Clapping ban for election TV debates as nervous parties ‘fear studio audience reaction could influence TV viewers’

JASON GROVES
Daily Mail
March 3, 2010

Televised election debates between Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg will take place in near silence after the broadcasters were forced to agree to a ban on clapping.

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The ruling is part of a 76-clause landmark deal signed yesterday which will allow the historic debates to go ahead for the first time in Britain.

The ban on applause is supposedly to allow time for more questions. But it is understood that the parties were nervous that studio audience reaction could influence TV viewers.

The debates are likely to become the centrepiece of the election campaign. But the rigid format will fuel fears that they could be so dull they could alienate voters.

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