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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 July 2006, 09:11 GMT 10:11 UK
Competition winner on Question Time
Question Time for the first time in the programme's history included a member of the public on the panel on 6 July.

MATT POLLARD
Winner Matt Pollard

Twenty-year-old student Matt Pollard appeared alongside the politicians after winning a competition to find a well-informed, articulate person to represent youth opinion.

"It's unbelievable, I can't believe I've been chosen," said Matt who is currently studying International Politics at the University of Exeter.

He impressed in the TV auditions with knowledge of the situations in North Korea and Afghanistan and won applause for a scathing rebuke about footballers' salaries.

The competition was the idea of the team of students who won this year's Schools Question Time Challenge and are helping make this week's programme.

Entry was restricted to people aged 18-25, who were asked to apply by sending a mobile phone video clip explaining why they want to be on Question Time.

Final auditions were held in the BBC's Westminster studios with David Dimbleby in the chair.

Watch the four shortlisted candidates' video entries:
Four candidates

David Dimbleby looked forward to the special edition. "It is another way of opening politics up in as informal a way as possible, which is what the winners of the competition want to achieve," he said.

Annual event

The Schools Question Time Challenge will run for a fourth year in the academic year 2006-7.

Supported by the BBC, the Institute for Citizenship and BT, it involves schools staging their own debates, based upon the popular BBC One Question Time theme.

All UK schools with pupils aged 14-19 are eligible to enter.

In their applications they must describe the issues they would discuss during their ideal Question Time and the panel they would choose to discuss those issues.

In this year's competition, pupils from City & Islington College in London, Knox Academy in Haddington (East Lothian), Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn in Carmarthenshire and Wolverhampton Girls School in Wolverhampton were involved in all aspects of the production process, making editorial decisions, researching and taking on production roles.

The Schools Question Time programme was broadcast on Thursday 6 July at the usual time, 10.35pm on BBC One.

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Watch Schools Question Time from London


Matt Pollard and David Dimbleby on Breakfast



SEE ALSO
This week's panel
06 Jul 06 |  Question Time

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