• BBC One's political debate programme, Question Time, is being hosted inside the Houses of Parliament for the first time in the programme's history, tomorrow night, Thursday 3rd November.

    David Dimbleby will chair a panel of guests during the debate in Westminster Hall as part of Parliament Week, a new initiative aiming to build greater awareness, understanding of and engagement with parliamentary democracy in the UK. Amongst the panel facing questions from the audience will be Conservative MP for Maidenhead, Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Theresa May; Shadow Chancellor and Labour MP for Morley and Outwood Ed Balls; Politician, Academic and co-founder of the Social Democratic Party Baroness Shirley Williams; journalist and author Peter Hitchens, and writer and poet Benjamin Zephaniah.

    Question Time Editor, Nicolai Gentchev, said: "This will be the first time Question Time comes from Parliament, and we are very excited about filming the programme in Westminster Hall. It is an iconic location in which President Obama, the Pope, Nelson Mandela and De Gaulle have addressed both Houses of Parliament and I hope this magnificent venue inspires the debate among our panel and audience."

    Question Time is produced for BBC One by Mentorn Media and BBC Scotland.

    To apply for a seat in future audiences you can register your question at www.bbc.co.uk /questiontime or call the audience line on 01299 829 299.

    For further information please contact Louise Plank on 020 8995 3936 or lou@plankpr.com

  • Mentorn Media's one hour documentary, John Steinbeck - Voice of America for BBC Four, will be part of the channel's America Season, it was announced today.

    John Steinbeck - Voice of America follows Melvyn Bragg as he travels from Oklahoma to California to examine the enduring legacy of the Nobel Prize-winning author, John Steinbeck.

    In novels such as The Grapes Of Wrath, Of Mice And Men, and Cannery Row, Steinbeck gave voices to ordinary people who were battling poverty, drought and homelessness. Melvyn Bragg assesses why the work of one his favourite authors remains relevant in today's America, taking a fresh approach to John Steinbeck, his work and in particular Pulitzer Prize-winning The Grapes Of Wrath, one of the epic American novels of the twentieth century.

    Bragg visits the site of the 1930s dust bowl in Oklahoma; the California orchards where bloody political battles were fought between migrant labourers and growers; and the Monterey coastline where Steinbeck developed his ideas on ecology, and makes a case for Steinbeck as one of the great voices of American literature.

    Mentorn Media's Executive Producer, said Steve Anderson said: "Melvyn will be exploring why Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath rattled the sensitivities of America, and more than 70 years on, what parallels can be drawn with today's USA as it struggles with a new economic downturn and wrestles with the excesses of the banks. It's a celebration of one of America's most heralded authors and the most famous of his works."

    For further information please contact Louise Plank on 020 8995 3936 or lou@plankpr.com

  • BBC One's political debate programme, Question Time, is being hosted from Winchester on Thursday 27th October.

    David Dimbleby chairs the programme from the Cathedral City of Winchester which sees Downtown Abbey writer and creator Julian Fellowes; the Secretary for work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith; Shadow Home Office Minister Gloria De Piero; Liberal Democrat MP for Dunbartonshire Jo Swinson and leader of UKIP Nigel Farage face questions from the audience.

    To apply for a seat in future audiences you can register your question at www.bbc.co.uk /questiontime or call the audience line on 01299 829 299.

    For further information please contact Louise Plank on 020 8995 3936 or lou@plankpr.com

  • Mentorn Media's hour long documentary, David Suchet On Sid Field: Last of The Muic Hall Heroes airs on BBC Four on Wednesday 26th Ocotber at 9pm.

    David Suchet, whose love affair with the Music Hall has shaped his personal and professional life, presents this hour long programme exploring the life and work of the Music Hall legend Sid Field.

    Tracing the history of Field's life and career, Suchet discovers what made the pioneer of both camp and sketch comedy into such an enigmatic character and influential figure throughout the world of comedy.

    Sid Field born in Birmingham in 1904 spent over 25 years working the Music Hall and Variety circuit, displaying a huge array of mesmerising characters. However it was not until 1943 that he got his big break, alongside his straight man Jerry Desmonde, in the west end hit Strike a New Note. The show made Sid an overnight success and his characters such as Slasher Green, the Cockney 'spiv', became audience favourites. His camp photographer character has had a legacy of its own and has seen the like of Frankie Howerd, Kenneth Williams and Julian Clary all pay homage to the great man himself.

    David Suchet says: "Sid Field is my hero and one of my proudest moments was performing as Sid in William Humble's musical What a Performance! at the Queens Theatre in 1994. To be asked to present this programme is an absolute honour."

    There is very little solid evidence remaining of Sid Field's genius and up until recently the only film of his work thought to still be in existence was the 1946 J Arthur Rank film London Town which was deemed a massive flop in its day. However during the making of David Suchet on Sid Field a rare, and thought to be lost, film was discovered. Seen for the first time on screen in the programme, Show me the Ticket was made in 1940 and unlike London Town shows Field at his best; filmed in black and white and against a simple set as opposed to the techni-colour grandeur of the subsequent Rank film.

    Throughout the programme, David meets some of Sid's most fervent fans - amongst them Eric Sykes, Nicolas Parsons and Leslie Philips -  all of whom have their own unique memory of seeing or meeting Field himself. Paul Merton, who features in the programme and watches Show me the Ticket with David Suchet, says "He was such a supreme live performer. The people I've spoken to who had seen him, 60 years later, it's as if they saw it yesterday."

    Whilst General Eisenhower saluted him for his work on entertaining the troops, Winston Churchill showed his love for Field's work by using his most iconic song and war time hit, I'm Going to Get Lit Up, as a secret signal - when the song was broadcast on the radio it was a sign to the resistant fighters in Europe that D Day was imminent.

    Amongst those heavily influenced by Field none was more so than Tony Hancock. It is purported that on seeing Field perform for the first time that Hancock leant to his companion in the theatre and said "That's the man for me, that's the man for me" and from that moment Field was the guiding light to Hancock's career.

    Sid Field died in 1950 of a heart attack after only seven years at the top and before the rise of television, which would have suited his talent immensely. Despite his success he had only £60 pounds in his account by the time he died. A devoted father and husband a lot of his earnings had been spent as it was earned. American actor Danny Kaye, one of the many famous friends Sid had made in his lifetime, set to organising an event to celebrate Sid's life and raise money for his family. On the 25th June 1951 a stupendous cast including Laurence Olivier, Orson Welles, Richard Attenborough, Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor, Vivien Leigh, and Peter Ustinov gathered to raise the equivalent of over £350,000 for Field's wife Connie Dawkins and his daughters. David Suchet, on the hallowed stage of the London Palladium Theatre where the studded event was held, relives what is said to be the 'greatest show of its kind ever seen.'

    David Suchet on Sid Field: Last of the Music Hall Heroes is a remarkable story of one of the best, and sadly almost forgotten, comedy stars of the twentieth century told by one of the best actors of the twentieth century.

    For further information please call Sally Kent at Plank PR on 020 8995 3936 or sally@plankpr.com

  • Conservative MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg, described the three parties as 'frit' over the proposed EU referendum, in an appearance on Question Time tonight.

    Commenting on the fact that all three main UK national parties do not want a referendum on UK membership of the EU, Jacob Rees-Mogg said: "I think to use a word Margaret Thatcher once used, they're 'frit' - that they've come to the conclusion that  most people in the United Kingdom don't actually like Europe,  they think the EU has failed, the Euro is in desperate decline - this weekend we'll see whether it even survives, and instead of saying we've got to get a new relationship with Europe speedily, we want to go back to free trade which is what we agreed to and not be governed undemocratically from Brussels -  they hide behind the current situation and hope that the problem will disappear, but it won't.

    "I think we will have a referendum but actually not on the motion that's been put forward but on new treaties that are going to be debated about to work out where Europe goes to deal with the collapse of the Euro."

    BBC Question Time came from Glasgow. David Dimbleby was joined by Jacob Rees-Mogg, Alistair Carmichael, Margaret Curran, Mike Russell, Cristina Odone and Brian Cox.

    Question Time will be on BBC One at 22:35 BST on Thursday 20 October and available on BBC iPlayer after transmission.

    For further information please contact Louise Plank on 07801 321 965.

     

  • BBC One's political debate programme, Question Time, is being hosted from Glasgow on Thursday 20th October.

    David Dimbleby chairs the programme from the University City of Glasgow which sees Deputy Chief Whip and Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and Shetland Alistair Carmichael; Labour MP for Glasgow East and Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Margaret Curran; Scottish Education Secretary Mike Russell MSP; Daily Telegraph columnist Cristina Odone; Conservative MP for North East Somerset Jacob Rees-Mogg and actor Brian Cox, join the panel to face questions from the audience.

    To apply for a seat in future audiences you can register your question at www.bbc.co.uk /questiontime or call the audience line on 01299 829 299.

    For further information please contact Louise Plank on 020 8995 3936 or lou@plankpr.com

  • BBC One's political debate programme, Question Time, is being hosted from London on Thursday 13th October.

    David Dimbleby chairs the programme from the capital which sees Health Secretary Andrew Lansley and GP and comedian Dr Phil Hammond amongst the panel to face questions from the audience.

    To apply for a seat in future audiences you can register your question at www.bbc.co.uk /questiontime or call the audience line on 01299 829 299.

    For further information please contact Louise Plank on 020 8995 3936 or lou@plankpr.com

  • Asked on BBC One's Question Time if Conservative Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, was right to say a referendum on the EU would be a good idea, Conservative Party co-chairman, Baroness Sayeda Warsi, said: "No, I don't think he's right to say this."

    To debate chaired by David Dimbleby is on BBC One tonight at 10.35pm or on BBC iPlayer.

    For more information please contact Louise Plank on 07801 321 965.

  • Asked on Question Time to respond to Mervyn King's statement that the UK is "past the worst" in the squeeze on living standards, Shadow Education spokesman Andy Burnham MP said: "I have my doubts. These (Quantative Easing) figures show that the economy has not grown."

     

    David Dimbleby chairs the programme from Salford tonight which transmits on BBC One at 10.35pm or is available after transmission on BBC iPlayer.

     

    For more information please contact Louise Plank on 07801 321 965.



  • On Question Time in Salford, Conservative co-chair Baroness Sayeda Warsi, asked who was right between Ken Clarke and Theresa May, replies: "Ken's an old friend and he's a fantastic guy but I think on this occasion, Theresa is right."

    David Dimbleby chairs the programme which sees Cabinet Minister and Conservative Party Chairman Baroness Warsi; Labour MP for Leigh Andy Burnham; Liberal Democrat MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber Charles Kennedy; journalist and TV presenter Jane Moore, and singer songwriter and activist Billy Bragg face questions from the audience.

    Question Time transmits on BBC One at 10.35pm tonight or on iPlayer.

    For further information please contact Louise Plank on 020 8995 3936


  • BBC One's political debate programme, Question Time, is being hosted from Salford on Thursday 6th October.

    David Dimbleby chairs the programme which sees Cabinet Minister and Conservative Party Chairman Baroness Warsi; Labour MP for Leigh Andy Burnham; Liberal Democrat MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber Charles Kennedy; journalist and TV presenter Jane Moore, and singer songwriter and activist Billy Bragg face questions from the audience.

    To apply for a seat in future audiences you can register your question at www.bbc.co.uk /questiontime or call the audience line on 01299 829 299.

    For further information please contact Louise Plank on 020 8995 3936 or lou@plankpr.com