Friday, 14 December 2012

Ticket No. 30 - My Question Time Experience - Part 2

Well, neither of my questions were selected in the end. Which was, of course, true for the vast majority of those present.

I arrived at the venue for 6 - as instructed - and we went through security (bag searches and frisked with hand-held metal detectors) before being checked off and given a card on which to submit the second question. Last night's venue was Bristol's City Academy - established under the Tony Blair's Academy programme - the  set was in the school theatre and the holding area was the school canteen.

On arrival, the BBC news was playing on a couple of large screens - but this was changed to ITV and then Channel 4 news as time progressed. I think they may have wanted us to be as up to date as possible prior to the programme!

After a while, David Dimbleby took to the microphone to give us a pep talk on the programme, some do's and don'ts and to encourage us to be as interactive as possible. After a bit more waiting, we went through to the theatre and took our seats.

The next stage involved one of the production team hosting a mock version of the show with some members of the audience. This was to ensure sound levels, camera angles, and microphone booms were all working and in the right positions. It also helped relax the audience and get them into the swing of things. Midway through this, the names of those whose questions were submitted were announced, their seating positions identified so that the cameras and mics could get to them seamlessly in the programme.

Next, it was time to move on to the programme itself: another pep talk from David Dimbleby (and a check if there were any men with long hair, to save him calling a lady and making a huge faux pas!) and then it was time for the programme.

The panel* were introduced, the warm up question was taken (another chance to test mic levels) and for the panel to exchange some banter with each other and the host. Then it was time for the series business: roll credits!

A couple of things surprised me about the programme: first, the questioners were not positioned, or re-positioned specifically for the cameras. Everyone who asked questions asked them from the seat they sat in when they entered the auditorium.

Secondly, the programme was filmed in one complete take. Whilst I had never thought that the panelist were cut, I always assumed there was some cutting involved in the posing of the questions. In his pep talk, David Dimbleby did suggest that, should a questioner completely fluff a question there may be some editing, but other than that, what you see is what was recorded.

And so at around 9.40 the evening was over and the recording was in the bag ready for broadcast less than an hour later. An entertaining evening and enjoyable, even if neither of my questions was asked!

Oh, and the second of my submitted questions?:
"Is the reported dropping of the Draft Data Communications Bill a victory for civil liberties and Parliament or for 'Criminals, Terrorists and Paedophiles'?"
I'll leave that one for you to answer. You can read the first question I submitted in this post.


*Will Self, Lord Karan Bilimoria (a late replacement for James Harding who had just resigned as editor of The Times), Justine Greening MP, Stella Creasy MP and Peter Hitchins. And no Lib Dem, again...

1 comment:

Raybeard said...

I've only just finished watching it on iPlayer, Andrew.
It's always good fun when you get people like Will Self and Peter Hitchens sparring as they did. Their dislike is so clearly mutual.

Re the gay marriage question: Why did no one on the panel bother to argue down the dark lady in the yellow dress who accused most of the panel of following "your government" instead of following "YOUR God"! If only someone could have pointed out that it's only the God of her and people like her, while a lot of us don't believe in ANY God - and even a significant number of those that do, disagree with her version of that mythical Being. That would always takes the wind out of their sails, to which their only riposte can be that everyone then must be MADE to believe in HER version of God! I always feel so frustrated why this obvious argument is so rarely stated when it can such a devastating answer which forces them into a corner. But no, they are always allowed to get away with it.
Also, why do proponents of equal marriage always say that they 'respect' differing opinions whilst I can't recall one case of those who are opposed professing the same respect for the other side. The antis seem to want to FORCE their opinions on everybody without any accommodation at all to proponents, something which the 'pros' are doing all the time.

Btw: I was looking out for you in the audience, but if you were caught on camera I missed it. Next time, maybe.