Question Time comes to Plymouth University

The BBC’s political debate programme, Question Time, has been broadcast from Plymouth University’s new performing arts building, The House.

Hosted by presenter David Dimbleby, an audience of around 150 people were able to pose questions about subjects including public sector cuts and MPs' salaries to a panel of guests from the worlds of politics and media.

The episode of Question Time, filmed at the University for the second time in recent years, featured Development Secretary Justine Greening MP; Labour leadership contender and Shadow International Development Secretary Mary Creagh MP; Liberal Democrat leadership contender Norman Lamb MP; Daily Mirror columnist and ‘Fleet Street Fox' blogger Susie Boniface, and former Director of the Centre for Policy Studies Jill Kirby.

It also provided an opportunity for students to engage with those in front of and behind the cameras of one the most respected shows on national television.

During the set-up for the programme, undergraduates from the BA (Hons) Media Arts course had a chance to meet technicians and get an insight into what happens before the programme is broadcast each week.

Phaedra Stancer, Programme Leader of BA (Hons) Media Arts at Plymouth University, said:

“This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to see a professional technical team in action, and will potentially be of great benefit to their own future careers. Many of them may be considering working as part of a crew such as this, and having the chance to engage with leading figures in the profession will undoubtedly complement the skills they are acquiring as part of the studies.”

Also during the day, BSc (Hons) International Relations and BSc (Hons) Politics students – alongside representatives of the University of Plymouth Students’ Union – met host David Dimbleby, and observed rehearsals for the show.

Dr Jamie Gaskarth, Associate Professor of International Relations, added:

“Being able to observe some of the country’s most influential political figures and broadcasters is a unique experience for our students. It was a chance for them to see first-hand some of what they have been learning during their studies, and to gauge the public impact of political decisions at home and abroad.”

The House opened in November 2014, and was the recipient of Plymouth’s Abercrombie Award 2014 for demonstrating design excellence and innovation. It was designed by Burwell Deakins Architects and built by Midas Construction to BREEAM excellent standards.

Versatile and fully accessible, The House features a 200-capacity, sprung-floor theatre, studio spaces and advanced technology. It provides an exciting new performance venue, creating a first-class touring venue for Plymouth, helping to foster community engagement and attracting artists of national and international standing.