Friday, 4 February 2011

Can Glasgow Host Question Time?

The Herald reports that Ed Havard, the editor of the BBC's Question Time programme, has quit over the proposal to move the production of the show to Glasgow.

The show's host, David Dimbleby has been reported in the past as being unhappy with the move. Today the Guardian says he is "furious" at losing the "brilliant" editor, who was apparently hand-picked by Dimbleby to do the job.

Mr Havard is free to work in any city that he wants and which will have him, but TBH, I have not been over-impressed by QT in recent years. It seems that the reppeated appearence of "controversial" contributors such as the historian David Starkey (the so-called rudest man in England) has been programme policy. The result is more controversy and more attention given to the programme at the cost (IMO) of a higher level of debate.Since the editor makes the choice of contributor, I would doubt his acclaimed "brilliance".

In any case, I can see no reson why Glasgow cannot produce the show as well as London: the programme travels all over the UK, the production centre is, or at least should be, irrelevant.


  1. I believe that the production team has said that it feels that it needs to be near the centre of the political world. They appear to think that that should be London.

    In the days of video conferencing, emails, text messages, etc, I don't think it much matters where they are based.

    Of course, they don't want to leave luvvie paradise and they think we all swing from trees.

    As for Dumblebum... they should have got rid of him a long long time ago. To say he was past his sell-by date is bumming him up big time. Give the job to Sue McGregor.

  2. Actually the article in the Herald says

    "BBC spokesman said: “Ed Havard has decided he does not want to move to Scotland. Mentorn and the BBC are now in the process of recruiting an appointment.”

    It is understood that Mr Havard has family and “personal reasons” for not moving from London, and had considered the decision carefully rather than simply rejecting Glasgow as a place of work."

    In any case "the producton team" is not a fixed entity. The editor and presenter are constant and are backed up by a pool of researchers, bright young rrecruits who move around and some of whom are used a lot, some used occassionally. The technical staff, camera and sound etc. can change from week to week as the show perambulates around the UK.

    Dimbleby certainly feels it and he should be based in London, but it is not necessary for the logistics or the content of the programme.

    Indeed if we get a "freshening" of the regular faces on the show, it will be a good thing...