5 Live to simulcast Question Time live


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The Independent Culture

Long-running BBC1 debate show Question Time is to expand to radio.

The weekly programme, chaired by David Dimbleby, will be aired on BBC Radio 5 Live at the same time it is broadcast on TV.

The move comes as the new controller of the radio station Jonathan Wall announced schedule changes designed to put increased emphasis on news and politics.

The radio version of Question Time will be aired from May 16, with Stephen Nolan and John Pienaar hosting the build-up to the programme from 10pm, with the debate itself being simulcast 35 minutes later as it transmits on BBC1. The pair will then follow up with further debate on topics addressed by the show.

Steve Anderson, executive producer of the political panel show, said the expansion was "testament to Question Time's importance".

"We are delighted the BBC wants to bring even more people to the show and to extend the debate after David Dimbleby has said goodnight," he added.

In another change, the Sunday programme Pienaar's Politics will move from its evening slot to a new time of 10am.

The presenter said: "With a coalition government in office, and the country still in an economic hole, it's important to watch our politicians, explain what they're up to, and hold them to account - while also allowing them to speak for themselves."

Tony Livesey is to move from his 10.30pm weekday show to become a co-host on the early morning weekend programme, joining Eleanor Oldroyd on a Saturday and Sam Walker on a Sunday.

Phil Williams will move from weekends to take on Livesey's late night show from Monday to Wednesday, beginning on May 13.

And Gary Richardson's hour-long Sportsweek show on Sundays will get a new home at 9am.

Radio 5 Live controller Jonathan Wall said: "We want to create some really exciting new shows that showcase our news journalism - from a dynamic Thursday night around Question Time to an agenda setting Sunday morning show.

"I believe all of these changes will make us even better and more distinctive and I know I've got great presenters and programme teams in place looking forward to creating something special for our listeners."