Fiona Bruce reveals her one Question Time regret so far

BBC/Richard Lewisohn
BBC/Richard Lewisohn

Fiona Bruce has expressed regret for not intervening during an especially fiery Question Time debate.

The 56-year-old, who took over from long-time host David Dimbleby in January 2019, has since explained she wished she had spoken out against a guest during an impassioned argument about Donald Trump.

Welsh actor John Rhys-Davies, best known for playing Gimli in the Lord Of The Rings franchise, caused controversy when he said “Oh woman!” at Caroline Green, who was then the leader of the Green Party, before slapping his hands down on the table during the heated debate.

Speaking to Radio Times magazine, Bruce said about the incident: “I thought at the time, I should shut him down, and say, ‘That is not how we say things here.’

Fiona Bruce has to remain level-headed on Question Time (BBC)
Fiona Bruce has to remain level-headed on Question Time (BBC)

“We film the show as live and I always watch it back – which I don’t do with the news any more – to see if there is anything I should have done differently, and on that occasion I should have done.”

When asked whether she prefers more impassioned guests on the show, Bruce said: “Passionate, yes. Kicking off, not so much.

“I don’t like it when passion edges into nastiness and there was a lot of nastiness around Brexit in particular, a lot of division and fear.”

Bruce also explained how she struggled with the coronavirus lockdown, and how it has changed Question Time.

“In the first week or so I was very anxious, and fearful and worried for my family,” she said. “But then I got used to it and as time went on I forced myself to become more Zen.

“[Ratings on Question Time] have gone down recently because I think people are fed up of coronavirus.

“At the beginning of lockdown, people just wanted information, so there wasn’t much debate. But as time moved on, that changed.”

The full interview is in Radio Times magazine, out now.

Additional reporting by PA

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