Stephen Jardine named presenter of Question Time-style show on new BBC Scotland channel

Stephen Jardine will launch Debate Night during the first week of the new BBC Scotland channel.
Stephen Jardine will launch Debate Night during the first week of the new BBC Scotland channel.
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BBC Scotland has named the broadcaster and journalist Stephen Jardine as the host of the Question Time-style programme it will launch on its new channel this month.

The Scotsman columnist, who is currently a regular presenter on BBC Radio Scotland, will be at the helm of Debate Night, an hour-long show which will go on air each Wednesday at 10.45pm.

The BBC has also revealed that the show, which will launch on 27 February, will initially be broadcast from Edinburgh before going out on the road to towns and cities across Scotland.

Channel chiefs have given the green light for an initial run of 24 episodes of Debate Night - which is being launched against a background of controversy over the selection of audiences for Question Time when it is made in Scotland.

Debate Night is being made by the same production company, Mentorn Media, which said it was looking forward to working with Jardine to "get Scotland talking" about the new programme.

Jardine, who has previously worked as a reporter and presenter for GMTV and STV, said he hoped the new show would be "a great forum for Scotland to share views and opinions in an open and civilised way."

He added: "At this time in particular, Scotland should have a programme bringing politicians and the people together and that is what I want this to be. It is a privilege and a responsibility to be tasked with such a big show."

Tony Nellany, manager of the new BBC Scotland channel, said: "One of the key aims of the channel is to produce content that will engage our audiences and give them a say on the big issues of the day.

"Debate Night will do just that under the expert stewardship of Stephen whose authoritative and inclusive presenting style is ideally suited to this format."

Nicolai Gentchev, director of current affairs at Mentorn Media, said: "“At a time when opinion is everywhere, especially on social media, the best way to test ideas is through debate.

"This is such an exciting time to launch a national debate series. We look forward to working with Stephen to make Debate Night the programme that gets Scotland talking."