Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre

Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre / News / Wed 05 Nov 2014

BBC Question Time at Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre!

BBC Question Time at Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre!

The UK’s most-watched political programme was broadcast from Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre on Thursday 30th October.

The crew were at the centre for just two days to lay the cables, set up the production office, rig their own lighting system and grid and film the programme, with the majority of those involved only in Taunton for one day. The filming itself only took an hour as it is recorded as live and is screened to the nation an hour later.

Having Question Time here in Somerset also afforded students a fantastic opportunity to see behind the scenes of this flagship show with students from The SPACE (Somerset Performing Arts Centre for Education) and Year 11s from Heathfield Community School being given the opportunity to tour the set and meet the production team.

Students were given the opportunity to work the camera equipment, hold a boom microphone correctly and even press the right buttons in the recording van outside to control the shots and put the programme together - a hugely valuable insight into the ‘behind-the-scenes’ process of screening such a programme to up to 3 million viewers nationwide.

The real excitement came when students were invited to take part in the rehearsal with David Dimbleby as he chaired a mock debate with a student panel. A brilliant question was posed by Emily, a Year 11 Heathfield Student who sought a solution to the problem that there are too many upper-class politicians in office to represent a diverse public. A hot debate ensued, masterfully chaired by the warm-natured Dimbleby, who completely put them at their ease.

David Duthie, Course Director from The SPACE commented “Students gained a great deal from the experience of touring the production departments of the show and taking part in a mock-panel Q&A with David Dimbleby himself! They were completely put at their ease and we are so grateful to the BBC for the opportunity.”

The show clearly struck a chord with students involved in the day: one Year 12 student, Beth Kingston-Lee said “I have only had a moderate interest in politics until now, but watching the politicians argue got me fired up and desperate to get involved. I definitely want to learn more about the different arguments after this experience and cannot wait to use my vote”

Alongside celebrated host David Dimbleby the panel comprised of:
Caroline Lucas, MP and former leader (Green Party)
Baroness Kramer, Liberal Democrats Transport Minister
Tristram Hunt, MP and Shadow Education Secretary (Labour Party)
Owen Paterson, MP (Conservative)
Anthony Horowitz, Novelist and screenwriter

Topics discussed included the de-criminalisation of drugs and a focus on a health-based approach rather than criminalisation for users following a House of Commons debate opened by panellist Caroline Lucas earlier that day a on a motion relating to the UK drugs policy; whether returning UK Jihadists should be tried for treason; a discussion about whether Britain should repay the £1.7 million bill from the EU by December 1st; questions regarding whether the UKs benefits system is acting as a magnet causing spiralling immigration problems in Calais, France, as put forward by the Mayor of Calais; and questions whether the UK’s energy problems will result in the country facing blackouts this winter.

The event was also used by audience members to highlight key local-issues including the new EDF power station, Hinkley C and its potential environmental impact, and protesters against the local badger cull in Somerset staged a demonstration outside the centre as Conservative MP Owen Patterson arrived.

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Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre

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Telephone: 01823 414 141
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