Belfast Telegraph

Fiona Bruce rattles top Tory during Question Time debut

By Lucy Mapstone

The first Question Time featuring new presenter Fiona Bruce was broadcast last night, with an assertive start from the experienced BBC newsreader.

Bruce (54) began by suggesting that "it doesn't look like there's a lot of support for the Brexit deal" in an exchange with Conservative Party deputy chairman James Cleverly.

Earlier, Bruce said she is expecting viewers to wonder "who the hell" she is when she takes over.

The news broadcaster and Antiques Roadshow presenter was announced as David Dimbleby's replacement on the political programme in December when he stepped down.

She said that it feels "massively exposing" as a job, but that she will try not to let her nerves show.

All eyes were on the BBC News At Six and News At Ten presenter when she hosted her inaugural programme following Dimbleby's 25 years at the helm.

Bruce told the Daily Telegraph: "I am expecting people to say 'Who the hell is that?' 'Why have they got her?' I've got a slight feeling of tin hats at the ready."

She added that, regarding Question Time, she has "not felt this nervous in a long time, but I know that if I am nervous that isn't helpful".

"If people think you are nervous then that isn't a comfortable watch," she said. Bruce is the first woman to chair the political programme, which is returning after a short Christmas break.

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