There’s been criticism of last night’s Question Time, recorded at MediaCityUK, with the show having to go ahead with a panel of just 3 guests.
It gave more fuel to opponents of the BBC’s move North who have long claimed that the corporation would find it difficult to get guests to Salford.
The panellists in question were Baroness Bakewell and Telegraph journalist, Tim Stanley, who were both on a late train from London. While the production team delayed recording in order to give them a chance to arrive on time, they eventually decided to go ahead with the reduced panel.
@bbcquestiontime: To those who haven’t seen, neither @timothy_stanley nor @JDBakewell will be on #bbcqt tonight due to transport problems – a panel of three.
@JDBakewell: Question Time going ahead without Tim Stanley and me. Both still stuck on train. Sorry not to share views, folks. Another time I hope.
@timothy_stanley Stuck on a train for four hours and I can’t even smoke. Thank you David Cameron.
As it combined both rail transport and the BBC’s “controversial MediaCity hub” [sic] the Daily Mail has declared the situation a “shambles.”
So, we asked the BBC why 2 suitable North West replacements couldn’t be found and a spokesperson told us:
“Due to unforeseen circumstances, Joan Bakewell and Timothy Stanley were unable to appear on last night’s Question Time. Where possible, we try to replace panel members who cannot attend but in this instance it was too late to notice.”
The problem was caused by a trackside fire in the Midlands, leading to major disruption to the West Coast Mainline, with some trains delayed by up to 2 hours.