Question Time viewers distracted by audience member's Zoom background

‘Best background ever!’ Question Time online audience member distracts viewers with a zebra, elephant and giraffe – and a coquettish ‘photo of his mum’

  • Audience member Chris wanted to discuss further tightening of UK borders during the pandemic…but his unusual backgound on Zoom distracted viewers 
  • On a shelf behind him was a large photo of what many assumed was his mother plus small-scale models of a giraffe, zebra and an elephant 
  • Fiona Bruce’s panel on Question Time included MPs Oliver Dowden and Thangam Debbonairem, and farmer Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones

Viewers tuning into the latest episode of Question Time applauded the rather avant garde Zoom background of one audience member putting his hand up to speak.

The weekly news debate show, chaired by Fiona Bruce, featured Chris, who aired his opinions on whether stricter checks were still needed at UK borders, from a room that featured models of a zebra, a giraffe and an elephant, plus a photo of what many surmised was his mother. 

The audience member told the panel, which this week featured MPs Oliver Dowden and Thangam Debbonaire alongise farmer Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, Equality Trust director Wanda Wyporska and Professor Robin Shattock, that a friend had managed to reach the UK from France unchecked last week. 

However, viewers watching the topical debate admitted they couldn’t quite focus on what Chris was telling Bruce and the panel because of the striking nature of the assembled objects behind him, with one dubbing it the ‘best background ever’.

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The latest episode of Question Time saw audience member Chris discuss the tightening of UK borders during the pandemic…but his unusual backgound on Zoom distracted viewers

The studio included two MPs, Equality Trust direcctor Wanda Wyporska and Professor Robin Shattock – with Chris, and his interesting shelf, Zooming in from his home

Many commented on the photo in the background, with lots of viewers assuming the photo was of Chris’ mum 

The small-scale models of the safari animals sat on a black shelf and several plants, along with an imposing photo of a lady close to Chris’ head. 

The debater relayed the story of how an acquaintance had made it into the UK from Bordeaux, via Paris, with little or no questioning from border officials just last week despite the UK being on the cusp of introducing quarantine hotels to curb new variants of Covid. 

He said the person ‘needed no negative test result, wasn’t checked. She came here completely unchecked. We have do this quarantine now, not in two weeks time.’ 

The oppostition leader Sir Keir Starmer called for tighter restrictions to stop more virulent coronavirus variants from entering the UK but so far the Government hasn’t introduced a date when it might happen.  

On Twitter, admissions of distraction at the objects behind Chris came thick and fast. 

@mikedropp_ quipped: ‘Chris returns with his background to ask another question #WallArtWinner2021 #questiontime #BackgroundBingo.’

A small-scale model of an elephant with a raised trunk was clearly visible behind Chris’ right ear

@TeaBringer68 suggested his background was the best ‘ever’ while @popsramsey wrote: ‘Nice zebra, Chris! #bbcqt’.

Some said the photo was the most distracting part of the background.  

@magwitch5151 wrote: ‘Slightly concerned about Chris and that framed photograph of a woman behind him. I hope he put her there for a bet and win?! Or does he gave a thing for older women? #bbcqt’.

Others assumed the photo was of Chris’ mother. @onemistert penned: ‘Is that Chris’s mum in the background? Fair play Chris!’ 

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