Fiona Bruce takes us behind the scenes on Question Time

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Since making her debut as the first female presenter of BBC One’s Question Time in 2019, Fiona Bruce has certainly proved her mettle. As host of the long-running current affairs show, she’s witnessed many a heated debate – and in an exclusive interview with Good Housekeeping, she let us in on a few secrets.

One of her most memorable moments on the show, she told us, was when a politician had a somewhat bizarre request ahead of his appearance.

“There was a politician who arrived and wanted a room to meditate in before we started the programme. The secret is that I’m not going to tell you who it was!” she says.

Photo credit:  Matt Holyoak
Photo credit: Matt Holyoak

According to the host, the show isn’t immune to disasters, either, with one guest almost missing their appearance altogether.

“Margaret Beckett came on one time; she was driving from home with her husband. They got completely lost and they couldn’t work the Sat Nav,” she says.

“We kept trying to guide them in, it wasn’t working and in the end, we had to send a car out to guide them to the location. She had 20 minutes before she was on air. She was a trooper!”

With tension often running high during debates, she also revealed her secret to staying calm during filming.

Photo credit: Matt Holyoak
Photo credit: Matt Holyoak

“The secret to keeping a cool head is not thinking about how many people are watching; that’s really important,” she says.

“It’s also about remembering that actually, you’re there because you enjoy it - and if you get too nervous, you’re not going to enjoy it! That’s how I do it.”

Asked about her dream guests, she revealed there are a few people on her list.

“There are politicians who have never said yes to our invitations – Michael Gove and Rishi Sunak - I’d love them to come on,” she says.

“I’d love George Clooney and Brad Pitt, too; I’ve got no idea if they’ve got anything interesting to say politically at all, but who cares? We could just look at them!”

Here’s hoping we see them on the show soon!

To hear more from Fiona, watch the full video above. Question Time airs Thursdays from 10.45pm on BBC One.

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