Well, this is a turn-up for the books!
Late last year, a BBC Radio 5 producer contacted the Bolton Conservatives via our Facebook group, asking if there were any members who would be interested in taking part in the new Question Time Extra Time when it started broadcasting both on Radio 5 Live and on the BBC Red Button service alongside/after the main Question Time show. Naturally, I passed that message on to the people running the local association but (because why not?) I also decided to give the producer a call myself. They seemed very interested in a young (well, moderately) LGBT Conservative being on the list of potential guests for the show.
Jump forward to last night and I was on the first episode to be broadcast on both the TV and the Radio. I was immensely nervous, as you would expect, but the people at the BBC were incredibly nice and guided us all through the whole process. Adrian Chiles and Chris Mason, the two presenters, were lovely and very professional. Despite my nerves, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing.
We arrived at 9pm, long before we went on air, and talked over how the show would work and what we should expect from it. We didn’t know the questions that would be asked (how could we? We were reacting to what was asked on Question Time and that hadn’t aired yet!) but we had an inkling of what could come up based on the news. Thank goodness I got myself a couple of newspaper subscriptions as a Christmas present! 😉
You can listen to the entire show on the Radio 5 website at the moment (it’s there for the next 29 days). I have to say I was very happy that nobody started arguing and we kept everything civil. Having been a long-time viewer of Question Time, I’m very much aware that it can get quite heated. I’m not a fan of pointless arguing in order to score petty political points, I’m much more a fan of reasoned debate in a civil manner. That’s what happened last night, and I’m glad.
Would I go on again if asked? Definitely. But even if that doesn’t happen, I’m immensely pleased to have been invited last night and I’ll definitely be tuning in for the next episode. 🙂