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News editor asks first question on Question Time

A regional press journalist made it into the audience for an edition of the BBC’s Question Time – then got to ask the first question.

Allister Webb, news editor at the bi-weekly Lynn News, was among 150 people chosen for the studio audience for last week’s programme at the Corn Exchange, King’s Lynn.

He had applied to be in the audience a few days before and was contacted 48 hours before the show to say he had been chosen.

Allister said the BBC was fully aware of the fact that he was a journalist on a local newspaper.

Said Allister:  “I had written the question I asked – Should Britain follow Barack Obama’s lead and keep all options open on Iraq? – about two hours before filming began. Then, about half an hour before recording started I was told my question would be the first of the show. Cue the nerves.

“As we waited for recording, which begins around two hours before the programme goes on air, I re-read the slip of paper with my question on it three or four times and tried, and failed, to relax.

“Once I had delivered the question, and replied after the panel’s answers, I sat back and enjoyed the rest of the programme, even if the panellists were too often concerned with scoring points off each other rather than answering the questions that had been put to them.”

Allister said he had plenty of Twitter and phone messages from friends and colleagues but added:  “My mum quickly brought me down to earth by telling me off for not making sure my tie was straight.”


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  • June 23, 2014 at 5:27 am

    What a bizarre story. I was told that the BBC are very picky about this prog I used to think it was spontaneous but it seems it is very staged and managed probably to avoid loonies I suppose.

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