Sue Barker breaks silence on Question of Sport axe after being dropped

Sue Barker holds back tears as she looks back on her career

Sue Barker has spoken out after the BBC announced it was benching long-running quiz show Question of Sport. The broadcaster said she was “massively disappointed” by the news, which was confirmed by a spokesperson last night.

The 67-year-old fronted the long-running quiz show for 24 years, before being dropped in 2020 alongside team captains Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell. She has now reiterated how much the programme meant to her as she addressed what had happened.

The former tennis player told MailOnline: “Obviously I am massively disappointed as it is a show that has meant so much to me.” Yesterday the broadcaster blamed “inflation and funding challenges” for Question of Sport’s demise.

It first debuted back in 1970 and was fronted by former Match of the Day reporter David Vine. However, it is best known for being presented by Sue, who added to The Telegraph: “I truly hope it will return one day.”

A BBC spokesman previously said: “Due to inflation and funding challenges, difficult decisions have to be made, therefore Question of Sport is currently not in production at the moment.” The national broadcaster cited “value for money” for BBC licence fee payers, which has seen the network reshuffle its squad of shows to prioritise high-impact content that drives viewers to BBC iPlayer.

READ MORE Paddy McGuinness savagely mocked as Question Of Sport axed days after Top Gear

A BBC source advised that this is not the final whistle for the programme.

Paddy McGuinness took over from Sue alongside team captains Sam Quek and Ugo Monye, but their tenure only lasted two seasons.

The move also follows the broadcaster announcing last month that long-running motoring show Top Gear would be rested “for the foreseeable future”.

Production of the show had been halted since former England cricket captain Freddie Flintoff, 45, was taken to hospital in December 2022 after he was injured in an accident at the test track at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey.

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Sue addressing her ousting in an interview on Desert Island Discs last year, said she “expected more” from bosses.

She continued: “Don’t get me wrong, I had no problem with being replaced. Everyone has their day.

“Producers must always have the right to refresh a programme and take it in a new direction.”

But added: “It was the way it was handled. It taught me there is actually no way of leaving a role in a nice, pleasant and helpful manner, with your head held high.”

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