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'It showed we care' - audience members react to BBC Question Time filming in town

PUBLISHED: 14:29 07 June 2019 | UPDATED: 14:15 13 June 2019

Richard Smith's view from the Quesiton Time audience. Picture: Richard Smith

Richard Smith's view from the Quesiton Time audience. Picture: Richard Smith

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The political debate programme BBC Question Time has been recorded in Thetford.

Richard Smith was in the audience for the filming of BBC Question Time. Picture: Richard Smith/BBCRichard Smith was in the audience for the filming of BBC Question Time. Picture: Richard Smith/BBC

The panel included journalist and television personality, Piers Morgan, Editor of the Daily Mirror, Alison Philips, Chair of the Treasury Select Committee, Nicky Morgan, Shadow Treasury minister Anneliese Dodds, and SNP spokesman on business, energy and industrial strategy, Drew Hendry and was filmed at Thetford Academy on Thursday. June 6.

The audience was packed with people from the town who were able to ask questions.

Richard Smith is the regional manager for Catch22 College which has sites for 16-19 year olds in Thetford and Great Yarmouth.

He said: "The last time I was in that hall was over 20 years ago when I was a student at Rosemary Musker High School.

Fiona Bruce will be hosting Question Time in Thetford. Picture: BBCFiona Bruce will be hosting Question Time in Thetford. Picture: BBC

"The floor manager introduced the panel and it was time for action. His words were 'just be Thetford'.

"As the show played out it was obvious there was a very diverse mix of attitudes and experiences in the audience.

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"The contributions from those who spoke were passionate and challenging but the whole audience were polite and respectful towards other's ideas.

Emma Kelly was able to ask a question during filming. Picture: Emma KellyEmma Kelly was able to ask a question during filming. Picture: Emma Kelly

"It felt great that such a famous political debate show had come to Thetford, a town of great thinkers since the days of Thomas Paine.

"It showed Thetford is a place of social and economic development and has helped raise the profile of our area."

Emma Kelly, 39, is a civil servant and had the opportunity to ask a question.

She said: "It was really interesting being in the audience. The topics discussed were thought provoking and certainly helped encourage debate, and it's good to know that the questions were generated by audience members and not the show.

"I didn't expect to be able to comment, but it was great to be able to and make my point.

"The visit of Question Time shows that we do care what is happening locally and nationally, and it would be great if it could help encourage more to actively engage in what is happening in Thetford."

Panellist Piers Morgan took to Twitter after the debate. He said: "My takeaway from last night's BBC Question Time is,

Britain's warming to Trump, wants Brexit done and done fast, thinks Labour/Corbyn is a hot mess, and believes we should all toughen up a bit, stop whining and show more resilience like the incredible D-Day generation."

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