Paddy McGuiness praised for Question Time debut

Paddy McGuiness praised for Question Time debut
Paddy McGuinness calls out Tory MP over state of NHS
BBC Question Time

Paddy McGuinness, the comedian and former presenter of shows such as Top Gear and Take Me Out, made his first appearance on the BBC debate programme Question Time on Thursday, and while some raised eyebrows at the Beeb’s decision to book the TV personality, many have celebrated his takedown of the Tory government.

Starting off his first contribution by disclaiming that “most people know I’m not here for my great political brain”, he quickly pointed out that “that didn’t stop Boris Johnson”, which was greeted by laughter and applause from the audience.

As the panel discussed Labour abandoning its £28 billion pledge on green policies, McGuinness said: “James, you saying to Wes [Streeting] that Keir Starmer is saying anything to get a vote, is a bit rich coming from a Tory, let me tell you. We’re still waiting on the £350 million a week that Boris Johnson promised us.”

After Conservative and Bury North MP James Daly responded to the comedian to say “it’s here” and that the government were putting in another “46.5 billion over the next three years”, McGuinness fired back with a simple question: “Why is the NHS on its knees, if it’s here?

“Why are they going on strike, nurses and doctors, if it’s here? Where is it?”

Later in the programme, when the conversation turned to the crisis in NHS dentistry, McGuinness revealed his father removed his own teeth because he couldn’t get a dentist appointment, and shared what he knew about units of dental activity, or UDAs.

“But as someone as a child who was terrified of going to the dentist, I’ve got to congratulate the government because they’ve managed to get people queueing up for them!

“So if you’re an NHS dentist, you’ll get X amount of these UDAs – so let’s say it’s 10,000. So, someone will come in for a scale and polish, that’s one UDA, someone will come in for a filling, that’s 12. Someone, a crown, that’s 20.

“Now, that NHS dentist has to use up these UDAs, and if they don’t use them up, they’ll get penalised, and if they go above the UDA, they’ll get penalised again! So they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place.

“You don’t want to be going to a dentist who’s doing target-based care, as opposed to care-based care,” he said, with a dentist in the audience nodding along with McGuinness’ description of the issue.

McGuinness has since received widespread praise for his contributions, including from the British Dental Association:

Hopefully his first appearance on Question Time won’t be his last.

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