Question Time was forced to air with just 3 guests last night as 2 got stuck on a train to Salford.

Producers delayed the recording in order to give Baroness Bakewell and Telegraph journalist, Tim Stanley a chance to arrive in time, but in the end opted to go with a panel of 3.

As it combined rail transport and the BBC’s “controversial MediaCity hub” [sic] the Daily Mail has declared Question Time a “shambles.”

@bbcquestiontime: To those who haven’t seen, neither @timothy_stanley nor @JDBakewell will be on #bbcqt tonight due to transport problems – a panel of three.

‏@JDBakewell: Question Time going ahead without Tim Stanley and me. Both still stuck on train. Sorry not to share views, folks. Another time I hope.

@timothy_stanley Stuck on a train for four hours and I can’t even smoke. Thank you David Cameron.

Prolific North asked the BBC why 2 suitable North West replacements couldn’t be found and a spokesperson told us:

“Due to unforeseen circumstances, Joan Bakewell and Timothy Stanley were unable to appear on last night’s Question Time. Where possible, we try to replace panel members who cannot attend but in this instance it was too late to notice.”

The problem was caused by a trackside fire in the Midlands, leading to major disruption to the West Coast Mainline, with some trains delayed by up to 2 hours.