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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

C4 & Sky Announce New Debate Format

Hill takes over from Guru-Murthy for future political debates.

Channel 4 and Sky have announced they are to review the format of upcoming political debates, after lower than expected ratings for Channel 4's 'Ask The Chancellors' last night.

The debate, which showed the two main contenders and some bloke nobody cares about throw genteel insults at each other while deftly attempting to say precisely the same thing in different ways, garnered a total of 27 viewers - a new UK record for political debates.

However, the program lost out in the ratings to BBC4's ground-breaking documentary 'Pinter's Best Awkward Silences', ITV's 'Ant & Dec's Monday Night Yeast Infection' and Sky Sports 3's live coverage of the World Paint-Drying Masters.

In a joint press conference, Channel 4 and Sky - who are to screen the 'Leaders Debates' in the run-up to the general election - agreed that more needed to be done if the debates were to capture the imagination of the viewing public.

Julian Bellamy, Channel 4's Head of Programming, said, "our role has to be to inform the voting public so that they can differentiate between the main parties, however difficult that may be to do. But that said, it's also important that we engage them, in an entertaining way, to ensure that the message is spread more widely.

"The new jointly-agreed format for the debates, which will now include other political figures, has been settled-on based upon our surveys of what voters would find entertaining, and what they will really want to watch and enjoy, rather than just political messaging."

The new shows will see C4 frontman Krishnan Guru-Murthy replaced as host by Harry Hill, who will start the debates with a brief precis of each Party's position, before opening the floor to the debaters by shouting "FIIIIGGGGGGHHHHT!". Each political figure will be able to make their own selection of weapon from baseball bats, snooker balls in socks and other impact weapons which, Bellamy noted, "will make a change from their usual political brickbats.". At the end of the debate, the last politician standing will be deemed to have emerged the victor.

Plans for a similar debate on women's issues, with a 'foxy boxing' contest between Harriet Harman, Nadine Dorries and Lynne Featherstone, are still under negotiation, with discussions stalled on the issue of whether to use warm baby oil or mud as the debating medium.

Leaders from the two main parties have cautiously welcomed the new debate format. Prime Minister Gordon 'Colostomy' Brown said, "bring it on - I'll show him courage. He won't like a taste of this Clunking Fist*", and Tory leader Forehead Cameron was equally keen. Mr Cameron said, "I'm up for this. I'd like to see the PM spout his usual tractor-stats when he's got a well-aimed halfbrick between the eyes."

However, the Liberal Democrat leader could not be contacted for comment, as nobody knows who he is.

* In accordance with Mr Brown's standard electoral policy, he is expected to withdraw from the contest at the last minute.

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Dippyness. said...

This idea is a winner!

Jeff Taylor said...

Now this I would want to see!