Not Just Any Questions

Question Time has been criticised this week, but Fiona Bruce has generally been praised since taking the chair as having thoroughly refreshed the programme. However, executives had been discussing other adjustments to the format beyond a mere change of host, which have now been leaked. It was widely agreed that many of the changes discussed would have improved the programme and the standard of our public discourse, but would be prohibitively expensive. Let’s take a look at what was suggested:

  • Pointless-style scoring system: the panellist who receives the biggest round of applause in any round is given a dangerous forfeit to carry out before the next question can be asked.
  • Audience mic strapped to a dog – questions asked according to interest level of the questioner’s scent.
  • All no-deal advocates required to make their arguments in Old English.
  • Any clear dodge of a question requires panellist to wrestle Strong Phillip, a fully greased 250-pound Evesham man with no time for your bullshit.
  • JD Wetherspoon Chairman Tim Martin required to keep all six pints of Shipyard he secretly drinks throughout recording on the table from now on, providing visual confirmation of how pissed he is.
  • Each question separated from the next by live music introduced by Jools Holland.
  • Instead of members of the public applying to be in the audience, participation to be made a form of community service, reducing prison numbers and the crime rate in general.
  • As debate progresses, audience regularly votes to put one of their own up for eviction – last remaining audience member awarded two votes at the next General Election (N.B. Not compatible with above suggestion.)
  • All panellists required to stay together for 24 hours after recording to visit Blackpool Pleasure Beach – highlights of the trip to be edited into a podcast available exclusively on BBC Sounds.
  • Make a list of any regular panellists to have been praised by a far-right terrorist’s manifesto – don’t ask her on again.
  • Make a list of any regular panellists accused of concealing evidence of criminal activity by leading Brexit campaigners or donors – don’t ask her on again.
  • Thermostat trigger – whenever any discussion becomes too heated, footage immediately shown to panel and audience of the Sun, as reminder of its eventual expansion and the futility of discussion.
  • Copy format from Radio 4’s Any Questions and Any Answers, moving opportunity for the public to respond out of the panel debate and into a separate programme – never broadcast this programme.


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