Fake Or Fortune? presenter Philip Mould says he has started watching Question Time since his co-host Fiona Bruce took over the show.
The art dealer and TV personality, who has worked with Bruce on the BBC One series for eight years, admitted he found the previous iteration under David Dimbleby like “a public brawl with experts”.
He said Bruce had “changed the tone” and made the current affairs panel show more like a “dinner party”.
Bruce took over from Dimbleby in January, ending the veteran broadcaster’s 25-year stint in the role.
Asked by the Radio Times whether he had watched Question Time, Mould said: “No. But I watch it now and very much like it. I hadn’t appreciated how much the programme is an extension of the presenter.
“I thought it was a public brawl with experts before. But actually, now it’s like a sort of host at a dinner party – she’s definitely changed the tone of the programme.”
Asked whether it was a dinner party he would like to attend, he said: “I’d feel more comfortable going on it now than I would have before, yes.”
Mould also said his friendship with Bruce kept him up to date on topical matters.
“Oh, she is my news oracle,” he said.
“Fiona is so immersed in news, and I really enjoy her insight. I mean, how she manages to crack all the different Brexit permutations, the arguments. She rather sweetly gave me the time to explain them all.”
However, he said even Bruce had failed to explain the Irish backstop, a key question in Brexit negotiations relating to the border that separates Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
He said: “No, I’m afraid it’s all gone in one ear and out the other. When she first expressed it to me, I had a moment of lucidity, but I’m not sure I can recall any of it now.”
The full interview is in this week’s Radio Times.