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Reflecting on the legacy of the BBC’s ‘Play for Today’ series, Hanif Kureishi noted: ‘On my way up to London the morning after a Play For Today I’d sit in the train listening to people discussing the previous night’s drama and interrupt them with my own opinions.’ I’ve always loved this quote because it gave me a window into an apparently bygone age where the broad address of television stimulated debate across the country.

Today, the day after BNP leader Nick Griffin’s appearance on the BBC 1’s Question Time, I’ve finally got a glimpse of what Kureishi was talking about. Everyone I’ve spoken to has had an opinion on the show, and I keep hearing snatches of arguments and debates everywhere I go. This is what happens when the political process galvanises a significant section of the populace through the mass media. TV dramatists and producers, take note.


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