A Question Of Sport’s Sue Barker ‘could be replaced by a comedian’ after she leaves the show after 24 years.
It was announced last year that host Sue, as well as team captains Matt Dawson and Phil Tuffnell, would be leaving the series together in a major shake-up for the long-running panel show.
Sue, a former tennis ace, has been on the series since 1997, keeping up the show’s tradition of having a former sports star in the hot seat.
However that tradition is rumoured to be ending after 51 years on air, with a comedian coming on board to ‘make a cross between Have I Got News For You and A League Of Their Own’.
It’s been claimed that A League Of Their Own’s Jack Whitehall is being considered as a replacement, as well as stand-up comedian Jon Richardson, who currently is a favourite on 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown.
When approached by Metro.co.uk, a BBC rep said ‘no decision has been made yet’.
‘Bosses are trying out various line-ups, and are keen on getting a comedian, rather than ex-sportsperson, to front it,’ a source told The Sun.
‘The hope is to attract younger viewers and give the show a new lease of life.
‘Everyone at the Beeb is really excited. It’s going to be brilliant.’
The BBC was hit with ageism claims following the shake-up, with Sue and Matt seemingly confirming their exit wasn’t their choice.
On the news of her departure, Sue said: ‘I’ve absolutely loved my 24 years fronting A Question of Sport, it’s been my dream job.
‘But I understand the BBC want to take the show in a new direction and I’m sad to say goodbye.’
He told his followers: ‘Thanks for all the lovely messages. I’m not sure how to respond so I’ll have a think.
‘Needless to say I will miss @QuestionofSport immensely….’
Phil also marked the occasion on Twitter, adding: ’13 yrs @QuestionofSport has been a great part of life… Going to miss it hugely… Thanks so much for all the lovely messages!! ‘
‘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,’ a BBC spokesperson said in response.
‘Together they have ensured A Question Of Sport remains a firm favourite with the BBC One audience.’
A Question Of Sport is available on BBC iPlayer.
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Author: Tilly Pearce