Robin Brown

Journo. Editor. Tutor. Dour northerner.

The fall and fall of Question Time

with 7 comments

I tend to watch Question Time after a few pints down the pub, as I suspect most do.

I’ve started to wonder, recently, whether the programme is actually pitched at a demographic of half-pissed pub goers who may happen to come across BBC1’s flagship discussion programme while channel hopping.

The reason why is there’s been a steady flow of genuinely awful pantomime dames and villains on recently on QT, who make it genuinely hard to watch.

There’s always been a wild card element to the QT panel – an Ian Hislop here or a Mark Steel there – but recently we’ve had Nick Griffin, Carol Vorderman, Kelvin Mackenzie and David Starkey, all so odious that I’ve not been able to sit through it for more than ten minutes.

I generally head over to Twitter to see if it’s just me going stark raving bonkers, but the Twittersphere seems to be in agreement (although that’s a demographic that, in all likelihood, is pretty similar to my own).

While Starkey is a renowned historian, he’s also a renowned nutcase but I can see the logic in getting him on. But Mackenzie? He’s just a fat horrible twat. And Vorderman? A celebrity debt-pushing adder upper? And that’s before I get to Griffin. Who’s next? Eugene Terre’Blanche?

I’m putting this down to the desire for an outspoken right-wing professional splutterrer to articulate the voice of the fabled common man, but really it just makes the whole thing unwatchable.

Seeing politicians trying to score points off one another is one thing. Seeing the latest right-wing rent-a-gob frothing, ranting and generally being oafish just exposes the pointlessness of the whole thing, especially with the increasingly fogeyish Dimbleby failing to preside over the whole sorry mess.

Below are my favourite Starkey reactions from Twitter, where the pompous old hobbit briefly became a trending topic earlier tonight. Keep a look out for Jim Davidson this time next week.

My favourite David Starkey reactions
 on Twitter

@jonboy79 [David Starkey has] spent so long studying the lives of pompous priggish royals that he has become one, by some sort of historical osmosis


@heppy: If David Starkey didn’t exist he’d have been invented by The League Of Gentlemen

@NinaGleams: RT @zofiewonkenobi David Starkey looks like an evil doormouse


@marcusbrig David Starkey is so utterly vile that I feel weepy, tired and unwell everytime he speaks


@Bethemediauk David Starkey is a pompous, overbearing, stuck up old tosspot. Which overshadow the rare ocassions when he actually has a point


@DCPlod It’s not just America that has crazy conservatives: David Starkey on BBC Question Time said 25% of British children are feral
 


@samdbarratt David Starkey is properly bonkers, too much. Next week a panel of Farrage, K McKenzie and Street-Porter? 
 


@Ruaridhnicoll Could David Starkey look any more like a Hogarthian nightmare? I can smell the corruption from here




@Scalded_Bollock I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say David Starkey is absolutely batshit.
 


@Drattigan Hello. My name is David Starkey, the Toad of Toad Hall
 


@dooobeee David Starkey, YOU ARE NOT AN ECONOMIST! listen to the 60 leading economists and IMF! 



@Julie4GS: David Starkey needs to be catapulted back into the seventeenth century where he belongs. Shut up you antiquated old

@Joemuggs Is David Starkey a ludicrous, clumsy prank designed to discredit Conservatism?

n.b. these represent a snapshot of about five minutes of tweeting. There was a whole hour to choose from.

Written by Robin Brown

March 19th, 2010 at 12:12 am

7 Responses to 'The fall and fall of Question Time'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'The fall and fall of Question Time'.

  1. I called him a dick…he was being dick like…

    http://twitter.com/ManuelTheWaiter/status/10694056445

    manuel

    19 Mar 10 at 9:52 am

  2. You read my mind with this post Robinho, was thinking the same thing….

    But if they do insist on having outlandish characters with extreme views every week, why are they always from the right? If they’re gonna have Kelvin Mackenzie one week, can’t next week’s ‘villain’ be Derek Hatton, or Arthur Scargill? Instead there’s a steady stream of right wing nutcases every week and it’s bloody grating…!

    Sigmundio

    19 Mar 10 at 1:17 pm

  3. I couldn’t agree more, thanks for this great blog! David Starkey was a total oaf last night and ruined (in a similar way to other recent guests) a programme I usually really enjoy.

    Sarah

    19 Mar 10 at 1:26 pm

  4. death to the tory murdoch slime ball.

    vineoak1

    3 Jun 10 at 10:55 pm

  5. […] seems to me that there’s every chance that Hopkins will be back on, as Question Time seems to book a lunatic of the week these days – apparently to elicit just this sort of reaction (see Everyone Hates […]

  6. After watching today’s episode of QT with Starkey, I decided to look up his history on the programme. Hence, I reached this blog.

    Starkey deserves more credit than he is given here. The points he make are balanced and informed by deep study of political and social history. That said, his words on paper would come across very differently to his verbal delivery on screen and I regret that the majority of the audience simply tune out of his arguments thanks to his charmless delivery.

    He should continue to have a place on QT. Sure, he’s easy entertainment for the beeb to provide, but more for the strength of his intellect is he needed – particularly to challenge some of the lazy minds on the panel (such as Rachel Reeves this week).

    Forget the character he plays, just listen to the words he strings together into argument.

    Alex

    2 Mar 12 at 12:13 am

  7. Starkey is not a stupid man. But he is an idiot. And he gives every impression of being barely in touch with sanity these days. His delivery is not the problem – the frothing lunacy of much of what he says is the problem.

    Robin Brown

    3 Mar 12 at 9:57 am

Leave a Reply