For the first time since 1993, Question Time aired without David Dimbleby as the Chair. Dimbleby hosted his last show at the end of 2018 and in the first episode back after the turn of the year, Fiona Bruce made her debut.
Experienced journalist Bruce faced a daunting task following in Dimbleby's footsteps as she hosted a diverse panel of guests. These included Conservative MP and Deputy Chairman James Cleverly, Labour MP and Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry and comedian Nish Kumar.
James Cleverly, Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, was a guest on the panel.
The vast majority of the debate was unsurprisingly centred around Brexit as the panellists argued their cases in Islington, London. Using her journalistic skills, Bruce showed a combination of control and inquisitiveness, while also giving her guests the chance to fully articulate their ideas.
Spectators took to social media during and after the show to discuss how Bruce performed in her first outing as Question Time host. And a large number of viewers seemed impressed with the 54-year-old's ability to control the panel.
Below are some opinions from Question Time viewers as Bruce made her debut on the show after 25 years of Dimbleby's era.
Fiona Bruce is excellent. In control, forensic, asking the right number of questions herself. Brings a mature tone (only undermined by the comedian. Nice fellow I'm sure, but has used his 30 seconds to admit he doesn't understand what Brexit is - so why's he on the show?) #bbcqt— Tim Stanley (@timothy_stanley) January 10, 2019
Fiona Bruce bossed that edition of #bbcqt. Looked like she’d been doing it for years. Smooth as silk.— Toby Young (@toadmeister) January 10, 2019
Very impressed by Fiona Bruce - she could save #bbcqt but pl, pl ditch the know-nothing “comedian”s— Tim Montgomerie (@montie) January 10, 2019
Fiona Bruce is nailing it. Great job. #bbcqt— Jeremy Nicholas #FBPE (@Jeremy_Nicholas) January 10, 2019
I can’t recall a more disastrous #bbcqt than currently being experienced by both James Cleverly and Emily Thornberry. They’re both being openly laughed at by the audience. Also: great chairing by Fiona Bruce.— Peter Walker (@peterwalker99) January 10, 2019
#bbcqt I'd long ago given up on Question Time but having seen a couple of clips of last night's show Fiona Bruce seems like a breath of fresh air and perhaps the politicians are finally being held to account? Might watch next week.— Tracy (@TABwrite) January 11, 2019
And even Piers Morgan was impressed with some rare praise coming from the controversial television personality.
Congrats to Fiona Bruce on an excellent @bbcquestiontime hosting debut. Must have been nerve-wracking for her following in the great Dimbleby’s shoes but she was calm, forensic, challenging & really impressive. pic.twitter.com/0oFIuF084p— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 11, 2019