Hornchurch college students beam Question Time debate around the world

2014 panel

2014 panel - Credit: Archant

It was lights, camera, action for students who produced a Question time-style debate that was beamed live around the world online.

Haras Rafiq and Roisin Robertson

Haras Rafiq and Roisin Robertson - Credit: Archant

Havering College of Further and Higher Education welcomed 150 school pupils from across the borough to its Havering Asks show on Friday in Hornchurch.

The show, produced, filmed and edited by the college’s media students, featured a panel of guests from across the political spectrum and was hosted by BBC’s Fred Dove.

Media student Hamish McNeill

Media student Hamish McNeill - Credit: Archant

Roger Evans, London Assembly chairman; Brentwood Labour councillor Mike Le-Surf; Haras Rafiq of the Quillam foundation – which supports religious freedom and equality; Roisin Robertson of Greenpeace UK and Havering Ukip councillor Ian De Wulverton took questions from the enthusiastic audience.

Serious political issues such as immigration, gay rights, terrorism and austerity were discussed.

Ian De Wulverton and Mike Le-Surf

Ian De Wulverton and Mike Le-Surf - Credit: Archant


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Mentions of Ukip drew heckles from the crowd, which seemed to affect Cllr De Wulverton who at one point referred to Mr Rafiq as “Rashid”. “I’m not good with names,” his defence.

There was room for some light ribbing in the responses to a topical question relating to MP’s donning slogan T-shirts.

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Cllr Le-Surf suggested David Cameron’s should say “I’ll get my coat”, while Mr Rafiq thought a picture of Ed Miliband’s face with the slogan “you choose” would better suit the Prime Minister.

Mr Dove was impressed with the production and said the panel were “put through their paces”.

“I really enjoyed it,” said the World Service presenter. “The students did a magnificent job and the panel behaved themselves!”

Frankie Harris, 17, of Chigwell, studies at the Ardleigh Green Road college, and landed the high-pressure role of director via a ballot.

“It went really well,” she explained. “I was a little bit nervous but it was really good.”

Frankie was one of 43 students to take part in the production of the show, which took two weeks to prepare. And it didn’t put her off – she now wants to pursue a career in directing and producing in television and film.

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