It’s always tempting when you get to middle age to say that things were better in the old days. But in the case of the BBC, it’s got to be true. If Robin Day had been chairing Question Time, the BBC would never have shot themselves in the foot the way they did on Thursday. But now, thanks to a publicity stunt that misfired, the nastiest politician in the country has won the sympathy vote.
Yes, N*** G****** was scary. But so was the programme. Impartiality? I don’t think so.
Question Time in the 1980s was probably the greatest influence on my political education: brain food, not showbusiness. Question Time this week was really about entertainment, if you like that sort of thing. And I’ve never liked circuses. I recently complained that you could no longer have that ‘did you see’ conversation about last night’s TV. This was the exception: everyone seemed to have watched it, and to have an opinion. It was event television. But it wasn’t Question Time. There was just one thing that made me feel a bit better. The two people on the panel who talked the most sense were, it has to be said, the women.