Question Time tonight features a virtual audience drawn from Swansea, hometown of Keith Allen. But whose appearance will be a runaway hit like Robin Hood – and who will be best forgotten like Naughty Christmas (Goblin in the Office)? Here’s your guide to the panel…
Who? Junior business minister
The co-founder of polling firm YouGov – which is always good for getting Twitter’s more enthusiastic conspiracy theorists wound up – Zahawi was a reluctant Brexiteer who wrote for Conservative Home prior to the referendum that “there are some extremely unattractive figures campaigning to leave the EU from George Galloway to Nigel Farage and it pains me to be dragged towards them on any issue”. An ambitious loyalist who would be the first to volunteer for the morning media round were Boris Johnson to propose the slaughter of the first-born, he is playing the nightwatchman role for the Tories tonight.
Who? Welsh health secretary
Wales’ health secretary since 2016, Zambian-born Gething has been spoken of as a future first minister – which would make him not only the first mixed-race person to lead Wales, but also the first non-Welsh-speaker. Made UK-wide headlines in April when, in a virtual meeting of the Senedd, he left his microphone on and was heard asking ‘what the f**k is the matter with’ Corbynista Labour MS Jenny Rathbone – although, to be fair, your correspondent used to cover Welsh politics and can confirm there is literally nobody who has not at some point wondered what the f**k is the matter with Jenny Rathbone.
Who? Leader of Plaid Cymru
A former MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, he won his party’s leadership in 2018. Told The New European earlier this year that Covid was having an effect on how Wales saw its own governance, saying: “Never in the last 21 years, post-devolution, have we ever seen such a high level of awareness of the fact that we have, you know, four different health ministers in the UK. I think it’s OK to look for positives even in the most challenging of times. So I think that is certainly one of them.” Possessor of the most booming Welsh oratory since Tom Jones last told the tale of how he jammed with Elvis.
Who? Crossbench peer and former Brexit Party MEP
Former member of the Revolutionary Communist Party who made the journey right through to full-blown Farageist, Fox was elevated to the peerage by Boris Johnson in October for reasons which absolutely nobody can understand given her IRA baggage, public defence of Gary Glitter’s right to download images of child abuse and role as co-publisher of Living Marxism, which closed after the courts found it had falsely accused ITN of faking evidence of the Bosnian genocide. Still, she loves Brexit so will be the beneficiary of tomorrow’s Express Online headline that she SHUT DOWN REMOANERS.
Who? Crossbench peer
Welsh crossbench peer, TV presenter and 16-time medal-winning Paralympian, Grey-Thompson is also the chancellor of Northumbria University. As chair of ukactive, the body which represents gyms and leisure centres, has been a vocal voice for keeping them open during lockdowns by classing them as essential services, writing to all MPs that “our sector is essential to the battle with COVID-19, directly supporting the nation’s health, wellbeing and resilience”. Opposed Brexit as it would prevent British people with disabilities benefiting from plans to boost accessibility. Tonight’s sensible, grown-up and therefore given least time to speak panellist.
Question Time is on BBC One tonight at 10.45pm (11.25pm in Northern Ireland)