I worked on the first TV debate of the Scottish referendum. I was involved in countless more.
I was to be found on the production team for televised clashes during the 2015 general election and the 2016 vote for Holyrood. So I speak with some experience when I say TV debates are a terrible idea. Theresa May’s refusal to participate in any is the first good news to come out of the general election.
When the format debuted in 2010, I was optimistic. Here was an opportunity to extract a good deal more honesty and accountability from the overspun and media-managed Gordon Brown and David Cameron. Cleggmania (remember that? Come to think of it, remember him?) was vapid and driven by the sort of earnest millennial who shared a couple of memes on Facebook, didn’t bother to vote, then threw a strop outside Lib Dem HQ when the coalition was announced.