Viewers have criticised the BBC for allowing former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy to appear on its Question Time show last night, after the recovering alcoholic gave confused and disjointed answers to questions.
Kennedy, who led the Liberal Democrats from 1999 to 2006, struggled to get his views across and continually repeated himself.
At one point he misinterpreted a comment from a fellow guest and then, a second time, had to stop talking in order to ask what the question was.
When speaking about the BBC’s decision to suspend Jeremy Clarkson, he said: “Jeremy Clarkson, the future, this is very politically incorrect of me, but, end of Gone With The Wind, frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
A Lib Dem source told the Daily Mail: “It was quite clear that he was not his usual self last night”.
Viewers took to Twitter to last night to criticise the BBC:
As a recovering alcoholic, seeing Charles Kennedy on #bbcqt made me sad. There go I but for the grace of God and all that. Get well soon sir
— rob collins (@rwpcollins) March 13, 2015
Seeing a lot of mocking towards Charles Kennedy. A good man who needs a little help. Like many people do now and again.
— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) March 12, 2015
Charles Kennedy… I’m not going to say it, but… #bbcqt
— Toby Young (@toadmeister) March 12, 2015
I cannot believe the BBC would allow a completely drunk Charles Kennedy to go on. How sad. #BBBQT
— Alex Andreou (@sturdyAlex) March 12, 2015
Charles Kennedy on #bbcqt. It’s making me sad.
— SimonNRicketts (@SimonNRicketts) March 12, 2015
Kennedy has been an MP since 1983, when he became Britain’s youngest parliamentarian at the age of just 23. He faces a tough battle to hold his seat in this year’s election, however, with polls predicting he could face defeat at the hands of the Scottish National Party.
He stood down as Liberal Democrat leader in 2006 after admitting to a drink problem. When the story of his alcoholism initially broke he claimed it was no longer a problem and stated his intention to carry on as party leader, but a rebellion from senior Liberal Democrats forced him to stand down.