Question Time returns to Dundee tonight, four years after its last visit to the city, and will once again be held at The Caird Hall.
This week’s panel includes SNP MP Joanna Cherry, Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat and Labour MP Ian Murray, who is a candidate to be the next deputy leader.
They will be joined by crime writer Val McDermid and journalist Alex Massie, who works for the Spectator and the Scottish version of The Times, as well as regularly appearing on television and radio.
However, the show’s audience attracted criticism on social media when it was last held in Dundee in 2016, with viewers complaining of a “pro-Brexit bias”.
This was seen to be at odds with Dundee’s support for Scottish independence in 2014 and for remaining in the EU.
Some voiced their feelings on social media when the show’s return to the city was announced, with Carol Hambelton claiming there was indeed “bias” from the broadcaster:
No thanks, had enough bias from the BEEB.
— Carol Hambelton (@CarolHambelton) February 11, 2020
George Oustra claimed the audience would be “hand picked”, sarcastically calling Dundee a Tory constituency, despite the city council having a minority SNP government, both MPs being SNP politicians and the city’s MSPs also being from the party.
Oh goody, a massive Tory constituency with corresponding hand picked audience…again!
— georgbot (@gorgeoustra) February 11, 2020
David Dimbleby was host when the debate show was filmed in 2016, which was dominated by the upcoming Brexit referendum.
If featured a panel of some of the biggest names in Scottish politics: then Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, SNP depute leader John Swinney, Scottish Labour’s Jenny Marra, Patrick Harvie from the Scottish Greens, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie.
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Journalist Tim Stanley, who is a columnist for The Telegraph joined the politicians on the panel.
Perth and North Perthshire MP Pete Wishart claimed the BBC “had found an incredible number of Tories and Brexiteers” for its audience in 2016.
Hi #bbcqt are you sure you're in Dundee? You've managed to find an incredible number of Tories and Brexiteers for your audience.
— Pete Wishart (@PeteWishart) March 10, 2016
The BBC issued a statement defending its audience selection procedures, stating: “We are careful to select audiences which are politically balanced and reflect a range of political views.
“Every member of this audience was a Scottish resident and from Dundee or the surrounding area.
“They are chosen because they hold a spectrum of views on a number of topics, including the EU referendum and Scottish independence.”
This week’s show will be hosted by Fiona Bruce, who visited the City of Discovery last year to host The Antiques Road Show at V&A Dundee (see video below).