The National:

THE line-up for tonight's Question Time panel shouldn't come as a surprise ... but it does.

It's a very rare treat that the BBC takes its "flagship political programme" to an English location and invites a Scottish political figure, or someone from Westminster's third biggest party – the SNP.

This is despite the show counting as a Scottish production in BBC paperwork.

It's a pity that it should come as such a shock to see the SNP's Westminster leader appear on tonight's Question Time from Ealing – but a welcome sign.

SNP MP Ian Blackford will join presenter Fiona Bruce and four others for tonight's show.

The full line-up is:

  • James Cleverly, Conservative deputy chairman and MP for Braintree
  • Clive Lewis, Labour shadow treasury minister
  • Catherine Barnard, professor of EU law
  • Julia Hartley-Brewer, journalist
  • Ian Blackford, SNP Westminster leader

With Brexit dominating proceedings this week, Blackford's is an obvious name to include – and it's right that Scotland's voice will be represented in the debate, given our Remain vote.

The show has also confirmed it will be returning to Scotland on May 16.

Question Time will be broadcast from Elgin on that date – and at this rate, we'll probably be discussing Meaningful Vote 26 around then.

After the outrageous episode in Motherwell, and the incredibly disproportionate time given to Unionist audience members and orange jacket man, we'll have our eyes on it.

BBC Scotland's Debate Night has shown they're capable of keeping it balanced when they want to.

The bar has been raised.