Q & A finally goes live

From next week, the ABC's political debate program will be simulcast live across Australia on ABC News 24.

Since its inaugural broadcast in 2008, Q & A has gone from strength to strength in terms of popularity, which is significantly fuelled by the effects of social media and its connection with its audience.

But for a long time now, viewers in different time zones around the country have been unable to fully engage with the program via its Twitter account, which is a central component of the panel-style show.

Q & A executive producer, Peter McEvoy, said the simulcast will address this imbalance around Australia.

"Q & A is all about live interaction between our audience and the political leaders who shape our country. Simulcasting Q & A on ABC News 24 will cut through the time zones that have prevented TV viewers in Queensland, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia from watching Q & A live."

"Q & A on ABC News 24 will give all Australians the opportunity to get involved in the Q & A discussion and debate by submitting their questions live on the web and their comments live on Twitter to a truly national Q & A," added McEvoy.

Hosted by television news journalist Tony Jones, the panel generally comprises of five public figures -- politicians or political commentators -- who engage in debate regarding current, relevant political and social issues.

Q & A's first live broadcast airs Monday, October 25 and will feature former Australian Prime Minister John Howard.

The program will continue to be screened on ABC1 at 9.35pm in all local time zones.

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