Question Time pulled from BBC iPlayer ‘after explicit comment about Rishi Sunak airs’

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The Question Time Leaders’ Special has been taken down from BBC iPlayer sparking confusion after it aired on Thursday night, but some people think they know why.

Fiona Bruce hosted the two-hour programme last night, with a live audience grilling Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Sir Keir Starmer, Sir Ed Davey and John Swinney MSP ahead of the General Election on July 4.

The leader of the Conservatives Party was the last to take to the stage, where he was met with shouts of ‘shame’ over his aim to quit the European Court of Human Rights, was accused of ‘putting words’ into one audience member’s mouth, and insisted he thought it was the right time to call the General Election.

He also said that young people could be sanctioned for refusing national service, and expressed how angry he was over the allegations two Tory candidates bet on the General Election date.

But, a day later, a clip has been making the rounds on social media which appears to have distracted from anything the leader of the country actually said.

And for those who were too busy watching the Spain versus Italy Euro 2024 match, the clip might be the reason you can no longer watch the Question Time episode on BBC iPlayer.

An explicit comment apparently about Rishi Sunak was heard as he walked onto the stage (Picture: BBC)

Fiona Bruce hosted the two-hour programme (Picture: BBC)

In it, as Sunak steps onto the stage in front of the audience and greets Bruce, a cameraman can be heard saying: ‘F**king hate him.’

She then tells him the rules of the debate, while he prepares for the grilling, having unheard the outburst.

Shortly after this was noticed by social media users, it was revealed the Leaders’ Special is currently unavailable to watch on the BBC’s streaming service.

‘Hmmmm… why is the Question Time leader’s special from last night not available from iPlayer?’ TV critic Scott Bryan wrote on X.

X user Tom replied: ‘Mixed views on whether i’m right or wrong on this, but with headphones on I am certain and this -might- be the reason?’

They then shared the clip, adding: ‘After the music sting ends, Fiona says “Ok”, listen carefully. You can hear someone whisper “f**king hate him”. Clip is exactly as broadcast.’

Plenty of other people heard the same comment whispered during the live programme, and confirmed on social media that it was still available to hear on iPlayer this morning.

The episode has now been removed from BBC iPlayer (Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

‘So that wasn’t just in my head!!! I was sure I heard that!!! Brilliant,’ viewer Darren said.

‘You can really here it lol,’ @LongviewFriends added.

Others claimed they thought it would be Sunak saying ‘Ok’ to himself as he prepared to give his first answer.

X account @back_the_BBC also clarified earlier today, before the episode was taken down: ‘I’ve checked the broadcast on iPlayer myself and can confirm this is correct. Someone appears to whisper “I f**king hate him” as Sunak walks on and the music ends I suspect this will get edited out.’

Elsewhere during the debate, viewers fumed at Bruce for appearing to break her own rule about interrupting.

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Moments into the programme, Bruce introduced Liberal Democrats leader Sir Ed, explaining: ‘Just to say that our rules here are pretty simple. For every leader they are the same.

‘You won’t get interrupted if you keep your questions reasonably brief, and you actually answer the question.’

‘My job here is to keep you to the point,’ she continued, leading into the first question.

But many quickly pointed out she didn’t seem to stick to her own rule.

Viewers blasted Fiona Bruce for breaking her own rule (Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

@VoB1984 wrote: ‘@bbcquestiontime Fiona Bruce’s pledge not to interrupt is going well.’

‘Fiona Bruce, introducing Ed Davey, says “You won’t be interrupted” then proceeds to interrupt him throughout his attempts to answer questions. She’s the worst host imaginable,’ @PJMCM blasted.

@LynnBraben added: ‘Fiona Bruce said she wouldn’t interrupt. Well THAT lasted all of 2 minutes…’ has approached the BBC for comment.

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