Coronavirus outbreak sees Question Time's studio audience axed

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Question Time will no longer have a studio audience from Thursday. (BBC)
Question Time will no longer have a studio audience from Thursday. (BBC)
Coronavirus
Coronavirus

BBC programme Question Time will no longer have a studio audience from its upcoming episode on Thursday onwards due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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The programme typically sees its audience put questions to MPs and political commentators, however, BBC News' media editor Amol Rajan has said the practicalities of taking questions is "still being worked on" as the programme prepares to film in Weston-super-Mare.

The Fiona Bruce fronted programme, which has been running since 1979, will also move from a prime time 8pm slot on BBC One.

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Behind the scene view of Question Time - Question Time studio and audience Newbury 28/05/2004. (Photo by Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images)
Behind the scene view of Question Time - Question Time studio and audience Newbury 28/05/2004. (Photo by Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images)

The decision to get rid of studio audiences to limit the spread of the virus has been seen across other channels as ITV's Loose Women began airing without one on Monday.

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A spokesperson for the programme said: "In order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, ITV has asked all producers to consider whether shows which normally have a live audience can be made without one. Decisions need to be made on a show by show basis, in consultation with commissioning teams [at ITV network] and taking into account the role of the audience in each show.

"Although we love to have an audience on Loose Women, we are following this guidance and adapting the show during this period so we don't have an audience on set."

Meanwhile, the live audience for ITV2's Celebrity Juice was sent home on Monday night following the government update asking people to stay away from pubs, clubs and theatres.

The show's host Keith Lemon - real name Leigh Francis - apologised to the show's audience in a post to Instagram.

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