Hosted by Lateline’s Tony Jones, it will premiere at 9:35pm on Thursday May 22 as a live (east coast) format incorporating questions from a studio audience and SMS questions from viewers.
Jones said, “It’s going to be live, unpredictable and lots of fun.”
From the second week it settles into a regular format of 5 panellists, including politicians and three additional personalities who represent a cross-section of society.
Curiously the ABC has slated the show into the same timeslot vacated by the poorly received Difference of Opinion.
Jones will continue to present Lateline twice a week.
Q & A – with Tony Jones
Starts Thursday, May 22nd at 9.35pm
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will be the first guest on ABC TV’s new interactive public affairs program, Q&A.
*Lateline presenter Tony Jones will host the **live, hour-long program, with the Prime Minister taking questions from the studio audience, as well as from viewers on-line and via text (sms).
Jones said Q&A would provide a chance for the PM to face the people six months after he was elected to office.
He encouraged viewers to fire in questions for the PM via the Q&A website at: www.abc.net.au/qanda
“Q&A will provide a unique opportunity for Australians everywhere to ask the Prime Minister questions they believe are vitally important to them.”
He said Q&A was an experiment in public democracy: “It’s going to be live, unpredictable and lots of fun.”
Following the Prime Minister’s inaugural appearance on Q&A, the program’s format from episode two onwards will revolve around five different panellists each week facing questions on a range of topical issues from the studio audience and viewers.
Tony Jones will be the ringmaster keeping the studio audience in line and keeping the five different panellists focused on the subjects up for discussion.
The Q&A panellists each week will generally include politicians from both sides of politics and three well-known but very different personalities that represent a cross-section of society.
Members of the public wishing to be part of the studio audience must register on the Q&A website at: www.abc.net.au/qanda
Q&A executive producer Peter McEvoy said the program’s aim was to encourage democratic participation.
“Q&A will have an urgency, immediacy and topicality not found in other public affairs programs,” he said.
“It’s an opportunity for viewers to ask political, business, social and other ‘leaders’ questions and get an instantaneous answer.
“Q&A is a program with serious intent, but that won’t stop us from having fun as well.”
*Tony Jones will continue to present Lateline twice a week.
** Broadcast live on ABC1 in Tas, Vic, ACT, NSW & Qld. Delayed ABC1 telecast in SA, NT & WA. Live streaming online available nationally.
Executive producer – Peter McEvoy; Series Producer – Lin Buckfield