Face The Classroom: Kiwi kids ask Bill English and Jacinda Ardern the hard questions

Prime Minister Bill English with school children in Face The Classroom.

Prime Minister Bill English with school children in Face The Classroom.

They are not old enough to vote but that hasn't prevented a classroom of children from asking politicians the hard questions.

In Face The Classroom, which screens over two nights, 25 youngsters, aged 10 to 12 years, probe political party leaders on a range of topics.

"The idea behind it really is to try to see a different face of the politicians," says the show's producer Philly de Lacey, "because I think kids can disarm any adult in the way that only children can. 

"They've got a strong interest in politics and they've come up with a really interesting bunch of questions to ask the politicians."

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Seven political party leaders take part in the show and front up to questions about homelessness, the environment and suicide.

"They've taken the politicians to task to get the answers they wanted," says de Lacey. 

But the show also has some lighter moments.

"As you can imagine they are very keen to ask Gareth Morgan about his policy on cats and they are keen to ask Bill English about the pizzas he makes," says de Lacey.

"They've asked politicians about the naughtiest thing they've ever done and the most embarrassing thing they've ever done."

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De Lacey is impressed by how knowledgeable some of the children are about politics.

"I've been really blown away by the kids," she says. "At 10 or 12 I probably wouldn't have been able to name any of the politicians let alone understand the policies or know a lot about their personal lives. But these kids, they're really engaged."

While Face The Classroom is made with children in mind, it is also worthwhile viewing for adults.

"If you're interested in our country," says de Lacey, "you should be looking at any opportunity to watch our leaders and see who they are and how they respond to situations." 

Face The Classroom, TVNZ 1, Mon-Tues, starts September 18.

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 - TV Guide

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