If the BBC’s two-hour debate, live from Wembley, on Great Britain leaving the European Union seemed like a satire on modern politics to many it is probably because, back in 1994, it was.
Beamed directly from the SSE Arena, “EU Referendum: The Great Debate” came across less like an intelligent debate on the subject of Europe and more a WWE slanging match.
Featuring politicians keen to ensure their pre-prepared put downs and statistics were shoehorned into every answer, regardless of relevance, the debate is unlikely to have swayed any undecided voters but it did show just how far politics has sunk.
UK politics has now reached a level whereby, the kind of thing that was once the subject of a spoof comedy show on the subject of news media back in the mid-90s suddenly represents something approaching reality.
Back in 1994, Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci brought BBC viewers The Day Today, a television reworking of their popular BBC radio spoof news series On The Hour.
The birthplace of Steve Coogan’s iconic character Alan Partridge, the show was created to send up the way news is reported and broadcast to the public, the show was also a precursor to Morris’ work on Brass Eye.
Still as fresh and relevant today as it is then, fans on social media have been quick to point to the similarities between the Big EU debate and a segment from The Day Today promoting an upcoming episode of Question Time live from Wembley stadium.
The clip is made all the more relevant for the fact that David Dimbleby, the current host of Question Time, oversaw proceedings at the Wembley debate.
It is yet another damning example of the way politics is descending into the kind of farce once the subject for satire.
Last year, Charlie Brooker had to dismiss claims he knew about the allegations involving David Cameron and a pig’s head, after fans noted the similarity between the real-life story and an episode of Black Mirror.
This particular episode of dystopian black comedy series saw the Prime Minister, played by Rory Kinnear, forced to have sex with a pig on live television.
Life truly does imitate art.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.