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  1. ITV Report

Everything you need to know about Johnson v Corbyn: The ITV Debate and the other televised election debates

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn will debate head-to-head on ITV. Credit: ITV

The first televised debate of the General Election campaign will take place on Tuesday evening on ITV between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Host and moderator Julie Etchingham has shared her thoughts, preparation details and behind-the-scenes details with Daniel Hewitt and Shehab Khan for the Calling Peston podcast.

You can watch the full interview below:

Johnson v Corbyn: The ITV Debate will be screened at 8pm on ITV with the ITV Election Interviews - in which other party leaders will set out their own electoral offers and make observations on what has been said in the debate - broadcast at 10pm.

In between, itv.com/news will be bringing you post-debate reaction online in the Spin Room at 9pm, presented by ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand and taking in a mixture of political guests and journalists.

The stage is being set in Salford ahead of the head-to-head broadcast, which will see Mr Johnson and Mr Corbyn stand behind podiums.

What's the head-to-head format?

Each leader will have one minute for their opening statement - with Corbyn set to go first after lots were drawn - and 45 seconds for closing statements - with Johnson set to close.

The debate will last one hour in front of the studio audience of around 200 people.

Questions will come from ITV viewers and will broadly reflect a range of society, from different political backgrounds.

Questions are from ITV viewers responding to a call for questions on news bulletins throughout the UK and online.

The ITV Election Interviews

The special one-hour live interview programme at 10pm offers party leaders the chance to set out their own electoral offer and make observations on what has been said in the debate.

Jo Swinson of the Liberal Democrats, Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP, Nigel Farage of The Brexit Party and Sian Berry co-leader of the Green Party will be interviewed individually in consecutive face-to-face interviews with Nina Hossain, from a studio in East London.

What's happened in the build-up to the head-to-head?

The PM has teed up a feisty showdown by sending his rival an open letter listing the four questions he claims the Labour leader has "ducked" on the campaign trail.

Tuesday's schedule was effectively confirmed after the Liberal Democrats and the SNP lost a High Court challenge against ITV over its decision to exclude their party leaders.

The two parties had taken ITV to court, saying their exclusion deprived voters of the chance to make their own decisions.

The broadcasters have announced a series of debates, including two head-to-heads after reaching an agreement between the Tories and Labour, one three-way debate and one seven-way debate.

Planned debates

The first head-to-head debate between Mr Johnson and Mr Corbyn will be aired on ITV on Tuesday at 8pm.

Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson will go head to head on Tuesday night. Credit: PA

Sky has proposed hosting a three-way debate including Mr Johnson, Mr Corbyn and Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson on November 28.

The next day, the BBC will host a seven-way debate in Cardiff on November 29, between leaders or senior figures from the seven major GB political parties.

ITV will be broadcasting a seven-way election debate on Sunday 1 December.

The ITV Election Debate will be hosted by Julie Etchingham. Credit: ITV News

Representatives from the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Brexit Party, Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru will come together in 'The ITV Election Debate', hosted by Julie Etchingham and broadcast live from Greater Manchester.

If you would like the opportunity to put a question directly to all seven party representatives as part of our studio audience on the night, please follow the link here to provide some more information about yourself, and to submit your question.

The BBC will also host a “prime ministerial debate” on December 6 from Southampton between Mr Corbyn and Mr Johnson.

What's the history of first debates?

Televised general election debates started in 2010, with Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg clashing in three debates.

Some analysts concluded the first debate resulted in a so-called “Cleggmania”, with an immediate poll bounce for the Lib Dems, who briefly polled ahead of Labour and the Tories.

This was not reflected in the eventual election result, with the party finishing third and 13 points behind the Tories.

David Cameron (l to r) Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown during a 2010 debate Credit: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA

In subsequent elections, the formats have been different and have involved battles between the broadcasters and party leaderships over who should be invited to debate whom.

The debates in the three-weeks before polling day garnered 9.7 million (April 15 – ITV), 2.2 million (April 22 – Sky) and 7.4 million (April 29 – BBC) viewers respectively.

2015 debates

In 2015, after much wrangling in the months beforehand, one seven-way debate took place on ITV between Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Ukip, Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru.

A “challenger debate” between opposition parties was also aired on the BBC without the Tories or Lib Dems.

The seven-way debate attracted 7.3 million viewers for ITV on April 2 and the “opposition debate” attracted 4.4 million for the BBC on April 16.

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2017 debates

In 2017, Jeremy Corbyn and then-PM Theresa May were both invited to a seven-way leaders’ debate on ITV, but both declined the invitation, with a five-way debate taking place instead.

Later, Mrs May refused to take part in a seven-way debate on the BBC, sending then-home secretary Amber Rudd instead, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn deciding to take part at the last minute.

This debate on May 31 attracted just 3.6 million viewers for the BBC.

Johnson v Corbyn: The ITV Debate will be broadcast at 8pm on Tuesday 19 November, with the ITV Election Interviews broadcast at 10pm.