"Audiences must be on their best behaviour as Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg go head-to-head in Britain's first televised election debates between political leaders.
"The historic encounters, taking place midweek in the three full weeks of the campaign, will be governed by a strict set of 76 rules painstakingly drawn up after weeks of negotiations between the parties and the broadcasters.
"The audiences of about 200 people, picked to be representative of the community, will ask questions chosen by a selection panel. But to maximise the time for debate, applause will be restricted to the beginning and end of the programme. During the debate there will be no booing, hissing or heckling."