Colchester’s Question Time ends early after audience member falls ill

Question Time from Colchester had to be shortened. File Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Question Time from Colchester had to be shortened. File Picture: PHIL MORLEY - Credit: Archant

Colchester’s moment in the spotlight during Thursday’s evening’s BBC Question Time programme was cut short after a member of the audience was taken ill.

The flagship BBC One current affairs debate programme was about 40 minutes into filming when a woman became unwell.

An ambulance was seen outside the building as medical staff tended to the woman, but recording was cancelled after she could not be safely moved.

Business Secretary Greg Clark, Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott, former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Hogan-Howe, former chief executive of Marks and Spencer Lord Rose and crime writer Dreda Say Mitchell made up the panel on Thursday.

Shortly before the incident they had been asked: “What is the point in capitalism?”, and the broadcast version ended as Mr Clark debated housebuilding measures announced in the Budget, with the programme cutting to host David Dimbleby.

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Apologising for the shortened programme, he said: “I’m afraid at this point we had to curtail this edition of Question Time. A member of the audience was taken ill and couldn’t safely be moved so we had to bring the programme to a close.”

A post on the programme’s Twitter page said: “An audience member on tonight’s QT was taken ill. Our first priority was to make sure that she was looked after by medical staff who attended. As a consequence tonight’s Question Time was slightly shorter than billed.”

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The truncated edition of Question Time was broadcast as planned at 10.45pm, while Andrew Neil’s political magazine show This Week was moved forward.

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