General election 2019: Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn to face off in live BBC debate

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The BBC will host a head-to-head debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn in the run-up to the general election.

The Conservative and Labour leaders will face off live in Southampton on 6 December - six days before the poll.

A seven-way podium debate will also take place between senior figures from the UK's major political parties on 29 November, live from Cardiff.

And the BBC will broadcast several Question Time specials, including a show focused on younger audiences.

Mr Johnson said he was looking forward to the debate, tweeting: "I can't wait to share with you all our positive vision for Britain!"

A Labour spokesman said it would "consider all opportunities to explain our plans to voters", which it called " the most radical, people-focused campaign this country has ever seen".

But the Liberal Democrats called the decision to exclude them from the head-to-head "another establishment stitch-up to shut down debate" and said they would pursue legal action against the BBC - as they have against ITV.

Party leader Jo Swinson said: "After three years of chaos, it is shocking that the Liberal Democrats - the strongest party of Remain - are being denied the opportunity to challenge Johnson and Corbyn on Brexit."

The SNP has also complained at not being included in the head-to-head, with the party's Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, saying it "short-changed voters in Scotland".

Meanwhile, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has challenged Mr Johnson to a debate over his Brexit deal, telling an audience in South Wales: "If you are really trying to tell the British public this gets Brexit done, let's have a civilised head-to-head debate on what this EU treaty means."

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What is being shown and when?

First up is the Question Time Leaders' Special - hosted by Fiona Bruce - which will take place on Friday 22 November in Sheffield and be shown on BBC One.

The leaders of the Conservatives, Labour, SNP and Liberal Democrats will each take questions from the audience for 30 minutes.

Two further 30-minute Question Time specials are planned with the leader of the Brexit Party, Mr Farage, and one of the co-leaders of the Green Party - either Sian Berry or Jonathan Bartley.

Fiona Bruce said: "Question Time has a proud history of giving the public - the voters - the chance to put their points and questions directly to their elected representatives. That's never more important than during an election campaign."

Image caption,
Nick Robinson, Fiona Bruce and Emma Barnett will host the BBC specials

The BBC Election Debate between seven parties will take place on Friday 29 November on BBC One, and the BBC Prime Ministerial Debate will take place on Friday 6 December on BBC One.

A final Question Time special with a selected audience of under-30s - hosted by BBC Radio 5 Live's Emma Barnett - will air at 20:30 GMT on Monday 9 December on BBC One, with special coverage on Radio 1 and Radio 1Xtra.

Emma Barnett said: "Young voters and their needs should not be forgotten about by the party leaders this election. These people are at the beginning of their voting career and this election will be generation defining."

After the election, an additional Question Time programme will be broadcast at 20:30 on Friday 13 December on BBC One.

What about Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland?

The BBC Wales Live team will host two live debates to put questions to a panel of the country's politicians.

The first debate takes place in Pembrokeshire on Tuesday 26 November and the second on Tuesday 3 December from North Wales.

Plaid Cymru party leader Adam Price will also feature on an audience debate programme on BBC One Wales.

BBC Scotland will broadcast its Scotland Leaders debate live from Pacific Quay in Glasgow on Tuesday 10 December - two days before the election.

The BBC Scotland channel will also air a 30-minute Debate Spin Room show from the venue beforehand - with commentators, journalists, politicians and analysts discussing how the debate will be won and lost.

On the same night in Northern Ireland, at 22:45, the leaders of the main parties will be invited to take part in a debate in front of a studio audience.

One-on-one interviews with the five main party leaders will also take place on The View with Mark Carruthers and on BBC Radio Ulster's Inside Politics, as well as party leader phone-ins on BBC Radio Ulster's Talkback.

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