When we were kids, if we were allowed to stay up late on a school night, one thing that would be guaranteed to harsh our vibe and send us racing towards the staircase would be Question Time. On offer was a row of elderly politicians snoring and boring their way through the thorny political issues of the week, all held together by Robin Day, a man who seemed to have 50% of the UK’s mucus stored inside his leathery head. Not much fun.
But in 2012, Question Time has become appointment TV – and it’s all because of Twitter. Previously, your QT viewing experience was probably only enhanced by your own spluttering and snarling at the participants, perhaps augmented by the hurling of a cushion or three. Maybe you used to watch it with your parents and had to endure the sound of them chipping in with their outdated, bewildering skew on the week’s events. You might have seen your dad calling Neil Kinnock a ‘prick’ at one point or another – who knows?
Now though, you can watch the show in the company of thousands of smartest and funniest folk in the land with the help of Twitter and the #bbcqt hashtag. You can revel in the mockery of whichever ill-equipped bell-end the government have sent along to face the wrath of the people on any given week, empathise with scores of others who point out that the Labour representative has got no genuine alternative policy ideas to offer, or if it’s a quiet week, make cheap personal attacks on the appearance of the panel. It’s all there for you.
Let’s just remember who it was who said ‘Too many tweets might make a twat” – it was David Cameron
The show has even led to a couple of spectacular spin-offs. There’s @Dimblebot, an android version of David Dimbleby that comments along with the show, highlighting the destruction of each and every panelist by Dimbleby and the audience. Then there’s the Dimbledance, choreographed by @Mr_Neurosceptic and performed by millions of viewers every week at the beginning and end of proceedings. Okay, maybe not millions, but you get the gist.
Dimbleby himself is very much on-message when it comes to the Twitter element of Question Time, plugging the hashtag each week - you just know that if he wasn’t chairing the show, he’s be sat in front of the telly with an iPad or laptop, tweeting expletive-riddled outbursts about John Redwood or David Starkey. As you should be too.
Let’s just remember who it was who said ‘Too many tweets might make a twat” – it was David Cameron. And as Britain’s biggest twat, he should know.
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