Media release: Debate Night goes virtual so audience can continue to question politicians and public figures


BBC Scotland’s Debate Night programme is to resume with a virtual audience, as restrictions remain in force during the coronavirus outbreak.

Audiences for the current affairs debate programme will be able to put their questions to a panel of politicians and public figures via video link from the comfort of their own homes.

Viewers from across the country will be selected to be in Debate Night’s first virtual audience when the show returns for a new series on Wednesday 29 April.

Those selected will be invited to ask questions and debate with the panellists in the studio which will be set up to ensure social distancing.

Debate Night presenter, Stephen Jardine, said: “Debate Night is the only place where people are regularly able to put their questions and experiences directly to Scotland’s policymakers in their own words.”

He added: “Having a forum like this has scarcely been more important and despite the restrictions in place we are determined to continue giving people the opportunity to question those in charge.”

The first programme on 29 April will be open to anyone living in Scotland.

Thereafter, in line with Debate Night’s usual practice of travelling to a variety of venues across the country during a series, the programme will go on a virtual tour.

Each week following the opening episode, the audience will be made up of people living in a particular town or region.

The dates and locations are: Wednesday 6 May – Glasgow City and Greater Glasgow: Wednesday 13 May – Orkney and Shetland: Wednesday 20 May – Aberdeenshire: Wednesday 27 May – Perth: Wednesday 3 June – Dumfries and Galloway: Wednesday 10 June – Western Highlands and Islands: Wednesday 17 June – Edinburgh and the Lothians.

People interested in applying to be a member of the Debate Night audience can apply here.

Details of panellists for each programme will be confirmed nearer transmission dates.

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