Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will appear in front of the same Question Time audience – but they will not debate with each other.
The leaders of the UK’s two biggest parties will appear separately in the first Question Time Leader Special in York on 2nd June ahead of the 8th June poll, facing questions from the audience, the BBC announced today. The programme will be aired live on BBC1.
A second Question Time Leader Special will also be broadcast live on BBC1, on 4th June from Edinburgh, with Lib Dem leader Tim Farron and the Scottish National Party’s Nicola Sturgeon.
Both specials will use a format that was deployed during the last election with the main political leaders, and which is probably remembered by former Labour leader Ed Miliband for the wrong reasons: his appearance was marred by the much publicised trip as he stepped off stage ay the end of his question and answer session.
The BBC has also announced that May and Corbyn will also each be interviewed on The One Show during the campaign to “find out about the person behind the politics”. The BBC has confirmed that May and her husband, Philip, will be interviewed on Tuesday 9th May with the date of Corbyn’s appearance to be announced shortly.
News of the programmes was unveiled on Monday as the BBC put the finishing touches to its election coverage.
The Corporation also announced a live BBC Election Debate hosted by Mishal Husain and a Radio 1 Newsbeat debate hosted by Tina Daheley. Andrew Neil will also conduct a series of primetime interviews with the leaders.
BBC News has promised to place “the audience and the choice” at the heart of its TV coverage of the General Election.
Jonathan Munro, Head of BBC Newsgathering said: “Our plans include bringing Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn in front of the same Question Time audience on the same night to be quizzed by the public.
“It is firmly in the public interest for audiences to hear from those seeking election. We know they connect with these formats because they are a public moment to focus on and audience members from all across the country get the chance to ask politicians their own questions.”
As has already been announced, the General Election Results Night Special on 8th June will be led by David Dimbleby with Mishal Husain, Emily Maitlis and Jeremy Vine.
Huw Edwards will take over in the morning as lead presenter guiding the audience through the day’s main events which will include the formation of a new government. He will also present the evening bulletin.