The First Election Debate on ITV in 2010 made broadcasting history, and was the most watched factual programme of any kind during that year, with more than nine million viewers throughout its 90-minute duration.
This year on April 2nd at 8pm, Julie Etchingham will host and moderate the first leaders’ debate of the 2015 General Election campaign. It will feature seven party leaders - David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg, Nigel Farage, Nicola Sturgeon, Natalie Bennett and Leanne Wood - in The ITV Leaders’ Debate.
During the two-hour live debate, leaders will have the opportunity to address questions posed by the studio audience. The leaders' will not see these questions in advance of the debate.
The format will allow each leader to give an uninterrupted answer to a question and then would open up the debate to a moderated discussion between the leaders, for up to around 17 to 18 minutes on each question.
The studio audience selected will be demographically representative of the country as a whole and politically balanced.
ITV will ask the selected audience for their questions, as well as ITV viewers, who have been asked to submit questions via firstname.lastname@example.org
Studio audience questions and viewer questions will be seen by an experienced editorial selection panel, who will decide which questions go forward to the debate on the night. If viewers' questions are chosen, these viewers will be invited to be a part of the audience at the debate on April 2nd.
The debate will be produced by ITV Studios, and the location will, as in 2010, be confirmed closer to transmission.
The ITV Leaders' Debate will give viewers the opportunity to see party leaders engaging in debate on significant issues, ahead of what is on course to be the most tightly contested election in recent memory.