After Sue Barker’s departure BBC dump A Question Of Sport

BBC bosses have called time on the family-friendly programme amid dwindling ratings and limited iPlayer appeal – but admit it could return in the future.

The axing comes after the show underwent major changes in 2021 when presenter Sue Barker and long-running team captains Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell were dropped.

Paddy McGuinness took over as host with hockey star Sam Quek and rugby’s Ugo Monye installed as captains.

However, the new team has failed to match the success of the show’s previous line-ups.

Last night a BBC spokesman said: “Due to inflation and funding challenges, difficult decisions have to be made.

“Therefore A Question of Sport is currently not in production at the moment.” An insider said the show was taking a break “for the foreseeable future” but could return, adding: “We have to provide value for money to licence fee payers and prioritise high impact content that drives viewers to BBC iPlayer.”

Yesterday insiders said the presenter and captains had been informed of the decision and are “gutted”.

The show kicked off in 1970 with sports presenter David Vine as host.

In 1979 commentator David Coleman took over.

Its heyday came in the 1980s when captains Emlyn Hughes and Bill Beaumont did battle.

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In 1987, more than 19 million viewers tuned in to see Princess Anne take part. Her daughter Zara appeared in 2006.

Hughes was replaced by Ian Botham in 1988 but the show remained highly popular.

Sporting superstars Geoff Hurst, Bobby Moore, George Best, Nigel Mansell and Linford Christie were among those to appear over the years.

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