What on earth has happened to Question Time? Once a pillar of televisual political debate it has descended into some sort of dumbed down Wright Stuff. Whether that is a reflection on the BBC, popular culture or the state of politics in general is debatable. What is certain is that the late Robin Day would not have been impressed by what this show has become.
Last night’s episode had been built up by the Beeb themselves as a battle between the former addict and lethario Russell Brand and the acceptable face of the far right, Nigel Farage. At times the whole thing just collapsed. David Dimbleby seems to have just given up. Looking bemused at times, often not bothering to effecively chair proceedings, guests and audience members just shouted over each other.
The audience seemed to largely fall into Brand-ites, whooping and hollering at whatever he said like they were at an American stand-up gig and UKIP-ers baying for the blood of any potential immigrant within a 500 mile radius.
Canterbury’s finest were all there. The mad shouty woman, the shouty man with the stick and the classic, “now I’m not racist but…” lady. The local Head of Tourism must have been having cold sweats.
As light relief the potty mouthed, Tory diver Penny Mordaunt was there only to be reminded early doors by Dimbleby for her love of the word “cock” and she never recovered.
In truth the whole Brand vs Farage thing was an anti-climax. They might as well have re-booked that Welsh bloke from the call centre thing. Perhaps Question Time should go further and just book Anne Diamond, Scott Capurro, any random Australian soap star and replace Dimbleby with Matthew Wright.