Pointless star Richard Osman joins St Albans Cathedral Question Time

TV presenter Richard Osman

TV presenter Richard Osman - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of students took to the Cathedral recently for St Albans’ answer to Question Time.

The likes of Pointless’s Richard Osman, activist Huda Jawatt, and broadcaster Samira Ahmed appeared on a panel to answer questions posed by sixth form students from across the county.

Harpenden and Hitchin MP Peter Lilley, chairman of Britvic plc Gerald Corbett, and chair of the Youth Justice Board Lord Tom McNally also appeared on the panel.

Pupils from a number of schools in the district, including St Columba’s College, Verulam, Samuel Ryder Academy and Beaumont, came up with a broad selection of questions.

Topics ranged from the refugee crisis, to tax credits, to Trident, and even the panel’s height.

One response in particular, from Richard Osman, got a positive reaction from the audience.

When asked by a student whether it was worth going to university given the high tuition fees, he responded: “Pupils nowadays are over tested and over stressed.

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“If you can come to terms with the finances then you of any generation deserve to spend three years having a laugh, getting smashed, and enjoying yourselves, you’ve earned it.”

Richard, who used to live in Albert Street, St Albans, said of the experience: “I always like talking to students because it’s so easy to get older and set in your ways, and set in your opinions.

“It’s essential to keep reminding yourself that the world changes constantly, and chatting to bright, engaged students does exactly that.”

Huda Jawad sought political asylum in the UK in 1988 and has since worked with numerous charities, local governments, and national and international NGOs (non-governmental organisations) tackling a wide range of issues.

She said: “I really enjoyed their questions I thought they were really well thought through and really topical. I hope they reflected their concerns and I found them really well placed.

“I think there’s such a lack of engagement with young people, I remember being young, admittedly many years ago, but it feels more and more that young people have been booted out of the public discourse. We’re in the 21st century but we still don’t realise that they have every right to be at the table that decides on issues and I think that’s why it’s important to give people the right to be heard.”