Spotlight falls on town’s youngsters

The mock panel including Wigan Youth Zone members
The mock panel including Wigan Youth Zone members

Children at Wigan Youth Zone got a taste of what it’s like to be a politician when BBC Question Time came to town last week.

The evening show itself saw temperatures flare between the likes of Ukip leader Paul Nuttall and Brexit minister David Davis, but set-up during the day had a rather different feel to it, with about 50 children engrossed in the whole experience of the television show coming to Wigan.

The youngsters got involved with a range of activities from receiving a tour of the show’s travelling band of many vans, having a go at operating set cameras, to meeting the entire filming team.

But the climax of the day came at about 5pm, when a select few of the community centre’s young people took part in a technical run-through of the show with its presenter, David Dimbleby.

The children took the places of the five panellists as the BBC presenter did a run through of the introductory segment to the show.

Jennifer Dry, communications manager at Wigan Youth Zone, said: “We had to keep it hush hush for security reasons, but it was great.”

Members Jacob and Isaac Higham present David with a Wigan Youth Zone bear

Members Jacob and Isaac Higham present David with a Wigan Youth Zone bear

Wigan Youth Zone took to Twitter saying: “BBC Question Time, if you ever need a replacement panel, Wigan Youth Zone members would be a great choice for you!”

Topics up for discussion ranged from Brexit to the media’s portrayal of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Wigan has previously hosted two episodes of Question Time’s sister radio show, Any Questions?, with the last visit by the radio series in 2015. During the show a panel was grilled by residents at Winstanley College.

Wigan and Leigh College student Maria Babu behind the scenes at Question Time

Wigan and Leigh College student Maria Babu behind the scenes at Question Time