ABC panel show Q&A is "about encouraging people to engage with politics and society" but on Monday night, we ended up with two of Australia's best known names calling each other wankers.

The topic overnight was "drinking, depression and deportation", and Derryn Hinch and comedian Dave Hughes managed to upstage the rest of the panel with some childish (and hilarious) bickering.

As the panel discussed Prime Minister Tony Abbott's widely-shared beer skol, the pair snapped at one another.

"I drank because I loved the taste of wine," Hinch said.

"That's because you're a wanker," Hughesy replied.

"It takes one to know one," Hinch shot back.

In later conversation, Hughesy described his battle with depression and the relief that followed when he told his GP that he was smoking too much marijuana and drinking too much.

"I don't think you have to drink to look tough," he said.

"I don't drink at all.

"I think the toughest man in the pub is the one who's surrounded by a group of drinkers and says, 'No, I'll be right'."

Protestors in the Melbourne audience attempted to steer the panel towards discussing the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership, an international trade agreement negotiated in secret by Trade Minister Andrew Robb - who was another guest on the panel show.

Host Tony Jones said a question on the matter would come later, but it never did.

Other panellists included Gillard Government speaker Anna Burke and Jane Burns, the chief of the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre.

 


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