Wednesday 10 May 2017


On 10th May, BBC World Questions will come to Paris in the aftermath of a Presidential election that has overturned old political certainties.  Support for the traditional parties of the left and right melted away leaving French electors with a stark choice between the politics of the far right in the shape of Marine Le Pen and a new centrist movement led by Emmanuel Macron.  With Macron's victory in the elections, the issue now is how will he govern: will he get a majority in parliament and can he implement real change?  And what did the election tell us about modern French society?

Jonathan Dimbleby and a panel of leading politicians and thinkers will debate questions raised by the audience at Radio France in the heart of the French capital.  The panel includes Sylvie Goulard MEP, member of En Marche! and Macron supporter; Aymeric Merlaud, regional councillor in the Loire Valley, Front National; Olivier Tonneau, academic and Jean Luc Melenchon supporter; and the journalist Pascale Tournier

Mary Hockaday, Controller BBC World Service English, said:  “This is a truly fascinating time to bring BBC World Questions to Paris – right in the aftermath of one of the most extraordinary elections in French history. Debate is at the very heart of the BBC World Service, and this debate will see the panel of distinguished guests discuss a range of issues led directly by questions from the audience, and will then be heard by our audiences across the globe.”

The BBC World Service is holding a series of debates across the world in a time of change.  BBC World Questions allows the public to question their politicians, leaders and opinion formers directly face to face. The debates are lead entirely by questions from the audience who are able to have their say and be heard round the world. BBC World Questions is an English-language event staged in partnership with the British Council.

Paul Docherty, Director of the British Council in France, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the BBC in bringing World Questions to Paris. This programme generates space for open and independent debates on current affairs, which supports the British Council’s objective of promoting cultural relations among people worldwide. We believe that connecting people both in France and globally makes a powerful and lasting contribution to a more open and connected world.”

The programme will be recorded at Radio France on May 10th at 6.30pm.  To join in the debate please contact

As a cultural relations and educational organisation and partner of the BBC World Service, the British Council, helps to enable a platform where the general public can join in on democratic debate on a global forum.

BBC World Questions: Paris will be available on from 13th May at 20h00 CET. 

Any queries about BBC World Service please contact:

Any queries about the British Council please contact: 

BBC World Service

BBC World Service delivers news content around the world in English and 28 other language services, on radio, TV and digital, reaching a weekly audience of 246 million.  As part of BBC World Service, BBC Learning English teaches English to global audiences. For more information, visit The BBC attracts a weekly global news audience of 320 million people to its international news services including BBC World Service, BBC World News television channel and

British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. Using the UK’s cultural resources we make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications.

Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. The majority of our income is raised delivering a range of projects and contracts in English teaching and examinations, education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. Eighteen per cent of our funding is received from the UK government.