04 August 2009

Question Time, David Dimbleby and the election

After Nick Robinson became the BBC’s favourite son last week, it is time to turn our attention to one David Dimbleby.  After Mandy dropped his bombshell about a leaders TV debate, little attention has been paid to who would chair the historic encounter.

Elections don't happen in these damp islands without a Dimbleby.  For the last few general elections we have had two, David on the BBC and Jonathan on ITV.  However, the question needs to be asked about David Dimbleby.  Just what does the BBC intend to do with the not so young anchor (he is 71 this year) of every election results programme since 1979 and Question Time host since 1994?

When Dimbleby signed off from the last Question Time, there was no hint that he would be retiring, so we should assume that he will be back for a another series in the autumn.

Should Dimbleby be used for the TV debate or the next election?  The question is not so easy to answer because there doesn't appear to be likely successor.  At one stage Huw Edwards was popping up with increasing regularity for BBC specials, but Dimbleby anchored the recent European and local election and was his usual masterful self.  So, it would seem that Dimbleby will carry on for one more election.  If not, then who?

Let us start with Question Time.  Andrew Neil would be the ideal choice.  He has the personality and would handle the audience well.  The BBC presently wastes his talent.  Who, apart from a political obsessive, watches This Week?  The leaders TV debate is no contest.  It has to be Paxman.  There is no other interviewer that has his authority.  When it comes to the election anchor there is no obvious candidate.  Paxman wouldn't hold the audience and is prone to self-parody, Andrew Neil would become too excitable.  Will it be Huw Edwards after all?

Little doubt all this is exercising the minds of the great and the good at the BBC.  You never know, they could just handover the lot to Nick Robinson!

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  1. As I understand it the Question Time team is being moved to Glasgow to the new, bright and shiney BBC building. Dimbleby said at the time he would commute. Haven't heard anything more for a few months now.


  2. Which one of the above mentioned arsewipes was it that got a hand signal from Harridan and then tried to shut up whoever was speaking?

    I wouldn't trust any of them.

  3. Do you mean me Howard? Did I actually give you an interesting link? :)