Fiona Bruce apologises for referring to Question Time audience member as ‘black guy’

Fiona Bruce has apologised for referring to an audience member as a “black guy” during an episode of Question Time.

The newsreader, 59, hosts the topical debate programme, during which she selects audience members to ask questions to a panel of politicians and other media figures.

During the show’s broadcast on Thursday, she described one audience member as a “black guy” while choosing him to contribute.

The comment has since been edited out of the BBC iPlayer version of the episode and the corporation has apologised for the presenter’s choice of words.

In a statement released through the BBC, Fiona said: “I totally understand why my words last night caused offence and I apologise.

“I have spoken to the audience member directly and explained that usually I can see and describe an item of clothing or otherwise to help sound engineers with a microphone find people in the audience.

“Last night that was not the case as my view was obscured.

“In the split second I had, the easiest thing to do would have been to ignore the audience member and move on, but I felt strongly that his voice should be heard.

“Nonetheless, I feel it was wrong to identify him as I did and that’s why it was removed from the later edited programme.”

A BBC spokesperson said: “We regret the choice of words used to identify the audience member.

“The intent was to ensure his voice was heard, however we recognise we should not have identified him in this way and apologise for any offence caused.

“As such the recorded version on iPlayer has been edited to remove this.

“The show had been broadcast live at 8pm on Thursday on BBC iPlayer, and the recorded version, which was edited to remove the words, was broadcast on BBC One and is the version now available on BBC iPlayer.”

Bruce has hosted Question Time since 2019 and took over from long-serving presenter and journalist David Dimbleby.

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