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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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Suzanne Burlton is Question Time panellist competition winner

Suzanne Burlton, an 18-year-old student from North London, has won a competition to be on the panel of Question Time tonight live at 8.00pm for the first time on BBC Three and at 10.35pm on BBC One.

Suzanne will appear in Salford alongside politicians Andy Burnham MP, Jeremy Hunt MP and Sarah Teather MP, and Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty.

Suzanne has just finished her A-Levels and is hoping to go to the University of Cambridge in the autumn. She enjoys theatre and volunteering at her local Oxfam shop.

She would like one day to pursue a career in politics or broadcasting, and is excited about the prospect of sitting on the Question Time panel.

She says: "It's a great opportunity, and a real honour to be chosen to represent young people."

The special programme, with a young audience, is being produced by a team of students who were nominated as winners of the 2009 Schools Question Time challenge. They will be supported by the Question Time team.

Eight students – two each from Bristol Grammar, Pate's Grammar, SRC Bede's Sixth Form College and Tiffin Girls' School – will join the Mentorn production team and David Dimbleby to produce the programme.

The students set out to find a young person aged 16 to 22 to appear on the panel and represent young people.

In a UK-wide competition, potential panellists submitted mobile video clips of themselves to the BBC website. From all the applicants five finalists were selected to audition in Sunderland on Thursday 18 June 2009, with David Dimbleby in a 'mock' filmed edition of Question Time.

Comments from the public about this film were taken into account to help select one winner to appear on the programme from Salford.

The Editor of Question Time, Gill Penlington, said: "Tonight's Question Time studio audience will be made up of young people, many of them first-time voters.

"The programme will be driven by their issues and concerns – topics that matter to many viewers.

"And the student producers are keen for people to submit their views on what should come up via the Schools Question Time website."

The programme will be broadcast live on BBC Three for the first time – going out at 8.00pm. Regular viewers can tune in at the normal time of 10.35pm on BBC One.

BBC Three Controller Danny Cohen said: "Broadcasting this youthful edition of Question Time is part of BBC Three's ever-growing commitment to serious factual programmes."

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