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St Paul’s to host BBC Question Time

BBC One’s political debate programme, Question Time, is being hosted from St Paul’s for the first time in the programme’s history, it has been announced.

The debate, being broadcast on Thursday 21 February, will be presented by David Dimbleby from under the dome on the Cathedral floor.

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Confirmed guests include Liberal Democrat MP for Twickenham and Business Secretary, Vince Cable; Dianne Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington; and Conservative politician and former Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Heseltine.

St Paul’s was one of the country’s original places for debate, with assemblies from Paul’s Cross (in the present Cathedral gardens) dating back to the 13th Century.

The Very Reverend David Ison, Dean of St. Paul’s, said: "Question Time is not only an immediately recognisable contemporary institution. It represents what's at the heart of this country: a commitment to free debate and to the questioning of policies and opinions, whether of those with power and influence or of those who challenge them.

"St. Paul's Cathedral has for centuries been a place of debate, committed to the quest for truth with courtesy. So we're delighted to be hosting the programme here, and we're hoping it will look at the burning issues of the day with some of the perspective of the wisdom of the ages.”

Question Time Editor, Nicolai Gentchev, said: "We're delighted to be producing the programme from St Paul's, and I am sure the quality and passion of the debate will match the sublime setting. The site of the Cathedral is one of London's oldest places of debate, and we hope it will inspire our audience and panel.”