Once you declare an interest in appearing in the audience for a live TV debate, it’s hard to escape. After our critically acclaimed cameo performance in CNN’s Election Debate last year, TOWT and I were invited to join the audience for their EU Referendum special. With nothing much else to do and the McLaren Thought Leadership Centre less than half an hour drive away, we agreed.
The pre-recording tucker was top class – the hoisin duck wrap with cucumber batons was to die for – although last year’s beetroot crisps were sadly missed. The auditorium is a testament to state of the art technology with every gizmo known to man to facilitate the production and dissemination of lofty thoughts but sometimes technology can be a perverse and fickle god.
The idea was that as each topic was introduced – immigration, the economy, sovereignty and security – the audience would express their thoughts on the impact of Brexit on same, would then listen to the pearls from the assembled panel of F-list politicos and then vote again. The Antonias and Annabelles in the production crew put us through our paces, explaining how the much vaunted interactive hi-tech devices in front of us worked but soon enough it was pretty clear that the software was malfunctioning. Said Antonias and Anabelles were to be seen running around the studio floor, arms flapping and after much ado, the hi-tech wizardry was condemned to the bin.
Anchor, Christiane Amanpour, battled manfully to maintain some order in the face of this chaos but it was hardly CNN’s finest hour. TOWT and I did manage to get our views across, using a wonderful piece of interactive low-tech technology, our voice. It will never catch on.
The tragic murder of MP, Jo Cox, meant the programme was pulled at the last minute. Probably for the best.