Former Question Time producer criticises plans to move the show
BBC's "admirable (if expensive)" plan to boost production outside London "risks making an important
George Carey, the former executive producer of Question Time, has voiced concerned about the programme's relocation to Glasgow, saying that it will increase costs and worsen editorial quality.
Nor is he alone in his opposition to the move to Glasgow. Question Time's editor, Ed Harvard, has recently resigned and said he did not want to relocate, and presenter David Dimbleby has also criticised the move.
The BBC last floated the idea to move the show out of London in 2004 but the then deputy director of BBC news current affairs, Mark Damazer, said it would be unadvisable to move away from Westminster.
Independent producer Mentorn currently makes Question Time for BBC News.
The BBC is currently overseeing a big move of programmes out of London, including sending BBC Breakfast to Salford.
"Of course there are good producers in Scotland but that's not the point. There is a tendency when a show has been going for 30 years to think that it runs on wheels," said Carey.
"The truth is that a lot of Question Time's success lies in the casting, and that takes personal contact to get right. And since most people involved in politics in a meaningful way gravitate towards Westminster, that's where you have to be to spot the core talent."
"It's not rocket science to see that if the production team are forced to move to Scotland, the show will either begin to weaken, or the bill for it will inflate to meet the cost of producers travelling and staying overnight in London to make contacts they could have done before from home."
Carey added that with the rise in power of the Scottish parliament and the increasing impact of devolution, the move now seems even less logical than it did in 2004.
BBC trustee David Liddiment said: "We have no position on this. We support the move out of London. It is the call of the BBC management."
The next chairman of the BBC Trust, who will be appointed in the next month, will have to address questions about whether the programme would benefit from a move.