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Any Questions? Comes to Haddenham

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Any Questions Panel
Gladys Horton 3

BBC Any Questions?

The renowned BBC radio programme 'Any Questions?' came to Haddenham on Friday evening, 21st December, as guests of the Village Society.

Approximately 300 local residents filled the Village Hall to capacity, and enjoyed a lively and occasionally hostile political debate, steered with consummate professionalism by Jonathan Dimbleby.

On the panel were the Labour MP Frank Field, Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, Daily Mail columnist and former editor of the Daily Telegraph, Max Hastings, and the Conservative MP and Minister for International Development, Alan Duncan.

Subjects discussed ranged from the role of medical experts in determining the nature of therapeutic interventions for sick children against the wishes of parents, to the questionable benefits delivered to Afghanistani people by the UK's military involvement in their country. Particularly lively debate was generated by Haddenham resident, Sir Roderick Floud's question about the growing need for food banks in this country.

The visit of 'Any Questions?' to Haddenham was largely the result of a determined efforts of Brian Bowman who was, until very recently, the Chairman of the Village Society. He even donated the carpet to cover the stage! Refreshments before and after the transmission were served by volunteers of the Beer Festival committee, and of the Rotary Club.

Any Questions? was first broadcast on Friday, October 12th, 1948, making it the longest-running live discussion programme in the UK. The programme has had three former chairmen in its history — Freddie Grisewood was the first, steering the programme until December 1967; David Jacobs was chairman until July 1983; and John Timpson chaired the programme until July 1987.

The current chairman, Jonathan Dimbleby, recently celebrated 25 years in that pivotal role. The audience learned that Jonathan had spent the first two or three years of his life living in Cuddington. His nanny at that time was Gladys Horton, who came along to introduce herself and to show Jonathan some mementoes of her time in which he was in her care.

To view photographs from the evening, please see our GALLERIES

To listen to the programme, click here

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