A CHURCH was thrust into the spotlight when broadcasting and political heavyweights took to the microphone.

Celebrated political commentator Jonathan Dimbleby chaired the popular Radio 4 show Any Questions? from St Giles Church, Wrexham, on Friday night.

Mr Dimbleby was joined by Shadow Welsh Secretary Peter Hain, Plaid Cymru AM Helen-Mary Jones, Conservative MP Jesse Norman and the writer James Delingpole for the weekly debate show.

The event brought an unlikely reunion for Mr Dimbleby, as he met church warden Roger Graham-Palmer who taught him farm management at the Royal Agricultural College, Gloucestershire, in the 1960s.

Mr Graham-Palmer said: “At the time I did not think he would go on to have the career he has enjoyed despite his father being a broadcaster, but he could be inquisitive.

“I haven’t seen him for 42 years so it’s nice to have him visiting us.

“We are honoured to have an event of this calibre taking place here.”

Despite bad weather and competing with the Six Nations match between Wales and England, hundreds flocked to St Giles’ Church for the live recording.

The audience included regular members of the church congregation and political enthusiasts from across the Wrexham area.

William Anthony, a 17-year-old student at Yale College, said: “It is great to have this show coming from Wrexham.

“I’m interested in politics and I have been especially looking forward to seeing Peter Hain.”

Speaking shortly before the broadcast began, Mr Dimbleby told the audience it was “lovely to be here”.

He added: “This church is completely sensational.”

Subjects discussed during the 45-minute debate included the Big Society, the current situation in Egypt and the proposed sell-off of woodland in England.