The comedy/writing partnership Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas will be putting a song behind David Dimbleby and his guests for a series of five half hour operatic sessions on BBC Two next year.
In addition to Question Time, they’ll be operafying Wife Swap, The Apprentice, Panorama and South Bank Show. If you think you’ve heard those names before, it’s the team behind the amazing/comical/controversial/excellent/travesty* Jerry Springer – The Opera that ran for a long time in London's West End before being shown on BBC2 and is just finishing a year-long tour around the UK. (* - delete as applicable)
Avalon Television have shot much of the five performances featuring a non-singing central comedy character, backed up by recognisable West End actors and professional opera singers up in the north west of England, at locations around Manchester and Blackburn, backed by the 45-strong BBC Concert Orchestra. So it should sound operatic, even with a Lee/Thomas comedy twist.
John Rolph, BBC's comedy commissioning editor was quoted in Broadcast magazine explaining that the series would present
"fantasy versions of modern TV formats where high and popular culture meet - and possibly clash. They're funny and daring ..."
The production may have undergone a change of name at some stage. While the BBC News story refers to Kombat Opera Presents, the BBC’s Winter/Spring 2007 Highlights release talks about the snappier Television The Opera presents ...Imagine the Northern Ireland version with an operatic Folks on the Hill, Lets Talk, Gerry Kelly or Sunday Sequence!