Fiona Bruce floored Tory James Cleverly with sass within minutes of taking over as Question Time presenter.
Fronting the BBC’s flagship political discussion show for the first time, the Antiques Roadshow presenter demonstrated that she’ll be no pushover.
As the Tory deputy chairman tried to claim his party were in control of the Brexit process, she intervened to the delight of the audience.
She said: "So James, if this is being in control of the Brexit process, what does not being in control mean?’"
And it wasn’t just the Tories she gave a hard time.
As Labour’s Emily Thornberry tried to explain Labour’s Brexit plan, she again interjected, pointing to the audience and telling her: "Look at the reaction you’re getting. People are laughing."
Audience members last night praised Bruce’s “accomplished” performance, saying she seemed as though she had been doing the job for years.
But just moments before filming, the experienced presenter admitted to the crowd that she was “nervous” on her first show, but encouraged them to “boo, hiss and clap what you like”.
Bruce, 54, was praised for not letting the politicians “waffle” and for keeping the debate moving.
Audience member Damian Singh told the Daily Express: “She gave all the different panelists time to put their time across.
“There were a few times when she challenged Emily Thornberry and James Cleverly because they weren’t really answering the question and she kept saying come back to the question, come back to the question.
“She was very good at that and overall she was very good.
“She did give a little talk beforehand saying it is my first time, I’m a little bit nervous, but during the show she was excellent.
“She said don’t be afraid to hiss and boo and clap what you like and ask as many questions as you want.”
Colin McLeod said: “It was a very polished performance, there were a couple of little technical problems but she just sailed through it.
“She was really confident. You would have thought she had been doing the job for years.
“She didn’t let any of the politicians politic too much and when the politicians tried to take the discussion, like for example when James Cleverly wanted to talk about the Mayoral elections, she shut them down straight away.”
And Jonathan Watson added: “I think she was very natural, very relaxed and like the pro that she is. She does all different types of shows so she looked very at home. Controlled the audience well, kept the debate flowing and didn’t let the politicians have it all their own way.
“I thought she was perhaps a bit tougher with them than David Dimbleby used to be.
“She wouldn’t let them cut off topic.”
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