VIDEO: David Dimbleby’s best Question Time moments
From acidic put-downs to behind-the-scenes antics
TV veteran David Dimbleby has presented his final episode of Question Time, after 25 years at the helm.
He will be replaced by newsreader and Antiques Roadshow presenter Fiona Bruce - the first woman to take the hot seat during the political panel show’s 40-year run.
Dimbleby used the closing moments of last night’s broadcast from London to pay tribute to the team working behind the cameras on Question Time, which returns in January.
He also applauded the upwards of 100,000 members of the public who have sat in the audience during his quarter-century as host, saying they had “exercised what I think is a really important democratic right” by holding politicians to account.
The 80-year-old broadcaster’s tenure on the BBC’s lively debate programme has spanned five prime ministers and a series of wars, political rows and economic crises.
But despite the best efforts of pontificating politicians and animated audience members, “Dimbleby often found himself stealing the limelight”, says the BBC.
Here are some of his best moments on the show:
Dimbleby held Conservative MP Eric Pickles’ feet to the fire over his taxpayer-funded Central London second home, in a memorable exchange that saw Pickles protesting that he needed to be at the Houses of Parliament on time - prompting Dimbleby to quip: “Like a job, in other words?”
One 2017 episode clearly went on too long, with the debate interrupted by a phone ringtone that turned out to be Dimbleby’s bedtime alarm:
Question Time debates are frequently fraught, but Dimbleby always kept a tight grip on the reins to maintain order - including expelling one audience member for heckling:
Sometimes it was the panellists themselves in need of a ticking-off, such as when Piers Morgan attempted to organise an impromptu audience poll and got a sharp verbal smackdown for his efforts:
As well as corralling rowdy politicians and audience members, there has also been a lighter side to Dimbleby’s 25 years at the helm - as demonstrated in this behind-the-scenes clip from 2016 showing the veteran broadcaster sliding down the show’s round table.
After such a lengthy tenure, it’s no surprise that Question Time viewers have developed a rich assortment of in-jokes around the show’s presenter, including the “Dimblebot” parody Twitter account. Fortunately, Dimbleby appears to enjoy the joke: