Wednesday, 23 Sep 2020

BBC bosses axe A Question Of Sport trio Sue Barker, Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell

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A Question Of Sport stars Sue Barker, Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell were left "blind-sided" after being axed in a shake-up of the 50-year-old show.

It will return with a brand new line-up for its next series.

Confirming the news, a BBC spokesman said: "We would like to thank Sue for her enormous contribution as the show's longest-reigning host over the last 23 years, and Matt and Phil for their excellent team captaincy over 16 and 12 years respectively.

"Together they have ensured A Question Of Sport remains a firm favourite with the BBC One audience.

"Sue, Matt and Phil's final series will be broadcast next year before the series returns with a new team."

Former tennis champ Sue, who has fronted the BBC One programme since 1997, once described A Question Of Sport as “a part of my life”.

A BBC insider said: “The show has been on for a long time and the producers think it’s time to give it a new look.

“Sue, Matt and Tuffers have been so popular, so the producers are aware they will have big shoes to fill.

“With the 50th anniversary this year they thought it would be a good time to revamp things.”

The show, which first started in 1970, celebrated 50 years on air and 1,200 episodes in May.

A nationwide tour with the stars was planned in April this year to celebrate but it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The live version of the show, which lets fans take part, was postponed until February next year. It is not known if it will go ahead.

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The news of the radical shake-up will disappoint millions of fans of the world’s longest running TV sports quiz.

It has been a stalwart of British TV for decades, offering up nuggets of sporting trivia to viewers for decades.

Sue, 64, took over as the host from sports commentator David Coleman, and has been the face of the show for 23 years.

She previously said: “QS has been such a huge part of my life – from watching it with my family growing up through my tennis-playing days, and then, of course, as the presenter.”

Rugby hero Matt, 47, is the show's longest-running captain.

He once missed an England training session to record an episode and was dropped form the national side.

Former England cricketer Tufnell, 54, joined the team in 2008, replacing footballer Ally McCoist.

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