Victoria Coren Mitchell - Writer, Broadcaster & Poker Player

Question Time

Thursday, 1 April 2010

The relevant episode is here - or, at least, it is at time of posting. Probably won’t stay there forever…


Not an April Fool - I really am going to Stevenage tonight to swap quips with the Home Secretary. Or, if it is an April Fool, then I haven’t discovered that yet. I’m reading the papers this morning like maths text books before an exam (“Blimey I hope that doesn’t come up… or that… or, bloody hell, that…”)

It’s possible that I’m about to make car crash TV: I might well do a ‘Vorderman on Question Time’, a ‘Madeley’s Ali G’, or even a Fleetwood & Fox. Cross your fingers for me if there are a lot of detailed, intricate questions about economic policy or the precise workings of a coalition government.

I wasn’t going to post about it, because I didn’t necessarily want to point anyone in the direction of what might well be an enormous personal disaster. But I thought there was a possibility that viewers who watched it anyway, and had never been to this site before, might want to come on and argue with any opinions I manage clumsily to express, and be a bit baffled if they found themselves obliged to post on a thread about the quality of chips in the Vic. So I’m making a new one just in case.

But I might not express any opinions anyway. My mum’s already phoned to say, “Darling you’re not going to be all political, are you? Nobody wants that. Do just try to be charming.”

*sigh* She’s probably right.

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Ginger Pogue at 11:38 am on April 1st, 2010

Best of luck to you Vicky.  You’ll be absolutely fine.

The Tim at 1:33 pm on April 1st, 2010

A funny thing happened to me this morning - I was at Kings Cross and saw Michael Aspel getting on a train with a red book which had the initials VC on the cover.

Philip at 1:33 pm on April 1st, 2010

Please, please use all that wit, intellect and charm to show Richard Littlejohn up for the reactionary scumbag he is. If you do I’ll go to sleep a happy man.

Rob King at 1:56 pm on April 1st, 2010

Don’t be political? How can anyone not be political? Politics rule our lives. The taxes we pay (although not on poker winnings, YAY!), the public services we use, not to mention the wars we fight, and the sanctions we impose.

There are very few subjects that you can talk about without being political. Even the weather is one, if you count climate change. Don’t confuse political with party political, there is a big difference.

Victoria Coren at 2:30 pm on April 1st, 2010

You haven’t met my mother.

AndytheDealer at 2:34 pm on April 1st, 2010

Go get ‘em Vicky!

Phil at 2:42 pm on April 1st, 2010

Very cool! I love Question Time; will defo be tuning in (or maybe iplayer it post-pub). Go give them politicians what for! If you can, fit in a generalisation about both Labour and the Tories being hypocrites; that tends to go down a storm with the audience. Or just shamelessly plug OC. It’s all good.
Just remember there’ll be loads of people rooting for you.

MarkJB at 2:47 pm on April 1st, 2010


Just think of a quiet little bay somewhere…waves gently lapping the shore…


Chris Jefferson at 3:11 pm on April 1st, 2010

Good luck!

Rainbow at 3:20 pm on April 1st, 2010

You’ll be fine, after regular pre-show visits to the Ladies. Just remember, you’re almost certainly brighter than anyone else on the panel. And probably smell a lot better too.

Rob King at 6:10 pm on April 1st, 2010

Vicky, I wish you the best for tonight, and no, I don’t think I have met your mother. Just remember, your opinions are as worthy as the rest of the panel, and out of the ones I haven’t met, you are by far the most interesting (with Ken Clarke coming 2nd, purely because of his Jazz interests), and the only one I’d want to play poker with.

ps. Please counter the far right spew that I’m expecting tonight, with your usual charm, wit, and intelligence.

Tim Clague at 7:53 pm on April 1st, 2010

Great! Can’t wait

adam bridge at 10:09 pm on April 1st, 2010

just heard. very impressed, does this make you a proper grown up.
i had to come on to check i’d heard right.
good luck.

John at 10:19 pm on April 1st, 2010

Your Mum said Don’t be political. You don’t have to be! Take a look at Tony Blair yesterday. It has nothing to do with politics, just make a threat to come back with a really bad American accent and a very bad tan. Scary. Good luck. Jx

Rich at 11:06 pm on April 1st, 2010

First blog I’ve ever contributed to…

Victoria, you were great on Question Time. Measured, funny and under appreciated. And super hot too.

Jen Berezai at 11:14 pm on April 1st, 2010

The funny gynaecologist line was inspired…

Adie at 11:18 pm on April 1st, 2010

Sexiext QT analogy ever, “dress is unzipped, but the bra is still on”...election GOLD!

Tony Gascoigne at 11:23 pm on April 1st, 2010

Loving you on QT…. can you be on more often?

Century Lee at 11:26 pm on April 1st, 2010

Not so sure what your mum is going to think about the ‘down to my bra’ comment (!) but you’ve certainly spoke a lot of sense tonight Vicky. There’s still 10 minutes yet for an Ali G moment though…

Phill at 11:46 pm on April 1st, 2010

Never posted before but am a regular reader of your poker advice, my only question is, how on earth did you avoid the temptation to slap Sarah Teather? It’s beyond me why the lib dems keep wheeling her out to question time, they’d have more success with a pebble.  And no stress on your performance, I thought you deserved more laughs than the audience gave, but it is Stevenage after all :)

Mario at 11:48 pm on April 1st, 2010

I did like the funny gynecologist line as well. I also think Toxic Tony sounds like a good idea for a nickname.

I don’t think “This is Stevenage”, quite has the same ring to it as “This is Sparta”.

Thought you were very good though and hope to see you on there again sometime. The MPs of course used it as a points scoring platform as always. One of them will do something crazy one day and talk sense.

cloudy at 12:02 am on April 2nd, 2010

By far the best guest I’ve seen on QT. Great job :)

S at 12:05 am on April 2nd, 2010

I watched your performance on on Question Time - witty would be an understatement. I see you’ve gone with your mother’s advice not to be political - mothers are always right… stood out for the right reasons.

Colm at 12:06 am on April 2nd, 2010

Hi Vicky,

Don’t know what you were worried about, you did great.

And by the way, the line ‘the dress is unzipped but the bra is still on’ will keep many a heart warm on the long cold nights, and the not so cold ones.

More Vicky on TV!


Pete Galey at 12:10 am on April 2nd, 2010

But I might not express any opinions anyway. My mum’s already phoned to say, “Darling you’re not going to be all political, are you? Nobody wants that. Do just try to be charming.”

Sure you didn’t have a crossed line with Tony Blair’s mum?

Bob at 12:13 am on April 2nd, 2010

Brilliant! Loved the bit about Tony Blair and the ex-boyfriend! Not met your mum, but don’t mind if you want to introduce us to check she approves…

stephen at 12:20 am on April 2nd, 2010

(Hoo-raa, the page isnt white with an ‘internal error’ thing in the corner.) Saw you QT, You were majestic, as per usual, like a kind of Ian Hislop in tights (!)

RomanticRecluse at 12:24 am on April 2nd, 2010

Vicky, don’t worry.  You were fine.  You weren’t too political and that’s a good thing because for the last decade or so politics has been too managerial and party politics has been more like a team sport.  You were philosophical and funny.

And far better than Jarvis Cocker was (and I’m a big JC fan).

Jay at 12:34 am on April 2nd, 2010


You will probably think that this post is rather stochastic, and I would agree with you. However, I saw you on Question Time, and, you are beautiful, articulated and I’d like to take you out for a drink.

Yours sincerely,


Ian Shaw at 12:43 am on April 2nd, 2010

Hi Vicky

First time I have seen you, brilliant on QT, be on more often please.  I will have a look for your newspaper articles too, keep up the good work, its great to have someone new and inspiring to hear and read.  Take care. Ian xx

Ross at 12:48 am on April 2nd, 2010

I feel like you did us proud. Not really sure who ‘us’ is though. Normal people, plebs, poker players? One and all? You did really well tonight.

Herbie at 12:54 am on April 2nd, 2010

I am afraid that your career thus far had passed me by until tonight.
However, I was most impressed with your performance on QT tonight.
You spoke with energy, wit, intellligence and sense. I think Johnson enjoyed it too - you could see his brain working overtime to figure out how to get to the bra stage - I’m sure he will have a restless night.

Graham M at 1:02 am on April 2nd, 2010

Hi Vicky,

You were brilliant, witty, funny, self effacing, acerbic, charming, sexy, assertive, forgiving. biased and unbiased, ballsy, bonkers , intuitive, clever and insightful.  Victoria you are the the perfect woman and I couldn’t wait until they turned te calera on you. Your No1 fan.

Roger at 1:04 am on April 2nd, 2010

I always watch QT and you contributed to making this one a good one. I was tickled how Sarah kept agreeing with you, she was clearly impressed, as I think was DD. You’re bound to be asked again.

I agreed with everything you said up to the point where you seemed to say you don’t like liars being called liars. Personally I can’t see anything wrong with it.

Also I’m not sure if it is a first or not but I do not recall anyone on QT swearing before tonight. I think that did let you down, just a bit.

Anyway, it was a jolly good first time effort and I hope you’ll be on again.

PhilMc at 1:07 am on April 2nd, 2010

Vicky you were great. I thought the way you tackled the immigration question took courage - particularly in that sort of public forum with Richard Littlejohn on the panel. Well done.

brian at 1:07 am on April 2nd, 2010

Hi Vicky. First time on your site, but it wont be the last. You were Brilliant on QT. Loved the line about Toxic Tony and the seduction routine was pure class, which is something you have in bucket loads.
Hope ya on more often. It made a refreshing change to hear someone with real wit and charm.

Your Dad would be proud!

John T at 2:16 am on April 2nd, 2010

you were fantastic.  well done

Nabeel at 6:24 am on April 2nd, 2010

Hi Victoria.

you were just top end, tony blair example was literally brilliant.

I am a final year International Student and you were right to point out that we do contribute tremendously in this society and often take back very little and it’s a shame to see people doing politics on this issue,  last time i checked, International students bring about 12 billion pounds a year to the uk and britain retains most of the best minds in the world, so what is all the fuss about :(

anyways good luck with everything else.


Rog at 7:23 am on April 2nd, 2010

Hey, caught Beeb1 last night in the middle of a political broadcast. Not sure which party you were representing, but you were very good. Indeed, everytime I switch on the TV you seem to be there…is this because there is an election in the next few weeks.. !

Can I ask is the rumour true, you are in the new series of Ashes to Ashes?!

Graham Johnson at 8:17 am on April 2nd, 2010

Wow Vicky, You are by far the best and entertaining person I have seen on QT. You have a very bright future in front of you and I look forward to watching it grow. All the very best and kept it real.

daily mail reader at 8:22 am on April 2nd, 2010

I afraid I have to disagree with the adulatory comments so far; you were one of the more embarrassing turns on QT that I can remember .There were a few ‘jokes’ that were met with silence, and the bits of smut were also cringemaking—and did lower the tone. Both you and Littlejohn should stick to the printed word. The comments about Teather were spot on though, God did she deserve a slap.

Victoria Coren at 8:41 am on April 2nd, 2010

Really? You think it lowers the tone to use the word “bra” but not to say a woman “deserves a slap” ? Mmmmmm. DailyMailReader, I suspect you and I will always have different opinions on what’s tacky and what isn’t.

The Tim at 8:52 am on April 2nd, 2010

I also really liked the ‘farting in a lift’ analogy, just about as much as you could get away with on QT. I’m sure the viewing figures for OC will now rocket. You should definitely have your own chat show.

Also thought the brown sleeveless top was perfect.

Colin Todhunter at 9:33 am on April 2nd, 2010

Littlejohn, Dimbleby and Clarke… all oozing their usual self regarding smugness. And your mum needn’t have worried, QT is not about politics anyway. It’s stage managed knockabout sniping that attempts to con the public into thinking this is genuine political ‘debate’. You were fine and a refreshing change. I too loved your ex boyfriend/Blair bits and the way DD said something about what kind of boyfriends have you mixed with. I don’t tend to watch QT anymore these days as it resembles music hall farce, but there are a few people I’d tune in for if they were on the panel. I think you would be one of them.

BoroPhil at 9:37 am on April 2nd, 2010

Haha, well said Vicky.  You were excellent.

Steve at 9:55 am on April 2nd, 2010

Well done Vicky!! Hugely entertaining and a joy to watch.

SF at 10:00 am on April 2nd, 2010

I too thought your performance was outstanding and thoroughly enjoyable. For me you were the star of the show; you showed up the politicians for the insincere wallies that they are. The trouble is we’ve soon got to vote for some of these dreadful people…

Wynford at 10:26 am on April 2nd, 2010

Vicky, I do not follow politics at all, can’t be bothered as none of them are any good or truthful, but QT is an entertainment program. Anyway, whilst you were refeshing, spade a spade and all that, you were however a bit hypocritical stating that you didn’t like Mr Cable’s continual jokes in the would be chancellors debate you prefer straight talk, but isn’t that exactly what you did, one wisecrack after another. Rearrange these words to make a well known phrase, “kettle, black, pot calling”!! Apart from that well done,  Cheers Wynff

Mamore at 10:30 am on April 2nd, 2010

Briefly seeing five minutes of you on QT last night was enough to make me turn over. Talk about liking the sound of your own voice! Spouting vacuous rubbish!

John at 10:34 am on April 2nd, 2010

You were the best panellist by far and the best I’ve seen there in a long time.

I agree with the comments above about the funny gynaecologist and Blair comments, very amusing.

I’m sure they’ll ask you back.

Well done.

Is daily mail reader above Littlejohn? As usual he was appalling.

What did Alan Johnson say to you at the end when it’d finished? He looked like he’d quite enjoyed sitting next to you.

rainbowkristie at 10:50 am on April 2nd, 2010

The blog was down last night, so I just HAD to join twitter to let you know straightaway how great I thought your comments were on immigration - well done for speaking from the heart with so much sense. And I shall hold you responsible for the hours I now inevitably lose to twittering!

charlie holmes at 11:09 am on April 2nd, 2010

thought you were fantastic last night on question time.

Steve Olive at 11:20 am on April 2nd, 2010

Congratulations on your question time performance. Rarely have I ever seen someone so out of their depth and so reliant on ‘humour’ to get the audience on their side.

Carl at 11:34 am on April 2nd, 2010

I’m just watching my Sky+ Question Time - You don’t drink! You wanna grab a coffee then Vicky?

LC at 11:48 am on April 2nd, 2010

Don’t listen Victoria, DailyMailReader is clearly DailyMailWriter.


Sam at 11:50 am on April 2nd, 2010

Hi Vicky

I watched you at the question time last night, I must say you were so brilliant with your responses, agreed with you fully. On the immigration subject, all these people who want to get rid of the immigrants, I have a question for them: are they willing to work in a restaurant washing up and cleaning all through the night and day? the answer will be a big NO. You came across to be the best person on the panel, well done, it was great watching you.

Take care

Cazzbar at 12:12 pm on April 2nd, 2010

Very cushelle.

But an hour of heated debate and no mention of the spider tie? Can that be possible? And all the time I was thinking how much that Sarah Teather reminded me of the woman from the IT Crowd.

As far as my politics goes, the Lib Dems got me down to my boxers when I was first eligible to vote in about 1990, but I didn’t want to take it any further.

Roy at 12:38 pm on April 2nd, 2010

You wiped the floor with the lot of them…one of the best Question Time programs….Loved the “Bra” comment. Really enjoyed your wit and humour, please make sure you return to the program again one day! Roy

rich atkins at 12:49 pm on April 2nd, 2010

Vicky, you were great. No danger of a Carol Vorderman performance from the word go. You were spontaneous (seemingly, only you know how much) and witty. The Blair and old boyfriend metaphor was first class and hilarious. Wodehouse in his prime could not have done better.  Great show! Rich

Ginger Pogue at 1:04 pm on April 2nd, 2010

Vicky, you were absolutely superb on QT.  Also passing on my Dad’s praise, who unknown to me was watching in the other room - “That Coren girl is brilliant!!!!”.  Couldn’t have summed it up better myself.  Very well done.

Alicia at 1:29 pm on April 2nd, 2010

It’s the day after and I thought you flipping hilarious. Points eloquently put with a splash of sarcasm and wit. It definitely makes politics more interesting and that’s coming from someone who works in politics.

Well done.

p.s. thanks for the Barking reference, it’s my home town. lol

Mike O'Neill at 1:53 pm on April 2nd, 2010

I saw you on Question Time. I thought you were cheap, common and foul mouthed. I used to have some respect for you, but was unimpressed with the toilet wit and boorish banter. Save the trash talk, please. Question Time is already struggling without your brand of vulgarity. You certainly put the scat in scatological. Congrats.

Phil at 2:16 pm on April 2nd, 2010

Eloquent…classy… erudite - How I love David Dimbleby! Oh you were pretty good as well
Seriously though: you reminded me of the woman who stands in the corner of the screen late night on bbc translating programmes for the hard of hearing. Your allegories and interpretations were refreshing and clear for those who are heard of political hearing; also very very funny. Good job!

AndytheDealer at 2:19 pm on April 2nd, 2010

Great stuff, I just wished that David Dimbleby had added ‘poker player’ to his introduction of you.  It would have made you sound a little more subversive than describing you as ‘...satirist and Observer columnist.’

As a consequence you were immediately pigeon-holed as a left wing pinko liberal, especially as you were at the opposite end of the table to Richard Littlejohn.

A couple of questions for readers of the blog spring to mind.  Who does Britain owe all these trillions of pounds to?  Should they be taken to task for irresponsible lending, since we obviously can’t pay the loans back?

I didn’t hear you swear.

Judging by the comments I have read elsewhere, your Mum should be proud that you followed her advice.  You were utterly charming if a little risqué, you saucy minx!

Denis Cooper at 2:51 pm on April 2nd, 2010

Is it really true that you don’t understand what is meant by the government’s “budget deficit”?

Frank Holland at 2:52 pm on April 2nd, 2010

Hello Victoria. Your vacuous performance on QT really was the low spot of the programme. I can’t stand Richard Littlejohn. But even less do I like Victoria Littlewit.  I bet you’re a big Bernard Manning fan. You’re bound to be a great hit with a mouth like that…

Victoria Coren at 2:59 pm on April 2nd, 2010

I’m sorry I said “fart”, sorry sorry. I forgot some people count that as a swear word. Genuinely, I didn’t mean to offend and I’m sorry if I did.

(And I hope that puts the ‘polo’ into apology)


David Q at 3:12 pm on April 2nd, 2010

Re: QT. There’s bound to be a bad smell in any lift you happen to find yourself in. You were a long way from funny. I’ll avoid watching the show when you’re making a smut stop.

Caroline Sante at 3:24 pm on April 2nd, 2010

I switched on to Question Time. I saw you. I heard you. I switched off. You let us down, Vick.

Martin at 3:24 pm on April 2nd, 2010

I too had never heard of you until I saw QT - then I had to find out more. Now I find myself signed up at pokerstars, learning the basics. What is going on!

Excellent performance on QT - well done.

The Tim at 3:29 pm on April 2nd, 2010

Your agy was unnecessary - did DD admonish you afterwards? This must be a record response - reading all of the posts you’ve clearly made far more friends than enemies.

Karen Petrie at 3:35 pm on April 2nd, 2010

Hi Victoria,

You were fantastic on QT last night. I cannot believe all the criticism you are getting. Your comments were witty, articulate and memorable. This is what politics needs.

I was appalled by Sarah Teather’s performance, she turned the whole thing into a personal battle rather than a political one. I am so glad that you were there to show that women can be the voice of reason, otherwise we would have had one of our sex showing the rest of us up and no counter balance.

Do people really think fart is a swear word?


NickNike at 3:40 pm on April 2nd, 2010

Gordon Brown is an honourable man?
What is the attraction of promoting the most failed administration in history? Have you not heard of all their sleaze and corruption?
I thought your so called humour was too self centred. QT was not enhanced with your presence.

Robin at 3:49 pm on April 2nd, 2010

Hi Victoria,

You were a breath of fresh air on Question Time, I expect you’ve recruited quite a few new admirers as a result (including me).  Your obvious admiration for Gordon Brown may be your downfall however ;).

Take care,


Rainbow at 3:55 pm on April 2nd, 2010

You were lovely, but it just goes to show that everyone should occasionally listen to their wise old mum. Politics is a horrid divisive business, and you’ll only make as many new enemies as friends. Unless you’re an actual politician it might not be worth it. x

TAM at 4:37 pm on April 2nd, 2010

Made QT watchable again, brillliant.

John C at 5:01 pm on April 2nd, 2010

There I was just waiting for the bra to come off

Michael at 5:01 pm on April 2nd, 2010

Your lightweight apparatchik nonsense was tedious on Question Time.

Ginger Pogue at 5:03 pm on April 2nd, 2010

Errm let’s get a grip here people.  Saying the word “fart” on Question Time isn’t exactly the Sex Pistols on Bill Grundy.  Get a life guys!!

Richard Large (not john) at 5:08 pm on April 2nd, 2010

Loved it Vicky. A superb panellist you were in every sense.  A complete breath of fresh air (whether farts were abroad or not) & you made it the most enjoyable QT for many a long year. Don’t worry about the fart, the new Dr Who said crap on the One Show on the same evening. It’s clearly the dung thing now.

Paul & Natasha Copley at 5:18 pm on April 2nd, 2010

Terrific last night - you had us both applauding each time you spoke - witty, wise, wry, (run out of ws) and full of energy and good humour.

Not easy to be so irreverently articulate under pressure.

Great stuff !

daily mail reader at 5:46 pm on April 2nd, 2010

I have to disabuse one or two of the sleuths above who decided that because my comment used the name DMR that I must be either a Daily Mail writer myself,or even, heavens above, R.Littlejohn himself. Oh dear, this is a devious plot too far me; I had, to be frank, barely come across your name until last night ( though I was an admirer of your late father) , but i simply found your performance on QT rather self regarding and not very funny. I only contibuted to these pages because everyone else seemed to be in raptures; also I chose the DMR simply for want of anything else—I am not an admirer of the paper generally.

Derian at 6:47 pm on April 2nd, 2010

Hi Victoria

i watch QT as often as I can, and I must say you were very funny ( and bright ) last night. not to mention extremely pretty. Please go on it again ASAP.

Well done you….

Pamela at 7:05 pm on April 2nd, 2010

You were brilliant! Baffles me why you had any worries about your performance, though I suppose someone with no stage fright would’ve come across as arrogant and supercilious which, of course, you did not.

Someone above has said you were ‘Ian Hislop in tights’ (now there’s an image!), yet you reminded me of the wonderful late John Mortimer when he used to be part of the Any Questions panel back in the 80s!! 

I think I’m in a (very understandable) female minority on this blog: I’m proud to know there are women following me (I’ll be 50 this year) who are inspiringly intelligent and wonderfully witty to boot, whom my teenage daughters can look up to.

All power to you,
Pamela :)

ytheleus at 8:29 pm on April 2nd, 2010

First time I’d seen you since you did that word programme. I didn’t realise how much I missed you! You were very witty and naughty too.
I hope to see more of you on tv, you could become a national treasure, methinks.

Cockeyed Cockney nutjob at 9:30 pm on April 2nd, 2010

Hello Victoria,

As luck would have it, I’m an incredibly unfunny, nay, melancholic gynaecologist and would very much like to offer you my services. In the unlikely event that you do find me too humorous, I’d be more than happy to affect a German accent and start self-harming if it would help to achieve an acceptable level of sombreness. 

I’m also certain that somewhere in this mix there’s a perfectly serviceable joke about gynaecologists never talking with their mouths full, but I’m far too sober, sedate and staid for such filthy-minded double entendres. That kind of thing is best left in the hands of professional comedians and Jimmy Carr.

Ed from uni at 9:47 pm on April 2nd, 2010

I thought you were awesome Victoria - didn’t fall in the trap of being labelled the anti-Tory liberal Guardian writer. Instead, all your comments were delivered with common sense and wit. Great antidote for any apathetic young voters watching. This will be many people’s first election and to hear common sense and clarity (on immigration was ace !) is a breath of fresh air.

Cheap, common and foul-mouthed? Have they not been outside their own home?!?

Dave Bettley at 10:15 pm on April 2nd, 2010


I haven’t previously encountered your work but I was very impressed by your appearance on question time. So decided to look you up and stumbled on your site.

Just wanted to say I thought you were very impressive on question time, eloquent and you’d obviously given a lot of thought to your opinion and this came across quite clearly.

You needn’t worry about being another Carol Vorderman.

I’m going to have a look through your other work now as I’m hoping it will be as informative and enjoyable as your QT appearance. Keep up the good work.



LC at 11:49 pm on April 2nd, 2010

NickNike, I think what Vicky means by honourable man is that she genuinely thinks he does his best at what is basically the most difficult job in the country. I’m not a Labour supporter but even i’m sick of everyone blaming Gordon for everything. Taking the piss out of him is even easier than taking the piss out of… The Daily Mail or something equally ridiculous. He’s a boring and terribly safe target these days.

DailyMailReader, I didn’t really think you were Littlejohn. I was humouring myself.

Tom Traubert at 12:08 am on April 3rd, 2010

Vicky, was that a wry smile at the beginning of the programme because Dimbleby described you as anything but a ‘poker player’?

People are saying it made Question Time watchable. I guess it drew people in like when Nick Griffin was on. Everyone just had to watch, transfixed. Praise indeed :P

Victoria Coren at 12:21 am on April 3rd, 2010

Just on the Gordon Brown thing - thanks LC, you’re totally right about my thinking - the context was that everyone was calling him a “liar”. I just don’t like hearing that word bandied around too lightly; it’s an important word that we need sometimes for really terrible things, especially in politics. Use it too much, dismiss too many politicians as liars, and we’ll be unable to recognize (or be truly angry about) a real one when we see one.

  I agreed with the man in the audience who said Gordon Brown would never deliberately lie about a public set of immigration figures, because it can too easily be checked. He muddled up some figures. Maybe he was badly advised by researchers. Worst case, he sneakily borrowed from different figures to exaggerate the point he was making. But “lying” is a much bigger and more serious thing than that and I really think it’s a word to use with care.

  And he actually does strike me as honourable, broadly. How can I know? I can’t. But I haven’t seen enough evidence of dishonour to say that he isn’t, so he’s not proven guilty to me. God knows, there is a lot wrong with the man. There’s a lot wrong with everybody. But I don’t think he is consciously dishonourable or dishonest. Ah, I’m not a politician - I’m just an old hippy, trying to spread a bit of love in the room! You’re never going to please everyone - just look at the comments here; so many of them directly contradict each other - but I figured the best way, among shrewd, canny, hugely informed and rehearsed politicians, was to go with my heart, whether it’s saying I don’t like hearing someone called a liar lightly, or wishing that everyone who wanted a home in this country could have one.

  I’m sorry that’s annoyed some people, but the good news is I’m not standing for Parliament! I just said what I thought, and it’s what some people think but not everyone. That’s what Question Time is all about.

christian cordiner at 12:48 am on April 3rd, 2010

wow loved you on QT so damn sexy…...........

Seamus at 1:01 am on April 3rd, 2010

Hi, Vicky,
Just dropped by, having finished reading For Richer For Poorer today, to say “Thank you”.
Really enjoyed the book. Was inspiring to read, so thank you for wearing your heart on your sleeve and sharing your highs and lows…ain’t it funny how the feeling goes away?!
Good luck.

Perry at 1:42 am on April 3rd, 2010

I thought you showed yourself well on QT,  a good balance of wit, humour and intelligence against all the mud-slinging from the others.

A good point on Gordon Brown, he seems like a guy who sets out to do the right thing, I forget he does have a position with great pressure upon him.  I would like to know what happens to the money when given to banks and the government, I thought that would have been the first thing that happened, bless my naivety.

What is the best sources for political info anybody? Is there one relatively unbiased source, or do I have to go through a compendium of sources? My family have always been anti-politics so I never knew where to start, despite studying to be a journalist (love to have that job, yet distrust the information of some.)

Seamus at 2:01 am on April 3rd, 2010

P.S. Just watched QT on iPlayer.
Personally, I am disappointed you weren’t introduced as a poker player!!
Think you handled yourself with great humour and spoke pretty damn well. As for any hecklers above, I am not going to shine sun up your ****, but would happily wager that a poll would put you ahead of Richard Littlejohn at the very least!

Andrew at 3:28 am on April 3rd, 2010

Don’t worry Vicky - none of them care about someone saying the word ‘fart’ and only a few of them are bothered about whether Gordon Brown deliberately lied or not.  The issue is immigration…

I remember that in the ‘right on eighties’ a certain writer on the News Quiz used to supply a contrary line and do it very funnily.  Now in the ‘we hate Gordon’ era his daughter did much the same.

Of course the bad thing about satire is that it will never make you universally popular.  The good thing is that the people who take offense are generally numbties and so need not be worried about.

Perry at 11:06 am on April 3rd, 2010

I thought you did well on QT. A good blend of humour and intelligence, you made good points and certainly made it interesting.

Just a quick question for anyone. Where are the best sources for political news?  My family is anti-politics so never really learnt about it and despite studying to be a journalist, I do have suspicions of some newspapers.

MarkJB at 11:24 am on April 3rd, 2010

Vicky, you say that the term Liar should only apply to really terrible things. What are they?
We have wars and terrorism, stealth taxes (to fund wars), a widening gap between the rich and the poor and the social consequences of that, during a time of supposed socialist government. It’s a big lie founded on the semblance of honesty and integrity of politicians.  Brown is party to all that, and even among politicians, is a deceptive man. That’s the means by which he manouevered his way to being a non-elected Prime minister. I don’t think he honestly believes in democracy.

Roger at 12:12 pm on April 3rd, 2010

Vicky, can someone be “broadly” honourable any more than they can be broadly honest? Surely it is a black and white thing… you either are or you are not.

I think Brown, Blair, Cameron and…oh, most of them have proved time and again that they are either liars or stupid. I don’t think they are stupid but they think we all are.  And perhaps we are, after all we have paid for our own food,  castles, moats and duck ponds.

LC at 12:39 pm on April 3rd, 2010

“I’m just an old hippy”

I’m a Lib Dem. Sometimes the same thing…

It’s too easy to call politicians liars, and also to do another thing that really peeves me, which is people claiming they know better and could do a better job themselves etc. The majority of people, including myself,  don’t and couldn’t, if we’re honest.

Campaigning for this election, I have found so many people saying they aren’t voting because “they’re all a corrupt as each other.” I somewhat understand people’s point but it really is SUCH a generalisation. As Vicky said, no-one is perfect!

The fact is, and I don’t wish to sound like a Vince Cable fangirl, but we do really need to have the main parties band together to sort the economic crisis.

Peter at 2:05 pm on April 3rd, 2010

Thought you did extremely well in what must have been a high pressure environment.  It was good to hear some common sense (and humour) amidst the usual party political point scoring.  Think you’d shine on something like Have I Got News For You.

Well done!

Chris Grove at 10:07 pm on April 3rd, 2010

I generally am a big fan of your work, though I think we may differ politically after watching it.  I thought in general though that you did tremendously, it’s rare someone makes me smile on question time & what’s usually a very dry show was quite entertaining at the same time as being good debate. 

I can’t believe people are actually berating someone for using the word fart?  I mean seriously, are we children?  As for the daily mail reader chap, you find it socially acceptable to wish to slap a lady, a lady who i do not particularly like yet a lady nonetheless, yet he accuses Vicki of lowering the tone.  It really is a funny old world we live in where people are happy to be so grossly offensive because someone uses a naughty word.  Please at least have some respect & good manners.

Fitch at 10:11 pm on April 3rd, 2010

thank you, you were absolutely brilliant on QT. I watch it every week, and listen to the constant bickering. I noticed you didn’t interrupt anybody once, nor were you interrupted. I think that says it all. Respect. You stood head and shoulders above the rest of the panel. A true Lady. So pleased you are living at the same time as me, I would hate to have missed you.
On another tack, how often do they put new walls up on the Only Connect site?
Also how do you go about getting a team on the show?
All the best, and you keep flying high girl, your great!


Peter at 9:58 pm on April 4th, 2010

Thought you did extremely well in what must have been a high pressure environment.  It was good to hear some common sense (and humour) amidst the usual party political point scoring.  I think you’d shine on something like Have I Got News For You.

Well done!

Fitch at 10:02 pm on April 4th, 2010

Thank you, you were absolutely brilliant on QT. I watch it every week, and listen to the constant bickering. I noticed you didn’t interrupt anybody once, nor were you interrupted. I think that says it all. Respect. You stood head and shoulders above the rest of the panel. A true Lady. So pleased you are living at the same time as me, I would hate to have missed you.

On another tack, how often do they put new walls up on the Only Connect site? Also, how do you go about getting a team on the show?
All the best, and you keep flying high girl, you’re great!


Chris Grove at 10:04 pm on April 4th, 2010

I generally am a big fan of your work, though I think we may differ politically after watching it.  I thought in general, though, that you did tremendously, it’s rare someone makes me smile on Question Time & what’s usually a very dry show was quite entertaining at the same time as being good debate. 

I can’t believe people are actually berating someone for using the word fart!  I mean, seriously, are we children?  As for the daily mail reader chap, you find it socially acceptable to wish to slap a lady, a lady who I do not particularly like yet a lady nonetheless, yet you accuse Vicki of lowering the tone.  It really is a funny old world we live in where people are happy to be so grossly offensive because someone uses a naughty word.  Please at least have some respect & good manners.

graham young at 12:25 pm on April 5th, 2010

If we all thought the same, what a dull boring world it would be. It’s good to have our preconceptions challenged.
Mondays will be empty with the end of Uni Challenge and Only Connect.
I see the second part of Frost is on later so we can watch you first!

David Brinicombe at 12:43 pm on April 5th, 2010

“What is a trillion, anyway?” :-)

Twelve zeroes in America and, unfortunately, now in Britain. Three houses home about ten people. 30 make a close and ten of those are a village. A town is around ten thousand and ten towns make a city. A million takes us to a county town, then on to a national capital.

Now, there aren’t a hundred million souls in the UK, but there are a billion in India. Around ten billion human beings have ever lived, but that’s still only ten zeroes, so to pay off our debt, we need to ask each and every one, dead or alive, to contribute £100, including all the Children of Israel and those drowned Egyptians, Julius Caesar’s centurions and each of their slaves, and the baby that’s just been born in the middle of the Amazon forest - that’s a trillion pounds.

Chris Grove at 3:32 pm on April 5th, 2010

I apologise in advance for being a pedant but David, how on earth could only 10 billion people have ever lived?  At current estimates there are 6Bn people on earth right now, that suggests only 4Bn people have ever lived before us.  From estimates I’ve seen in the past it’s always been assumed about 100Bn people have ever lived, though it’s such an incredibly imprecise calculation it’s almost not worth it.

Again sorry for the pedantry

Chris (slowthinker)

MarkP at 5:10 pm on April 5th, 2010

I can see nothing wrong with trying to bring a humorous view to politics.
The media are too quick to use terms like ‘LIAR!’ and ‘toxic-Tony’. In fact I don’t think there’s enough money in the world to make me want to be a politician and that’s a shame. Anyone who has the slightest interest in politics should think that maybe they can make a difference and a contribution at any level should be applauded. But with the media attention today I’m surprised that anyone would even attempt a career in politics. We maybe need to step back from the bear-pit the media have created and realise we live in a time of peace and we’ve enough food to eat, things aren’t really that bad. So congratulations, you were witty and wise and brought a moment of clarity that has been missing.

Matthew Barden at 6:32 pm on April 5th, 2010

Hi Victoria,

Just wanted to congratulate you on an excellent appearance on Question Time, very amusing, full of wit and charm.  You quite clearly have bags of personality.  I am definitely your biggest fan!

Well done and keep it up :o)



P.S. Are you single?  I promise not to steal from your wallet….haa haa

shane phelan at 9:00 pm on April 5th, 2010

hi vicky… You gave me a little advice on bankroll management not long ago and I’m doing much better now. I tend to make money on PokerStars on the 20 dollar double ups, I’ve played around 60 this week and lost only 4…. So thanks for that. I’ve now found which structure I’m good at…also as much as i don’t understand how only connect works i watch it ha… You’re very attractive and clever…you know so much about so many things much more than the pokerstar i thought you were…big fan x

KlooRhee at 2:23 am on April 6th, 2010

Hello Victoria,
please don’t take haters seriously. There are so many people who feel reassured by your media presence that you shouldn’t stop for a second to think about someone who doesn’t deserve your time. Some people are scared of an open heart and mind. It makes their one-way thinking look that little bit worse. As you have said there should be space in our hearts to let them express what they find important. I’d bet they would never do that in person (obligatory Welcome to Internet!)

I don’t know if you meant the robotized station [in this week’s Observer column] as a metaphor for automatic train protection or if the customer service staff are in any danger of losing jobs. Press coverage of the strike is not the clearest. So maybe mild disagreement. Hope it doesn’t worry you ;]

MDW at 9:15 am on April 6th, 2010

I don’t know what the other comments were, I’ve not read them, but I thought you were excellent on QT last week. I still fell asleep during the programme but please don’t take this as a bad sign. I do this almost every week, sometimes I don’t even get to see some people speak (and that can be a bonus)

AndrewB at 1:29 pm on April 6th, 2010

@Fitch - to apply for Only Connect, e-mail

Fitch at 12:03 am on April 7th, 2010

To AndrewB, many thanks, and also to you Victoria. I hope that my application to put a team forward to be on Only Connect will come to fruition (is that spelt right?). If it does come about I promise not to use the word “fart”, and I will surely not be wearing a bra!
Love to you all, Fitchxxx

Roger Craybourne at 10:24 am on April 7th, 2010

Saw you on question time, shocking! Not on! You are a clown, a spoilt little rich girl. Please dont go on again, someone with real worth could have had you seat. What a complete waste of tv licence money, terrible!

Victoria Coren at 12:03 pm on April 7th, 2010

Dear Roger,

  Unfortunately. the problem is that I have no say over the Question Time booking policy. Imagine if I’d said no and they had given the seat to someone *even worse* ? I believe the next people on the list after me were Paris Hilton and Princess Charlotte of Monaco. So, you never know; maybe it was a blessing in disguise.

  Best wishes

MDW at 1:27 pm on April 7th, 2010

I believe Paris Hilton is on next week with Roger, Duncan from Blue, one of the Cheeky Girls and a Chuckle Brother.

QT is much improved when they have one or two normal people on saying it like it is - we are all aware that most political types spend more time on media training than they do on policy.

Roger Craybourne at 1:53 pm on April 7th, 2010

Be fair and take it seriously VC, you were talking about Blair like he was an ex boyfriend. What the ???????  If you can get a copy of Will Self on QT see how he put himself across. You were unfair, it was all about you and you abused that, clown! Littlejohn although a plonker served his readers. At least i know what Paris Hilton is, unlike you! You could have said so much you could have been a breath of fresh air. No you came across as a clown who has never “GRAFTED” in her life, out of line! 


Philip at 2:21 pm on April 7th, 2010

Glad to hear that you are appearing on HIGNFY this week. Understand Richard Herring is on too. If Charlie Brooker was hosting then it would be a dream panel. Well my dream anyway… I suppose they’re filming tonight so all the best for that.

Kerenza at 2:52 pm on April 7th, 2010

“Someone with real worth could have had your seat” ??? Does Roger Claybourne, in his absurd indignation, realise he’s referring to an episode of Question Time and not a place in the lifeboat post Titanic?
Anyway, I thought you were great on QT, Victoria. You most definitely deserved to be there. Also, thanks for your message; I have replied!!

Artie Fufkin at 2:58 pm on April 7th, 2010

They could have given the seat to Paris Hilton or even worse, a reappearance by Carol ‘cleverest woman on tv’ Vorderman again. Her appearance on QT made Nick Griffin look eloquent and well balanced.

If anything involves numbers then Carol’s the only number we’ll ever need. She can solve everything from reducing our cholesterol, managing out debt repayments into manageable chunks and reforming the teaching of maths in schools for darling Dave. All this with a 3rd class degree in Engineering.

And as for that Littlejohn….

I thought you were a breath of fresh air Victoria!


Dan at 4:01 pm on April 7th, 2010

Oh calm down Roger.  Some of us want to see Vicky Coren on Question Time, whether a hard-grafting high-minded Paris Hilton watcher such as yourself likes the idea or not.

People talk as if QT was some sort of ultimate arbiter of Executive Power, elected on a weekly basis by some dark inner sanctum at the BBC.

Btw 95% of the people who nod sagely at phrases like “budget deficit” and “let’s all hate GB” don’t have much of a clue really, and it takes courage to take a slightly different line.  I wish there was less bandwagon politics out there.

David Bodycombe at 11:47 pm on April 7th, 2010

Once upon a time it was quite correct to say that around 10% of people who have ever lived are alive today. It was even featured as a £125,000 question on the first series of Millionaire.

With us reaching the 7th billion, that 1990s piece of trivia is increasingly untrue and it’s now a bit below that. This article says that it was 5.8% as of 2002 which seems a bit on the low side to me but their analysis is interesting:

P.S. Gawd bless the programmer for the “characters left” feature.

Rick at 7:25 pm on April 8th, 2010

Claybourne 0
Coren 100000000000000000 and counting

BTW I love the words I am asked to type to submit these. They have your style about them. Current one is “private16” Says it all, really.

Ju at 9:43 pm on April 8th, 2010


saw you on QT, thought she’s interesting.

saw you on HIGNFY.

love you.

Hiya at 4:21 am on April 9th, 2010

I love you x

Jonty at 9:38 pm on April 9th, 2010

you must have thought, after your first comment received laughter and applause, that everything was going to be okay. You were an ace in a pack of jokers Victoria. I couldn’t praise you enough.

alan at 8:49 am on April 10th, 2010

You were great!  You have just leapfrogged Helen Mirren in my list of all time great females….

GrahamW at 10:51 am on April 10th, 2010

Alan says (about Victoria) “You have just leapfrogged Helen Mirren”

Oooh, wish I’d been around to see that happen.
(Only joking really…........................or am I?????)

But now I’ve drifted into Vic Reeves-isms, I might as well make a suggestion. How about being a guest on the next series of ‘Shooting Stars’, Victoria?

123 at 6:56 pm on April 10th, 2010

I’ve been a big fan of yours for ages, and usually you come accross as really interesting and pulled-together. I have to say that I thought you maybe were a little on the cringeworthy side of things on QT but that I generally agreed with your opinions and that if you had elaborated a little less probably I would not have thought that it was too much. Nevertheless, still a fan and certainly didn’t think you were foul-mouthed!

Paul White at 11:14 am on April 11th, 2010

Roger….. You’re a cock.


Kris Steele at 9:32 am on April 12th, 2010

Just watched it on iplayer and you were bloody brilliant!! : )

Andrew Brown at 9:26 pm on April 14th, 2010

Victoria or is it Viccy?

I thought you were sublime on QT, for a start you were HONEST which is something you rarely see on that programme especially the politicians who often seem to be posturing or just defending the indefensible (war etc). You were bright, charming, witty, intelligent and very funny, and not wishing to massage your ego, clearly the star of that show!

I’ve recently started playing poker, any advice for beginners apart from just playing?

Are you single?

Mr B

Looking for perspective at 12:14 am on April 15th, 2010

Thought you were very witty and I completely agree with you about Gordon Brown. He is an honourable man, it’s a real shame the propaganda machine is working against him.

Some people only want to believe what the newspapers (in particular the Daily Mail) tell them.

Well done to you..for your refreshing performance on QT.

Victoria Coren at 1:32 am on April 15th, 2010

Andrew - for poker advice, click the “writing” tab at the top of this page, then “Guardian columns”. That is several years’ worth of poker advice - scroll down to the end, start there and work upwards; it is aimed (at least initially) for beginners, and I hope you’ll find some useful stuff there. Thanks for your nice comments.

Bay of Keens at 2:38 pm on April 15th, 2010

hello Victoria
because of that QT I became curious about you.flipped through the Observer last sunday on my way to church to find you, now i discovered this website. well done on the panel but disappointed you didn’t say something about that “cleaning contractor from Stevenage”.
Is he just waking up to the fact that English-speaking natives don’t do cleaning and without the non-english speakers his biz will die?

Victoria Coren

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