Viewers confused by opening ‘cardboard cutout’ to BBC leadership debate


Watch: Viewers confused by ‘awkward’ opening of BBC leadership debate

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss clashed in a BBC televised debate on Monday night which saw them go head-to-head on issues including taxes, leveling and the UK’s relationship with China.

However, it was the show’s opening that had viewers asking the most questions about the contestants.

The show opens with an extended shot of the two contestants side by side, smiling.

Their still expressions and statuesque attitudes had viewers wondering if the contestants were actually… cardboard cutouts.

The opening shot of the BBC leadership debate confused viewers, who wondered if the two candidates were cardboard cutouts (BBC)

Sunak's slight movement as the camera zoomed in revealed that he had in fact not been replaced by a model (BBC)

Sunak’s slight movement as the camera zoomed in revealed that he had in fact not been replaced by a model (BBC)

It wasn’t until Sunak moved slightly after the camera zoomed in that people watching the debate realized they were watching the real thing.

One Twitter user commented, “I honestly thought the two standing there at first were cardboard cutouts…until Sunak stopped smiling.”

Many others asked, “Were these cardboard cutouts?”

Twitter users wondered if Sunak and Truss had been replaced with cardboard cutouts (Twitter)

Twitter users wondered if Sunak and Truss had been replaced with cardboard cutouts (Twitter)

Twitter users wondered if Sunak and Truss had been replaced with cardboard cutouts (Twitter)

Social media users all had the same question (Twitter)

Twitter users wondered if Sunak and Truss had been replaced with cardboard cutouts (Twitter)

Some were surprised to find they had watched the real Sunak and Truss (Twitter)

Twitter users wondered if Sunak and Truss had been replaced with cardboard cutouts (Twitter)

It wasn’t until Sunak moved that people realized he wasn’t cardboard (Twitter)

The debate itself saw the leadership candidates trashing each other’s economic plans in a bitter exchange.

Sunak claimed there was “nothing conservative” about Truss’s tax-cutting approach, saying it would give the party “absolutely no chance” of winning the next election.

Truss in turn suggested that her rival would lead the country into a recession.

She accused Sunak of “project scare” after he suggested his plans could push interest rates up to 7%, creating dramatically higher mortgage payments for millions of households.

It came after a weekend that saw allies of the two Tory leadership candidates trade increasingly personal attacks.

Sunak was accused of “mansplaining” after interrupting his rival several times.

After the debate, a spokesperson for Truss said The temperature: “Rishi Sunak proved tonight that he is not fit for a position.

“His aggressive and screaming behavior at a private school is desperate, unseemly and a gift to the Labor Party,”