• Question Time comes from London tomorrow night at 10.35pm on BBC One, in the week before the US Presidential election.

    David Dimbleby chairs questions posed to the panel which includes: former Foreign Secretary David Miliband MP; US television presenter and former Democratic Party mayor of Cincinnati Jerry Springer; former chairman of Republicans Abroad, Colleen Graffy; Conservative MP for Spelthornem Kwasi Kwarteng, and Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty.

    Question Time is available to view on iPlayer after transmission and you can follow the debate on @bbcquestiontime

  • Responding to a question asking if the BBC's been fatally damaged in the public's mind as a result of the Jimmy Savile scandal, Vince Cable said: "It is damaged but not fatally. I would say in its defence what other media organisation in the world would put out a programme attacking itself, which is what it did with the Panorama programme, rather brutally exposed the complete failure and I think the public almost certainly do wonder what on earth these extraordinarily highly paid executives were doing in making such a complete crass mishandling of this.

    "But that isn't the central problem and I agree with the other speakers, the real issue here is not the programme that the BBC didn't put out and the editorially bad decision, the real appalling thing is how this man operated for three decades or longer with enormous cases of abuse.

    "The real scandal which I think really does need investigating is why was it that in 2009 when he was still alive, the Crown Prosecution Service had a lot of evidence in their hands, they had the evidence of people like that very brave woman Karin who had been the cancer sufferer who explained brutally what had happened and yet they didn't prosecute. That really does need pursuing.

    "I agree with the panel on the broader question, it isn't about who said what at the BBC, the real crime here is that paedophilia on an epic scale was tolerated - people turned the other way, prosecutions were not pursued and that's the really deep scandal."

    Follow BBC Question Time on Twitter via @bbcqt and to watch the episode on BBC iPlayer after transmission.

    For press enquiries please contact Louise Plank on 07801 321 965.


  • Question Time comes from Slough tonight at 10.35pm on BBC One.

    David Dimbleby chairs questions posed to the panel which includes: business secretary Vince Cable MP; shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry; Conservative MP for Devizes Claire Perry; UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall, and Mehdi Hasan, political director of the Huffington Post website.

    Question Time is available to view on iPlayer after transmission and you can follow the debate on @bbcquestiontime

  • BBC Three's live debate show, Free Speech, hosted a lunchtime debate on Wednesday 24th October for school students at Bridge Academy in Hackney led by Radio 1's Gemma Cairney and SB.TV's Jamal Edwards.

    Schools across the UK have been invited to hold their own debates in the coming weeks and the results of all student votes will be fed into an online poll. The final results will be announced during Parliament Week on 23 November, the same day as the UK Youth Parliament sitting in the House of Commons. Parliament Week is a national initiative coordinated by the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

    At today's event, 31 students from Bridge Academy debated and voted on the following two topics:

    • The National Curriculum: should it be overhauled to include more emphasis on 'life lessons' like Politics, relationships and finance?

    14 students voted in favour of life lesson inclusion with 17 voting against.

    • Public Transport: should public money be invested in making transport less expensive for under 18's?

    The majority (20) voted against this motion, whilst the remaining 11 were in favour.

    The live school debate launched Create the Debate, a free online school resource pack developed by Parliament Week in association with BBC's Free Speech and the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP),  encourages teachers and pupils to debate these two issues, along with the three others voted in by the UKYP's youth consultation:

    • Youth unemployment: should every young person be required to take one week's work experience before they leave school?
    • Same sex marriage: should same sex marriage be allowed across the whole of the UK?
    • National minimum wage: should the national minimum wage be changed to one even level?

    These five issues will be subsequently be debated in the House of Commons by the UK Youth Parliament on 23 November as part of Parliament Week (19-25 November).

    Gemma Cairney, who was on the panel for the first in the current run of Free Speech, said: "Change the world, speak out, stop moaning to just your friends and create a debate with BBC Free Speech."

    Jamal Edwards, who was on the panel for the third in the current run of Free Speech, said: "A lot of young people complain that nobody listens to them. Well: this is your chance to be heard. If you have an opinion on anything, now is your chance to express it."


    Notes to Editors

    Exclusive online films to introduce each debate topic to get students talking have been made by Gemma and Jamal as well as T4's Georgie Okell. Every day this week (22-26 October) at midday a new film will be released on Facebook (www.facebook.com/BBCFreeSpeech) and twitter (www.twitter.com/BBCFreeSpeech) where an active debate around the issue will be encourage with people from all over the UK.

    Students can join in the Create the Debate discussions online via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and by completing an online poll on the Parliament Week website which will track debates across the UK. Results will be announced during Parliament Week. Schools can also watch the UK Youth Parliament debate the five issues live from the House of Commons on BBC Parliament (23 November). For more information about Create the Debate, contact: education@parliament.uk

    The Create the Debate pack has been produced by Parliament's Education Service with help from the UK Youth Parliament and BBC Three's Free Speech. The free pack is aimed at KS3, 4 or 5 and can be adapted for other ages and abilities. From 22 October the Create the Debate Pack will be available free online at www.parliamentweek.org/schools

    Parliament Week is a national initiative coordinated by the House of Commons and the House of Lords which aims to inform, connect and engage people across the UK with Parliamentary democracy. Events and activities, such as the UKYP House of Commons sitting, take place across the UK and online between 19-25 November 2012. For more information visit www.parliamentweek.org or contact Anikka Weerasinghe  weerasinghea@parliament.uk/ 0207 219 0849 or Gary Calder calderg@parliament.uk/ 0207 219 1123

    Free Speech, produced by Mentorn Media, is a live debate and discussion show hosted by Jake Humphrey aimed young people. It is broadcast each month from locations across the UK and Free Speech viewers get the chance to speak up about the big issues of the day either through the live audience or by participating online. The next edition is a US Election Special coming from Colchester: BBC Three Tuesday 6th November at 8pm.

    For more information please contact Plank PR on 020 8995 3936 or sally@plankpr.com or visit: www.bbc.co.uk/freespeech

    The Bridge Academy, Hackney is a mixed, non-denominational school for 11 - 19 year olds. It welcomed its fifth intake of year 7 students in September 2011.  By 2013 it will cater for 1,150 students, with a sixth form for 250 students. Specialising in music and mathematics, it teaches a broad and rich curriculum for students of all abilities.


  • As part of Sky's investment in original British content, Sky 1 HD has announced the commission of a new factual series which goes behind the scenes in one of the UK's most recognisable high street bakers, Greggs, in Baking for Britain (8x60).

    In this access-all-areas fly on the wall documentary series, Sky customers will see life on the counters of the popular high street brands and beyond into the kitchens and boardrooms of this bakery powerhouse.  Produced by Mentorn Media, this eight-part series ventures around the UK tracing the people that make the company what it is today. With an array of sparkling characters from its 20,000 staff, this series will be a warm and charming look at the high street giant.

    Mentorn Media's Executive Producer, Neil Grant, said: "What a fantastic opportunity and privilege to make a fun access series behind the scenes with the nation's high street icon - this will be popular television at its very best!"

    Sky's Commissioning Editor, Siobhan Mulholland for Factual programming said: "This is going to be a warm-hearted and fascinating insight into a much loved British institution. The access is impressive; the cameras will be in the shops, following the delivery trucks, following characters, even in the usually confidential tasting labs. It will be a television treat for Sky Customers."

    BAKING FOR BRITAIN will air in 2013 and has been ordered up by Commissioning Editor Siobhan Mulholland at Sky. The series is Executive Produced by Neil Grant at Mentorn Media. The Series Producer is Tammy Hoyle and Mentorn International will be distributing the programmes.

    This latest commission is part of Sky's commitment to increase its investment in original British content by 50% over the next three years. By 2014, Sky expects to invest £600 million a year in British programmes across its portfolio of channels.  This commitment follows the success of home-grown comedies such as TROLLIED, SPY and STELLA, entertainment hits GOT TO DANCE and A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN, dramas such as STRIKE BACK and MAD DOGS, and factual shows including ROSS KEMP EXTREME WORLD, AN IDIOT ABROAD and the BAFTA-winning documentary FLYING MONSTERS 3D.

    For more information contact Plank PR 020 8995 3936

  • Asked by an audience member in Manchester, "Is the government right to scapegoat civil servants for the West Coast rail fiasco?", BA Chief Executive Willie Walsh said on BBC One's Question Time: "No, I think it's the responsibility of the ministers and the civil servants. I don't think you can say it's one or the other, I think it's both. I think it's very fortunate for the Conservative Party that the Prime Minister moved both the Transport ministers Justine Greening and Theresa Villiers out of Transport because quite honestly, I don't think their positions would be tenable if they were still in Transport today. I think this is a mess of monumental scale and people have got to be held to account, that's both the politicians and the civil servants.

    "The process was not that complex, and the Ministers take responsibility. Ministers go on and take the praise praise when something good happens and shift the blame on someone else when something bad happens.

    "Questions should have been asked properly and answers should have been challenged and we should not have found ourselves in the mess that we find ourselves today."

    Cabinet Secretary Kenneth Clarke MP replied: "Firstly we need to know a lot more about it. There's going to be an inquiry before we can actually start saying what went wrong.

    "Whoever suspended them (the three Transport civil servants) obviously thinks that there's some question about what they did. I have no idea. We will see whether they are going to be scapegoated or whether it's going to be sorted out."

    Question Time is on BBC One at 10.35pm and available to view on BBC iPlayer after transmission.

    For more information please contact Louise Plank on 07801 321 965 or lou@plankpr.com.


  • Question Time comes from Manchester tonight at 10.35pm on BBC One.

    David Dimbleby chairs questions posed to the panel which includes: Cabinet Minister Kenneth Clarke MP; Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander MP; Liberal Democrat Baroness Kramer; the broadcaster and columnist Janet Street-Porter; and Willie Walsh, chief executive of the parent company of British Airways and Iberia.

    Question Time is available to view on iPlayer after transmission and you can follow the debate on @bbcquestiontime

    For further information please contact Louise Plank on 07801 321 965

  • Mentorn Media production, Free Speech delivered successful ratings last night on BBC Three, according to unofficial overnight figures, it has been announced.

    BBC Three's Free Speech presented by Jake Humphrey which came live from the Hexagon Theatre in Reading at 8pm, averaged at 215,000 and saw 269,000 viewers tune in at its peak. The debate was also trending on Twitter across the UK at four points during transmission.

    Last night's Free Speech focused on the topic of immigration in light of a recent Social Attitudes Survey showing that 75% of the population would like to see Immigration reduced, and came live from Reading. Other topics under debate were whether the police should be armed and what is the future of Page 3. The panel for the debate, chaired by Jake Humphrey, included: BBC Three documentary presenter Stacey Dooley; Alok Sharma, Conservative MP for Reading West; Political activist and commentator and UKIP's social media man, Michael Heaver, and Luciana Berger, Labour and Co-Operative MP for Liverpool Wavertree.

    Free Speech is on BBC Three every month and available on BBC iPlayer after transmission.

    For more information please contact Plank PR on 020 8995 3936.

  • BBC One's political debate programme, Question Time, is being hosted from Manchester on Thursday, October 4th.

    David Dimbleby chairs the programme from the Labour Party Conference host city which sees Cabinet Minister Kenneth Clarke MP; Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander MP; Liberal Democrat Baroness Susan Kramer; chief executive of the parent company of British Airways and Iberia, Willie Walsh, and journalist and broadcaster Janet Street Porter, face questions from the audience.

    To apply for a seat in the audience you can register your question at www.bbc.co.uk/questiontime

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