BBC Question Time seats empty after panelists stuck on train following fire

Ceri Roberts
BBC Question time seats empty after panelists stuck on train following fire
BBC Question time seats empty after panelists stuck on train following fire

BBC programme Question Time was thrown into chaos last night when two panellists failed to appear because their train from London to Salford, where the BBC has its Mediacity hub, was severely delayed.

Host David Dimbleby apologised to viewers and explained that Labour Peer Baroness Bakewell and blogger Tim Stanley would not appear on the show as planned, leaving Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Lib Dem spin doctor Olly Grender and Labour Shadow London minister Sadiq Khan to answer questions.

The Daily Mail reports that the the delay was caused by a trackside fire near Tamworth, which
caused widespread disruption to Virgin services on the West Coast mainline.

Baroness Bakewell, who tweets as @JDBakewell, sent a tweet expressing her frustration at being stranded on the train for several house.

She tweeted: "Left Euston 4.40. Just now pulling into Stockport: 10.25!"

Earlier she apologised for not making it in time for the show, and wrote: "Question Time going ahead without Tim Stanley and me. Both still stuck on train. Sorry not to share views, folks. Another time I hope."

However, she then held an impromptu Question Time of her own, asking her followers to send her questions which she answered from the train.

Mr Stanley, who tweets as @timothy_stanley, also wrote about his train pain. He tweeted: "Stuck on a train for four hours and I can't even smoke. Thank you David Cameron."

Virgins Trains later explained the the disruption was caused by a major trackside factory fire near Tamworth that left 15 of its trains running more than 45 minutes late. The worst affected trains were delayed by more than two hours.

Viewers were not impressed by the lack of panelists, with one tweeting that it was the "worst ever" Question Time.

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