'Question Time' gets right answer to marriage proposal

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The Independent Online

The Question Time audience in Derby had already raised some of the burning issues of the week, including the elections in Iraq, how to legally tackle a burglar and the political career of Robert Kilroy-Silk.

But as Thursday's show entered its final minutes there was still one answer that Alan Jordan, looking distinctly edgy in the front row of the audience, needed to know as he was introduced by the host, David Dimbleby.

"This one's not for the panel, I'm afraid. It's for the lady on my right," said Mr Jordan, turning to Sonia Temple, his girlfriend of four years. "Will you marry me?"

As the panel and the audience erupted into applause and laughter, Ms Temple buried her head in her hands in shock while Mr Dimbleby tried to coax an answer from her. She then agreed to wed Mr Jordan with a barely audible "yes please" in what was the first engagement in the show's 25-year history.

Yesterday Mr Jordan, 38, a clerical worker for a computer company, said he was looking forward to making wedding plans at the weekend with Sonia, a primary school teacher. The couple have a son, Marcus, two, and the family is completed by two children, nine and 12, from Ms Temple's previous marriage.

Mr Jordan said: "I thought 'yeah, Question Time, ask the question, that would go down quite nicely if they go for it'. Being the BBC and their flagship show, I didn't think they would."

But the nerves set in when he realised his moment of truth would be aired nationwide.

He said: "I was not feeling too bad when I did it, but several times through the programme my heart was racing and I thought I would bottle out of it or say the words wrong."

Question Time's editor, Nick Pisani, said it was "a wonderful moment". He added: "Alan was relatively confident but he wasn't certain - fortunately, she said yes."