A number of Question Time viewers were outraged with the BBC show on Thursday night after accusing it of being “dumbed down” when comedian and Question of Sport host Paddy McGuinness appeared as a panelist.
McGuinness was joined by a panel of guests including James Daly, the new Deputy Chair of the Conservatives, and Wes Streeting, Labour’s secretary of state for health and social care.
Fiona Bruce asked the panel about Sir Keir Starmer’s decision to ditch a flagship pledge to spend £28 billion a year on green projects – a move which has already been described as another “embarrassing climbdown”.
McGuinness admitted his strong views and claimed he “admired” the timing of Starmer’s U-turn and went on to describe his dislike for the Conservatives and their policies.
The former Top Gear star also shared his thoughts on the current state on NHS dentistry as well as the country’s asylum processes during other parts of the debate.
His participation was immediately critiqued by regular viewers who branded the TV presenter’s opinions as “bizarre” and accused the BBC of “’reaching a new low of dumbing down”.
One furious X user slammed: “Paddy McGuinness really? BBC are scraping the barrel for panellists, time for the plug to be pulled on QT.”
“I kind of admire him for saying it now, I’d hate for him to say it after he got in power”
Paddy McGuiness says politics is led by personality, and Keir Starmer’s honesty on retracting his green pledge has made him like the Labour leader more#bbcqt https://t.co/mrhkWcrGIX pic.twitter.com/l9koobycTF
— BBC Question Time (@bbcquestiontime) February 8, 2024
“Why is Paddy McGuinness on Question Time? Is it another show that the BBC wants to get cancelled?” a second asked, before a third user admitted: “I’m slowly swaying away from the BBC because of stunts like this…”
A quipped: “I’m still picking myself up off the floor that Paddy McGuinness was on question time. Has he got a contract with the BBC that he’s got to be on absolutely everything? When is he doing the weather?”
However, others were more positive about his appearance on the show, with one admitting that they had previously questioned McGuinness before changing his mind and being pleasantly surprised.
They wrote: “Never thought I’d say this, but Paddy McGuinness has come across very well on Question Time.”
Another jumped to the former Take Me Out host’s defence: “I mean, it’s a bizarre booking don’t get me wrong, but he’s certainly not embarrassed himself and he’s expressed far more sensible views than many other ‘celebrity’ bookings in the past.”
During their discussion, Bruce asked the panel: “With Labour dropping their flagship election promise, can we believe anything they pledge?”
McGuinness explained: “I see myself as a floating voter and I think in this day in age, certainly the past five years or so, politics seems to have been led by personality.
“And if you look at Boris Johnson and how he did it to get into power – and that’s a prime example – then my worry with Keir Starmer is what he’s said today.
Paddy McGuinness was slammed by Question Time viewers
“I don’t know the ins and outs of it, but I almost kind of admire him for doing it now. Rather than after getting into power.”
This isn’t the first time that Question Time has faced the wrath of its viewers for its controversial bookings.