Q&A finale goes up in smoke

TELEVISION:

ABC TV has decided tonight’s edition of its public discussion program Q&A will be the last for 2019 following the canning of a prerecorded episode it had planned to screen next Monday evening.

An ABC insider said the original final episode of Q&A for the year planned for screening on Monday 16 December was recorded late last week.

“The episode was also to be Tony Jones’s last Q&A as host before that other guy – even I can’t remember his name – takes over in 2020,” the insider said.

“The show was to be an in-depth examination of the practice of vaping as an alternative to cigarette smoking and we had a panel of health experts, specialists in consumer behaviour, and a number of people who now vape after giving up the traditional smokes.

“It was a really good discussion and our guests made quite a few provocative points during the recording.

“But many panelists said they couldn’t see the important points others were making and our quality control people said we couldn’t put the footage (main picture) to air.

“So the ABC’s promotions department then had to scramble and start putting out the story that tonight’s Q&A is actually the last for 2019.

“It’s very unusual, unique actually, for the ABC to think of screening a prerecorded Q&A when one of the show’s great strengths has always been the fact that it’s live to air.

“But as it was meant to be Tony’s last night in the chair everyone agreed we would prerecord next Monday’s episode so we could all spend that night singing The Red Flag and getting pissed,” the insider said.