BBC confirm Lieutenant Columbo as new Question Time presenter
The BBC have today announced Lieutenant Columbo is to be the new presenter of their flagship current affairs programme, Question Time.
Columbo, who is rumoured to be 103 years of age will take over the role from 79 year old David Dimbleby in September. The appointment is widely seen as a surprise move by the BBC who had been under pressure from critics to install a female candidate in the role for the first time.
Kirsty Wark, who had been touted by many as a serious contender for the position, described the news as “very disappointing”.
“Given all the recent controversy over the pay gap at the BBC and the under-valuing of women in our profession, this would have been the perfect time to make some redress by appointing a woman to this role. Instead, the Corporation have chosen yet again to go with an even older white man than the one who was already in place. It is especially disappointing that the new Question Time presenter is a fictional character” said Ms Wark in a statement released to the press.
The BBC have defended the decision citing Columbo’s demonstrable track record of getting his questions in, even when the interviewee has clearly had enough. Director General Tony Hall said he was looking forward to a new era of the programme where politicians would no longer “get away with murder” in their responses.
Hall, was initially impressed by the Lieutenant’s forensic questioning after meeting him at a dinner party. “He asked me where I bought my shoes which I found quite disarming and before I knew it I’d offered him the Today Programme and a salary of 4.5 million pounds”.
“It turned out Columbo couldn’t commit to a three-hour morning radio slot as it would be a long time to keep his basset hound waiting in the car. We compromised on Question Time which is only an hour long and less onerous for the dog” said Hall.
The pay unit at the Corporation who are famous for their hard-nosed intransigence are reported to have offered Columbo 7.2 million pounds for an hour’s work a week.
Columbo speaking on the phone from Los Angeles was said to be delighted with the deal.
“It’s a great honour to be offered this very important role on Question Time. My wife is a huge fan. She loves it. Watches it all the time. She’s gonna be very excited when she hears about this”.
In a related but unexpected development David Dimbleby has agreed to take over Lieutenant Columbo’s job at the LAPD Homicide Unit.
The move has been criticised by the group Black Lives Matter as “a bewildering development”.