A TV First for the Westgate Museum

Press Release: 07/02/2006

The Westgate Museum hosted the popular BBC programme 'The Politics Show' on Sunday 5 February 2006

The show was broadcast live from the upper chamber of the ancient monument which had in its time been used as a debtors prison in the 16th and 17th century. Peter Henley, interviewed notable guests Nick Herbert MP( Cons) for Arundel & South Downs, Chris Huhne MP(Lib Dems) for Eastleigh and Cllr. Richard Williams (Lab) for Southampton City Council. The programme wrestled with the thorny issue of policing.

Sher Kent Visitor Services Manager for the museum service commented, "The ancient gateway has had many different guises in its long history - gateway to a Roman city, debtors prison, entertainment room of a public house, storage depot and now a first as a television studio! "It was extremely interesting seeing the work behind the scenes in producing a live performance - so many cables and wires".

The programme was broadcast from 12noon on Sunday 5 February 2006 and was live from the Westgate for 20 minutes. Throughout the show Peter Henley held onto the enormous keys to the door of the museum and threatened to lock the Members of Parliament in the museum after the show.

Ian Paul from the BBC Politics Show said this morning, "It was great filming from the Westgate Museum which we chose because we were looking for an iconic building in Winchester which also had some association with our discussion topic (police reform) and the West Gate was perfect on both counts. The Museums Service couldn't have been more helpful in dealing with the strange and varied demands that having a live outside broadcast crew descend upon them caused, and the show was a great success from our point of view".