and your guests?

An excitable Fiona replied over a video link from the Question Time studio: “I have just told our audience – let’s have a look at our lovely audience, that I could kiss every single one of them,

“Because I am so excited that you’re here, it’s just so great,” she added as the crowd broke into a round of applause.

Fiona continued: “This is the first time we’ve had an audience here in the studio since the start of the pandemic and it’s just fantastic because there is nothing like having all of you here to make the programme come alive,

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“And for you to put your points to the politicians in a way, you know, it’s different for journalists.

“We’re used to politicians and they’re used to trying to answer our questions, it’s a very different thing when it’s members of the public doing it and I just can’t wait.”

Fiona then revealed how she has no idea what is on the agenda for the evening’s panel as each audience member is asked to write down their questions beforehand.

The queries are then piled together and sifted through to be put to the BBC host and her guests, with Fiona predicting social care would be one of the biggest talking points of Thursday’s show.

Sam soon turned her attention to the explosive nature of the format of the show, keen to learn of any particularly tense rows.

“Fiona, I’ve got to ask,” Sam said. “Sometimes on the show we see it gets quite heated, there are some controversial debates, 

“Tell us what’s it like when the cameras go off, is there a little bit of tension from some of the guests at times? What’s it like?”

“It varies,” Fiona admitted before adding: “I mean, to be honest, a lot of the time we go back to the green room, everybody has a glass of wine and people who looked like sworn enemies on the panel are then having a perfectly nice time and speak amicably to each other.”

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However, it’s not always as pleasant a portrait as Fiona first laid out.

The Question Time star caveated: “There has been the odd occasion where it became very tense.

“Before my time, it very nearly came to blows but by and large it’s not like that,” she added.

Needless to say, Thursday’s episode promises to deliver on the same sort of drama.

The instalment will not only mark the beginning of the new series but also marks a return to the BBC for former GB News chairman Neil.

Earlier this week, after months of speculation, Neil resigned from his role of chairman and presenter on the start-up channel.

His Question Time stint will be his first on-screen appearance on any other channel since the announcement of his departure from the role.

However, GB News presenter and former UKIP leader Nigel Farage confirmed on his news show on Monday that Neil would remain at the channel as a guest contributor.

The One Show airs weekdays at 7pm on BBC One.



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