BBC Question Time fury as Fiona Bruce says ‘offensive’ remark to visually impaired guest in toe-curling gaffe

BBC Question Time fury as Fiona Bruce says ‘offensive’ remark to visually impaired guest in toe-curling gaffe

Fiona Bruce uses 'offensive' remark to speak to visually impaired guest

Lauren Williams

By Lauren Williams

Published: 01/03/2024

- 11:21

Updated: 01/03/2024

- 11:49

The debate show has been put in the firing line once again

Question Time presenter Fiona Bruce has been slammed by BBC viewers and urged to make a public apology after many claimed she “mocked” a visually impaired person.

During the latest episode, Bruce was joined by Conservative peer Sayeeda Warsi, Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy, Green Party’s Caroline Lucas, and historian and columnist Tim Stanley.

The panel were discussing the topic: “Should everyone have the right to express their opinion even if others find it unpalatable?”

Bruce opened up the floor and invited the audience members to ask questions, which included a women in the back row wearing darkened-lens glasses.

Noticing that she wanted to ask something, Bruce pointed to her and said: “Yes at the very back, there’s two people, you’ve got sunglasses on.

“I know these lights are bright, I didn’t know they were that bright! But anyway off you go,” Bruce quipped but the audience member quickly put the host in her place.

Fiona Bruce

Fiona Bruce pointed to the visually impaired woman at the back of the studio


The audience member immediately defended wearing the item of clothing as she replied: “I promise I have a license to wear these, they’re not sunglasses.”

Brushing past the moment, Bruce chuckled and said: “Oh forgive me, forgive me,” but as the clip was shared on X, many viewers became outraged.

One commented: “Fiona Bruce should make a public apology for mocking a VI/blind lady for wearing sunglasses in the studio for @bbcquestiontime. @BBCOne @RNIB_campaigns @RNIB As someone who is registered blind with extreme light sensitivity I find it offensive.”

“It took me aback. I was like wtf,” the original X user who posted the clip replied, as another echoed: “This was awful.”

Question TIme

The lady was quick to point out that she was visually impaired 


A fifth noted: “OMG why did she have to comment anyway. Not relevant. She is so….” (sic)

This isn’t the first time Bruce has caused uproar as she previously chose a member of the audience by referring to the colour of their skin.

When identifying some of the audience members, she pointed them out by referring to their “colourful top” or “green skirt”.

However, when it came to the identity of Roberto Gocan, she noted “the black guy in the middle".

Question Time

Fiona Bruce received backlash after "offensive" comment


Question Time itself hit headlines last month when fans accused the show of "dumbing down" by enlisting comedian and former Top Gear presenter Paddy McGuinness as a panelist.

However, after seeing the backlash to his stint, McGuinness defended his participation in the debate show soon after.

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