Popping the Question Time; AUDIENCE MEMBER PROPOSES LIVE ON TV AS NEW FIGURES SHOW MARRIAGE IS ON THE RISE

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Byline: VALENTINE LOW

WHEN the young man in the white shirt - yes sir, you with the glasses - got ready to ask Question Time's last question of the night, the panel could never had guessed what was coming. They had already dealt with such topics as school discipline, the Iraqi elections and Robert Kilroy-Silk, but - despite their collective wit and wisdom - Alan Jordan's question was one that none of them was qualified to answer.

Only one person could do that: the young woman sitting next to him.

As the studio audience in Derby - not to mention an estimated two million viewers at home - watched transfixed, Mr Jordan said: "This one is not for the panel, I'm afraid. It's for the lady on my right. Sonia, would you marry me?"

Her answer - unlike those of the panellists - was mercifully brief. After a short, shocked pause Sonia Temple said: "Yes, please" - and gave him a kiss as the audience and panel broke into applause.

Later Mr Jordan, a 38-year-old clerical officer, said the couple planned to tie the knot "sooner rather than later".

He added: "The idea just popped into my head. …