DARTFORD: The studio of BBC's Question Time turned into a bloodbath last night after members of the audience rushed the stage in a bid to attack one of the panellists. Lord Chancellor Charles Falconer was the focus point for anger as he tried to evade a question about whether PM Tony Blair should apologise to the British people for taking the country to war in Iraq.
Kelvin McKenzie, former editor of The Sun newspaper, lit the fire and stoked it, as the Lord Chancellor squirmed this way and that, in an ever-more infuriating attempt to avoid saying "Yes".
As the watching audience became more disgruntled, an old lady sitting in the third row stood up and berated Lord Falconer, saying that "Tony Blair has the blood of all the dead young men and women on his hands." She reacted to subsequent applause by tearing into the Labour Party in general, George Bush, increased interest rates, crime and the way the clocks are put back at the end of October.
The audience arose en masse to give her a standing ovation, and one man made a dash for the podium. Lord Falconer rose to confront him and the two came to blows. Suddenly, there was chaos with fights breaking out all over the studio, and a fire extinguisher was thrown from a balcony. It landed in the seat where ex-Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy would have been sitting, had he not been "taking refreshments" in the BBC bar.
The Police and Ambulance Services were called and, in an astonishing mix-up, Police officers took 36 injured people to hospital, whilst ambulance crews made 42 arrests, 3 of them seriously.
The show's host David Dumbledore, was unhurt and will appear in next week's edition of the show at Camden Town Hall. Although not visibly flustered by the incident, he did admit that, for security purposes, tough guy actor Ray Winstone, of Scum fame, had been invited to sit on the panel.
He's the daddy now.