Today's Telegraph reports that David Dimbleby is threatening to leave Question Time because the BBC plans to move its production to Glasgow. This strikes me as odd because it is produced by an independent production company, Mentorn, which is based in Oxford.
Dimbleby, who is 70 later this month, has presented the show since 1994, which is a pretty long stint by anyone's standards. Perhaps it is time for a change of presenter anyway. Jeremy Paxman has, it is rumoured, long coveted the job and he won't be alone. He is the obvious successor, but presumably the BBC will be keen to "reach out" to engage with a yoof audience and hire someone like Konnie Huq. Joke. I hope. Other runners and riders will include Huw Edwards, Jeremy Vine, Nicky Campbell and Andrew Marr.
Anyway, if Dimbleby leaves, who would you like to see given the job. Leave your suggestions in the comments and I will run a poll later.
jeremy vine is your man he is interested in people
Paxo likes his ego and disdain primarily
It is well past time for both Dimblebys to be put out to grass - they have 'delighted us quite long enough'. I was at school [Charterhouse] with Dimbleby Jr in '63 - his ambition was to be a gentleman farmer and his plan was to learn this on the Royal Estate at Windsor. He must be, like me, pushing 64 now.
Emily Maitlis as she always give well-balanced and completely non-partisan interviews...
I'm really sorry to hear that, I was on Question time - in the audience and met Dimbleby and he's very nice, and very very competent. He'll be hard to replace. Paxo just wouldn't be the same.
For a gentleman, and gentle soul, who has a deep and wide knowledge of current affairs, and an abiding concern for his fellow man (and dog) I would nominate that experienced broadcaster Iain Dale.
I'm not joking, I think you would be superb. Actually I think the BBC should go to a variety of "guest presenters" like they did with Have I Got News for You after Deayton screwed up, and one of these would emerge as a suitable long-term replacement.
I think Paxo would be a disaster, too abrasive ans sneering, even when not actually sneering.
Anyone who is going to chair the discussions and not incessantly intrude (a fault of both Dimblebys)
Marr? Hah, Brown and the Labour luvvies would love that, and would scramble to appear every week, assured of a sycophantic easy ride. Vine? Surely too lightweight. Edwards? His BBC 'star' status is a real puzzle, A poor newscaster (the odd breathing and gulps), brittle, with cod-gravitas. He's probably a shoo-in, therefore).
Jeremy Clarkson would be my choice, or James May. that would get people interested in politics.
I would also note that you have a core of steel, you can be quite determined, even bolshie, when needed, though as always this is still clothed on genuine politeness.
Agree - guest presenters until a natural appears; probably Ian Dale!
Eddie Mair does an excellent job when he chairs "Any Questions". How come he's not on your list?
Agree with Old Holborn. Andrew Neill by a country mile.
He's always well-prepared and is quite even-handed with politicians from all parties.
Sorry to see D Dimbleby go. I'd rather see his fussy, continually-interrupting brother get the chop.
I think Evan davies has done a great job since going to "Today", much better than Humphries et al, so he'd get my vote.
Richard Madeley please.
They should also make it a live programe again. Whenever something controversial is said it is always leaked beforehand and for me this ruins what should be a live debate where anything can happen. If nothing makes the BBC news before the programe is broadcast you can be sure not much of interest will be said. This is why Any Questions is far far superior to Question Time.
Stephanie Flanders. We need to see more of her.
Who better to orchestrate debate among a randomly selected audience of hand-picked lefties?
Alternatively consider Dusty Bin or Jim Bowen from Bullseye.
I agree that Eddie Mair should be on your list. Andrew Neil isn't always impartial enough for a show like QT.
NOT, NOT, NOT Jeremy Vine - have you taken leave of your senses - I'd prefer Konnie Huq!!
I think Huw should be the man.. but then i think Huw should be PM.
Since politician-wrangling increasingly seems to require getting paid danger-money, why not get Kate Adie?
this is a BBC con. They move a few staff to a regional office and slap a BBC Scotland/Wales/Bristol etc. sticker on it. In reality it has nothing to do with where or how it is produced.
There are far too many Labour shills at the BBC for any of them to take up the job.
Guest presenters is a great idea so we can have a look see. I really like Rawnsley's writing but he can seem a bit soft sometimes. I've not seen you on telly Iain but why not for a test. I thought Sissons was good, apparently in a minority tho.
Brillo is only interested in pushing Brillo's point of view, so he's only "impartial" with someone who agrees with him.
Can't stand the man who ruined "The Scotsman" newspaper with his right wing buddies (all working for Telegraph and Spectator now).
Eddie Mair is the man for the job. He combines a (generally) even-handed approach with some incisive questioning, persistence and (importantly) a sense of humour.
Although I do like the Konnie idea.
axe the whole show - it's one soundbite after another and half the questions are just plain stupid.
It's also a big ego trip for whoever sits in the chairmnan's chair.
yes, let's hold politicians to account but I think this format has 'jumped the shark' as our American TV cousins says.
Since I never bother to watch QT, and since I loathe the bloke, I have to propose Russell Brand. Quite apart from anything else, this would improve my quality of life by a process of consolidation of two negatives. Furthermore, Russell Brand would show the politicians and the puffed-up mediati their properly deserved level of deference.
I think we need someone "less nice" than DD. I would for in no particular order:
Andy Marr is a nice guy, but he is too Sofa TV for QT.
Please please please not Vine or Marr or Nicky Campbell !!
I suspect Paxo might be a thought a bit 'out of touch' for this show as he has made some comments which are not exactly in line with the Beeb's 'diversity policy'.
Huw Edwards would certainly get my vote. Though, like Dale, I suspect someone like Gethin Jenkins [?] off Blue Peter will be hired to get the 'yoof' vote..
It has to be John Sergeant
Andrew Neil is as close to impartial as the BBC ever gets and, as the move to Glasgow is clearly intended as a BBC sop to the Scots (as if there was any shortage of concessions already), why not throw them another bone.
How about the bloke that does the 'Devil's Kitchen' blog ? Don't know his actual name.
I think Stephanie Flanders would be good.
No more old white haired dudes though!
We definitely need to see more of her, and apparently she is too cool for the Antiques Roadshow!
What about that chap Iain Dale?
I agree that Eddie Mair is good but I think the astoundingly patient English would finally flip hearing yet another Scottish accent in yet another key role. Last straw and all that. How about Sir Bernard Ingham?
Anyone who does not continually interrupt and put over his own political views. An NVQ in Chairmanship Principles would be a good start.
I don't think anyone could do it better than Andrew Neil, although it would mean he'd have to give up his This Week gig. (Would that be such a bad thing though? He's the only thing that makes that programme worthwhile...)
If it's moving to Scotland then the obvious choice is BBC Scotland's political editor Brian Taylor.
Question Time is already meant to be a regional production. It is part of the contract, so this 'move' seems strange.
I would like to see Vincent Hanna, however I gather he is otherwise engaged.
Fiona Bruce gets my vote!
Dr Richard North is the man!Formerly a local authority official and then private consultant and journalist, Richard spent four years in the European Parliament as research director for a political group and now works as a political researcher for Westminster MPs.
With an original background in food safety, he became a relentless opponent of excessive bureaucracy and has fought some notable campaigns on agricultural and farming issues, working with trade groups in those sectors. That involvement brought him into mainstream politics and he has since widened his scope. He now campaigns on a much wider front, not least for better armour and equipment for our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Richard works closely with Christopher Booker, the well-known Sunday Telegraph journalist, and has co-authored three books on European issues with him: The Mad Officials, The Castle of Lies and The Great Deception. He has also published his own book on The Death of British Agriculture and is shortly, again with Christopher Booker, to publish a new work, Scared to Death – an anatomy of the scare phenomenon.
Iain, why not your good self?
***** ALISTER CAMPBELL ****
John Humphrys would be the obvious choice...
This and the radio version are uninteresting programmes offering staged presentations of the party lines. Long past their sell by date and quite boring.
Hi Iain, hope you don't mind me posting yet another candidate and a link to my blog, but I think I've cracked it.
I vote for Konnie Huq
Konnie! Konnie! Konnie!
Brian Taylor is my suggestion - BBC Scotland's political editor. Erudite, educated, and patient. PLus he already splits his time between Glasgow & Edinburgh.
Though I expect a few people might be pissed off by a Scottish accent.
Pax the Axe
I didn't hear Dimbleby complaining when he was travelling north during the making of 'How We Built Britain' for which he was reportedly paid £250,000.
The man's an arsehole.
Why don't they give it to Yasmin and drop all pretense of being politically neutral?
Seriously, there is only one contender and that is Brillo Pad
@ anon, 1154am: I was in the audience for "Any Questions" two weeks ago, and they said that the combined audience (Fri night plus Sat repeat) is 2 million people. Not too shabby for an uninteresting, staged and boring radio programme.
As for a new chair of either AQ or QT, it has to be Eddie Mair.
Not Paxman or Humphreys - too confrontational. Not Marr - too supine. And definitely not Brillo - too interested in being the real star of the show.
Eddie Mair and Jim Naughtie are both great broadcasters but are essentially radio men. Which, for me, leaves John Sergeant as the absolutely obvious choice.
I very much fear however that the job will in fact not go to a specialist politico, but to a general presenter like Edwards or Bruce.
Pamela Anderson. Failing that, Robin Day.
Christopher Hitchens. A right-wing leftie who suffers fools badly.
Calm, intelligent, beautiful - what more could you want?
Alan Titchmarsh. Yuo Know It Makes Sense.
Why do they need to have a set chair? Why not have a different one every week?
As long as it's not Marr, I think i would stop watching it if he got his creepy little mitts on the programme...
If it has to be only one chair, I would go for Neil or Paxo... the only candidates who actually care if the questions are actually answered. One of the major things missing in British politics at the moment is some answers to some straight questions. PMQs might as well be called 'PM's weekly pat on the back for him and his amazing cabinet'...
Bird and Fortune!
Mikey has it right - I gave up QT after Robin Day retired - never understood why Paxo didn't get it at the time - isn't confrontational a good thing?
My vote - Paxo, Brillo, Mair
I think it should be someone of appropriate gravitas and erudition...
Either that or get the program back on track as a tough public exposure for politicians, rather than the soft chat it has become.
They don't have a chair big enough for Brian Taylor. Have you noticed he's always interviewed standing up?
Anyway, behind his faux erudition he's as biased as the rest of the BBC Scotland bunch.
Malcolm Muggeridge or Gilbert Harding.
Nobody would be able to successfully replace him in my opinion. But if I had to choose, and I really hope it doesn't happen, then I'd Rod Hull and Emu before I'd choose Paxman!!!
Maybe Melyn Bragg? At a push.
it is time a Scotsman did Question Time for too long the preserve of upper class types
Nicky Campbell would be a breathe of fresh air.
Scott redding, 2m people? Pah!
Christopher Hitchens (if only he lived this side of the pond) He makes Paxo look like Paul O'Grady.
A more serious suggestion would be Joan Bakewell.
Here's the short list:
1. Iain Dale
2. Jeff Randall
3. Jeremy Clarkson
4. Richard Littlejohn
5. Alan Partridge
6. Polly Tonynbee
I have no doubt in recommending Alan Partridge for the post followed by Iain Dale.
Ken Livingstone and David Blunket are looking for work. Probably too obviously pro labour. they will want somebody that they can pretend they did not know was labour through and through. They will go for a woman a gay or an ethnic minority to prove how inclusive they are.
Easier to list people I don't want than those that I do.
John Sergeant or Andrew Neil would probably be my first choise.
"Huw Edwards" !!!!!!!!!
I would rather have Huge Scullery
(Blimey! what a bloody long word verification ...)
I vote for Paxo, he would make a fabulous QT presenter. There is simply no one else of his calibre.
Absolutely anybody who'll do it cheap.
Kerry Katona - she'd be more coherent than Dimbleby.
Dear Iain, I bet it will be Jonathan Ross...
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