The National Health Service and the BBC Radio 4 programme “Any Questions?” are both 60 years old in 2008. Local activities to mark the 60th Anniversary of the NHS include inviting the programme to broadcast LIVE from the Abraham Cowley Unit Hall on the St. Peter’s Hospital campus on Friday 4 July.
Broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby will Chair a panel of four who will answer questions submitted by the general public that day. One of the stringent and unchanging rules of “Any Questions?” is that the panel never sees the questions in advance; the panellists hear them for the first time at the same moment that the audience in the hall, and at home does. The programme, repeated the next day at 13.10hrs on Radio 4, has an audience of 1.5 million listeners. The Saturday edition is followed by “Any Answers?
Jonathan Dimbleby is the fourth chairman in the history of the programme, and has held the role since 1987. Panellists for “Any Questions?” are announced nearer the broadcast date and the programme always includes a good cross-section of topical questions, and usually one with a touch of humour!
The audience need to be seated by 7.15pm. From 7.30pm a senior member of the BBC staff welcomes the audience and talks to them, sometimes inviting questions about BBC policy. This is followed by the producer calling forward to the front seats members of the public whose questions have been selected. The programme goes “on air” at 8.02pm immediately after the two minute on-hour news bulletin.
If you would like free tickets for the LIVE broadcast – and the chance to ask a question - they can be obtained by either phoning the Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Trust communications and press office on: 01932 722163 or by writing to Any Questions, Communications Studio (SDU), St. Peter’s Hospital, Guildford Road, Chertsey, Surrey. KT16 0PZ.