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BBC TwoThe Daily Politics


Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 October 2007, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
Prime Minister's Questions Podcast
Alan Connor
Tips For The Technically Terrified
by Alan Connor

The Prime Minister's Questions podcast is on a break.

The BBC's video podcast has come to the end of its trial period. There's a short explanation of this at the Editors Blog and more details among the documents at the BBC Trust website.

As BBC TV News's On Demand Editor Mark Barlex says, the BBC is assessing the project; we're certainly keen to bring you the video podcast of PMQs in the future - if you have any comments about this, you can leave a comment at the Editors Blog, or - better still - contact the Trust.

Hope to see you soon!

Democracy and analysis - in twenty minutes


Welcome to the Daily Politics video podcast of Prime Minister's Questions, updated every Wednesday that Parliament is sitting.

This page is also your one-stop shop for background, transcripts, analysis - and your chance to take part.

For this week's PMQs, use the yellow box for the podcast, or the links in the box on the right for alternative ways of watching.

And to find out more about the various services we offer and background on PMQs itself, read on!

And do I want one in my life?

A video podcast is a way of watching BBC content without having to stay connected to the internet. You do not need an iPod to watch it.

Do as you please

The Prime Minister's Questions podcast on a variety of digital video players, including a phone, an MP3 player and something which might play DVDs or somesuch

Unlike "streaming" video, which you might be more accustomed to, podcasts sit on your computer for you to do as you please.

You can watch a video podcast there and then on your PC, or you can transfer it to a phone or to a compatible MP3 player to watch on the move. If you've got the right cables, you could even watch it back on the screen it came from - your TV!

The quick 'n' easy way is to get the most recent edition is to click on the yellow box marked "DOWNLOAD" on the right - that will give you an MP4 video file.

Subscribe once and forget about it

Some microphones
Podcasting has made radio stars of amateurs armed with mics and web connections
Most political parties now offer podcasts to supporters and potential voters
The Queen's first podcast was her 2006 Christmas Speech
Home broadband has made video podcasting viable

With a podcast, however, the service is set up to allow you to receive every edition - whether you remember to check back or not.

The idea here is that you subscribe once to a syndication stream, and then forget all about it - each episode is downloaded to your computer as soon as it's available.

To do this, you copy the address marked "PODCAST" in the yellow box on the right, and add it to a piece of software that handles podcasts - Juice, Doppler and others are popular with BBC users. If you have Apple's i Tunes software, you can also browse through the Apple Store to find BBC podcasts and subscribe to them - they're all free. [The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.]

Once you've done this, it might also make sense to set up your mobile, MP3 player or portable video player to automatically add new episodes whenever you connect the device. That way, you'll never miss the finest exchanges from the Commons!

There's more information and help on the pages for the BBC's other podcasts.

And how long does it take to watch?

Nick Robinson
PMQs - like the school playground - is the place you have to demonstrate your strength if your gang is to stay onside.

The PMQs podcast contains the most important exchanges from the Commons - and the most entertaining remarks - along with analysis from the Daily Politics team. On Wednesdays, Andrew Neil and Jenny Scott are joined by the BBC's political editor Nick Robinson, the usual political heavyweights and sometimes even a bookie to give the odds on the action!

The podcast version of PMQs takes up about 65Mb on your hard drive and is about twenty minutes long - ideal for watching on a train - or while waiting for one.

And why do we have it?

Harold Macmillan
Introduced in 1961 after a successful experiment with Harold Macmillan
Starts with a routine question about the PM's engagements
Leader of the Opposition is permitted three or four supplementary questions
Leader of the next largest party is allowed two questions

Prime Minister's Questions is one of the high points of the parliamentary week.

It's a half-hour session in the House Of Commons where the PM must reply to oral questions from other members of parliament.

It's known for lively debate between the PM and the Leader of the Opposition, and for awkward contributions from backbenchers, forcing the Prime Minister to think on his feet.

As well as the theatrical appeal, watching PMQs also gives a snapshot of the most important issues in Westminster in a given week - and as often as not, the Punch And Judy exchanges are about an issue that concerns you.

For more on the history of PMQs, the changes made by the 1997 Labour government and, indeed, all matters parliamentary, read on at the BBC Parliament website, where you'll find an At-A-Glance Guide, a glossary of terms and much more.

What do you make of it all?

Perception Panel

To help us tease out the real issues, we draw on the brain of Nick Robinson, but we're also concerned with how our elected representatives have gone down among those who really matter - you, the voting public.

We gather your real-time responses using our freephone Perception Panel - you can take part or see the results on BBC2 on Wednesdays, and we post the results, with extra analysis, on this website.

Get in touch

If you have anything to tell us about the podcast, or any other aspect of The Daily Politics, please do email us at daily.politics@bbc.co.uk or using the form below.

Send us your comments:

Your E-mail address:

Disclaimer: The BBC may edit your comments and cannot guarantee that all emails will be published.


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

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