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27th September 2012

LIVE: The return of BBC Question Time

Andrew Williams is on hand to Dimbledance his way through the first Question Time of the new Parliamentary year.

23:49: Andrew Williams —

POSTSCRIPT: That opening montage for This Week was more entertaining than anything that an hour of Question Time served up. Long live Andrew Neil! Thank you, and goodnight.

23:46: Andrew Williams —And on that bombshell, we conclude the first of many editions of Question Time between now and June.Thank you for joining in with your comments, tweets and opinions – it’s been fun. Until next time, Dimble on.
23:45: Andrew Williams —Kirstie Allsopp, your mother in law is wrong #bbcqt
23:44: Andrew Williams —Boom! Danny Alexander delivers the knockout blow. At least, he would have done had he been able to put his ideas across in a less-than-moribund manner.
23:42: Andrew Williams —Another Jacob Rees-Mogg history lesson gives me the opportunity to remind you that this edition of Question Time will be repeated at 2.40am on Saturday morning. I’ll let that one wash over you…
23:41: Andrew Williams —Did I spot some surreptitious flirting there? Harman and Alexander, Danny reveals, are getting the train home together. Stranger things have happened…
23:40: Andrew Williams —“The Lib Dems are there to prop up the Tories”, says Harriet Harman. No indication that her party would turn down a Lib Dem coalition, however.
23:37: Andrew Williams —(somehow, we think not) #bbcqt
23:37: Andrew Williams —Is this the moment when Danny Alexander comes out against Clegg and signals the beginning of the end of the Coalition? #bbcqt
23:36: Andrew Williams —*SILLY QUESTION KLAXON* #bbcqt
23:36: Andrew Williams —Tick ‘audience member in garish shirt’ off your Question Time bingo card!
23:33: Andrew Williams —Allsopp and Harman have ventured into a no-mans-land of entertainment here. It’s 11.30pm and the last thing that anyone wants to hear about is planning regulation. Ever the consummate professional, Dimbleby moves on.
23:31: Andrew Williams —Audience questioner nodding more furiously than Churchill at Alexander’s response there – but not, it seems, in agreement. Curious.
23:29: Andrew Williams —Alexander explains that the banks are beginning to lend again #bbcqt
23:28: Andrew Williams —Kirstie Allsopp up first, drawing on her Location Location Location Location Location Location Location Location ad infinitum… experience to tell us to “kick the banks, and kick ‘em hard” – whatever that means.
23:27: Andrew Williams —A pertinent question for us students now: can young people afford to get on the property ladder without going to the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’?
23:24: Andrew Williams —In the words of The Thick of It, let’s hope for a ‘funny question’ to lighten the evening a little in the coming moments #bbcqt
23:21: Andrew Williams —*IRATE FINGER POINTING MENTAL PERSON KLAXON* – down another drink!
23:20: Andrew Williams —We’re really struggling to take Coogan seriously now. The line between him and Partridge is finer than I ever thought possible – a feeling underscored by his decision to use the unusual metaphor “racist football”.
23:18: Andrew Williams —Kirstie Allsopp’s voice cracks with emotion as she claims that the girls in question have been “let go by the state” #bbcqt
23:16: Andrew Williams —A serious question, now, on the case of the grooming of underage girls. A seasoned campaigner on women’s issues, Harman is unsurprisingly strong on this issue #bbcqt
23:13: Andrew Williams —Consensus at Mancunion Towers is that Coogan is letting himself down thus far. Comes across as a dogmatic, dyed-in-the-wool lefty who refuses to change his mind
23:10: Andrew Williams —We’ve reached the halfway stage. Who is coming out on top so far? #bbcqt
23:09: Andrew Williams —A remarkably salient pointg from Frankie Boyle on Twitter, who asks: “Did Kirstie Allsopp just talk about politeness then shout bollocks at someone?”
23:08: Andrew Williams —“Steve Coogan”, writes Piers Morgan on Twitter, “has become a quite monumentally crashing pub bore”. That statement with no hint of irony.
23:07: Andrew Williams —Allsopp does, however, get the better of Coogan in that particular exchange #bbcqt
23:07: Andrew Williams —Give that lady a medal! The wittiest question of the night goes to “do you educate your children privately purely through alturism?”
23:05: Andrew Williams —On the subject of qualified apologies, I’d like to apologise for suggesting that I found Kirstie Allsopp irritating. But she still pisses me off.
23:04: Andrew Williams —What do you make of ‘Gate-gate’? Should Andrew Mitchell have apologised more profoundly? #bbcqt
23:03: Andrew Williams —Coogan argues that Tory party policy essentially constitutes “pleb management”. Agree? #bbcqt
23:02: Andrew Williams —My housemate – a former public schoolboy himself – informs me that Eton is “where you send your stupid, rich child”. Interesting… #bbcqt
23:01: Andrew Williams —Tonight’s second question: “Would we be better off with more plebs, and fewer public schoolboys, in power?” #bbcqt
23:01: Andrew Williams —Is it just me, or has this panel been arranged from upper to working class from – ironically – left to right? #bbcqt
22:59: Andrew Williams —Here’s Jacob Rees-Mogg to explain that it would all be better if Thatcher was here #bbcqt
22:58: Andrew Williams —*BASH THE BANKERS KLAXON* – you can finish your drink now #bbcqt
22:57: Andrew Williams —Who should bear the greatest load when it comes to tax? The highest earners, or those who inherit the most? #bbcqt
22:56: Andrew Williams —Meanwhile, Twitter is alive with commentary on Channel 4′s ‘Drugs Live’. Imagine, for one second, if we could combine the two…
22:55: Andrew Williams —Get ready for Daily Express columnist Kirstie Allsopp to reveal her shockingly left-field position…
22:55: Andrew Williams —Alexander responds well to his initial confrontation with Dimbleby. His argument that Labour pursued an unfair tax policy whilst they were in government seems to placate the audience.
22:53: Andrew Williams —Coogan wastes no time in putting the boot into the Tories. A rare moment of praise, I suspect, for the Liberal Democrats there #bbcqt
22:53: Andrew Williams —Pray silence, please, for Coogan #bbcqt
22:52: Andrew Williams —Audience member in careful and considered point shocker #bbcqt
22:52: Andrew Williams —Nice of Sting to make an appearance in the audience this evening #bbcqt
22:51: Andrew Williams —What would you prefer? A government headed by David Cameron or a government of bureaucrats? #bbcqt
22:50: Andrew Williams —Hello Jacob. Yes, please regale us with a paper you prepared at your last Oxford PPE seminar #bbcqt
22:50: Andrew Williams —Harman does the ‘disappointed mother’ tone rather well, doesn’t she? #bbcqt
22:49: Andrew Williams —Harman responds with an accusation that we’ve categorically not heard before. The Coalition government, she suggests, are cutting too far and too fast #bbcqt
22:48: Andrew Williams —Alexander kicks off with a truly scintillating piece of oratory #bbcqt
22:47: Andrew Williams —The good news: STEVE COOGAN. The bad news: KIRSTIE ALLSOPP. No Kirstie, I am not interested in your useless crafts. Go back to Channel 4.
22:47: Andrew Williams —Well, it seems that only three of the five panellists we were promised have appeared… #bbcqt
22:46: Andrew Williams —(Almost) live from Brighton. Expect Lib Dem bashing, angry accusations that “Labour left us in this mess” and endless use of the phrase “national interest”. Here we go… CUE THE MUSIC!
22:45: Andrew Williams —“The more flies in the Tory ointment, the better” – another furiously extended Coogan metaphor there #bbcqt
22:38: Andrew Williams —Five minutes to go. Before we get started, here’s Kirsty Young with a touching love story news of the appeal to find missing 15-year-old Megan Stammers #bbcqt
22:34: Andrew Williams —Meanwhile, @octobrrr offered this reaction to the return of #bbcqt
22:32: Andrew Williams —Indeed, @DIMBLEBOT himself has been in touch to wish us the best of luck tonight #bbcqt
22:31: Andrew Williams —And I use the phrase ‘post-mortem’ quite deliberately. The conference was at best a damp squib, and at worse could be seen to have damaged Clegg and Co. further. His apology over tuition fees was quite spectacularly ridiculed in a parody video which almost reached the UK Top 40 on Sunday. Can The Artist Formerly Known As Nick do no right?
22:29: Andrew Williams —High on the agenda tonight: a post-mortem of the recent Lib Dem Party Conference #bbcqt #LDConf
22:26: Andrew Williams —Well, that could have gone worse for him I suppose. Couldn’t it? #Cameron #Letterman
22:24: Andrew Williams —Meanwhile, Huw Edwards reports that a man from Downton Abbey unexpectedly found himself answering questions about his own country last night #bbcqt
22:20: Andrew Williams —Whether or not this becomes a regular fixture in our liveblogging schedule depends entirely on your reaction tonight and, more importantly, whether my social life improves to the extent that I have something better to do next Thursday night. Passing on Sankeys in favour of Question Time is no easy pill to swallow so be gentle, people.
22:19: Andrew Williams —Well, if that’s not enough to whet your appetite, we might as well all pack up and go home #bbcqt
22:16: Andrew Williams —No panel could be complete without one of the great joys of Question Time – the wildcard seat. From Will Young to John Lydon, countless minor celebrities have tried and failed to display a grasp of current affairs in this, the most intimidating of televisual areans.Tonight’s seat was scheduled to be filled by comedy-great-turned-Murdoch-botherer Steve Coogan. Alas, Coogan has pulled out, leaving something of a charisma vacuum on tonight’s panel. His replacement? Investment shy Dragon and alleged entrepreneur, Deborah Meaden.
22:12: Andrew Williams —Bringing some sense to proceedings, we must pin our hopes on New Statesman journalist Medhi Hasan. A biographer of Ed Miliband, Hasan has since recovered from the mind-numbing experience of writing an entire book about Britain’s most vanilla political leader
22:10: Andrew Williams —Propping up the inevitably flailing Chief Secretary to the Treasury is his Coalition counterpart, moptopped product of nepotism and quintessential Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg
22:08: Andrew Williams —In the orange corner – in more ways than one – we have Beaker the Muppet representating the ever-popular Liberal Democrats. Yep, it’s imaginary  breasts exponent Danny Alexander
22:06: Andrew Williams —In the red corner, representing Labour – the thinking chauvinist’s feminist, Harriet Harman #bbcqt
22:05: Andrew Williams —And so, to tonight’s panellists, those expert verbal jousters who hope to wow you with their supreme competance tonight #bbcqt
22:01: Andrew Williams —The one man broadcasting machine, 108, has been presenting #bbcqt for over eighty years. And that’s a fact.
22:01: Andrew Williams —A sneak preview trailed ahead of the 10 O’Clock news displays a characteristically bold choice of tie from Dimbleby #bbcqt
21:58: Andrew Williams —Toss in a seasoned journalist and an out-of-her-depth wildcard and, hey presto! We have ourselves enough cannon fodder to satiate even the most rabid of clueless audiences.
21:56: Andrew Williams —Just forty minutes to go now. Your favourite septuagenarian and mine, David Dimbleby, is locked, cocked and ready to unload on another year of fruitless political wrangling, presiding as he does over the shameless attempt by three flummoxed politicians to prove that they’re not fighting over the same square inch of political ground (honest).
21:52: Andrew Williams —Remember the time before Twitter? That barren land of emptiness and nothingness before we had a thoughtless echo chamber to pour our every inanity into? If you do, you can always get involved the old-fashioned way – just comment at the bottom of the post and let us know your thoughts.
21:47: Andrew Williams —Dimbleby gets a laugh? DOWN YOUR DRINK! Feel free to propose your own rules as and when #bbcqt
21:45: Andrew Williams —At a loose end with an hour to go? Pondering the irony of us live blogging a programme which has already been filmed but not yet shown? Why not construct your own Question Time drinking game! Use of the phrase “national interest”? ONE FINGER! “Labour got us into this mess.” TWO FINGERS! Irate finger pointing from a clueless audience member? THREE FINGERS!
21:37: Andrew Williams —You can follow all the live action here from 10.00pm, or via our@TheMancunion Twitter feed. Alternatively follow me @awilliams_7, where I might be getting a touch more irate than this blog allows. Don’t forget to tweet us your thoughts using the hashtag #bbcqt.
21:35: Andrew Williams —Hello, good evening and welcome to this, The Mancunion’s inaugural Question Time live blog. Over the next two hours or so (wine permitting) I’ll be here to provide commentary on the return of the BBC’s flagship political programme to our screens after the summer recess.
Andrew Williams

Andrew Williams

Andrew Williams is The Mancunion’s Features Editor, having previously edited the Politics section of the paper. A PPE graduate, he is studying for an International Relations MA in a last ditch bid to cling on to his student days.For rants about football, obscure pop culture references and wine-induced streams of consciousness, you can follow him on Twitter @andyonpaper

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