Sue Barker reveals she found it 'too painful' to watch revamped Question of Sport

Virgin Radio

18 Dec 2023, 13:56

Former Question Of Sport host Sue Barker has opened up about the hit quiz show, after it was announced that it is has been shelved. 

The telly legend hosted the show for 24 years, from 1997 to 2021 before Paddy McGuiness took over, with team captains Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell making way for Sam Quek and Ugo Monye.

It was recently revealed that the BBC would stop producing the show after 53 years, with a statement saying that "due to inflation and funding challenges, difficult decisions have to be made, therefore Question of Sport is currently not in production at the moment".

Joining Jeff Stelling and former QoS captain Ally McCoist on The Sports Breakfast on talkSPORT this morning (18th December), Sue Barker was asked if the show could have been saved. “I don’t know, probably,” she said. “ Maybe if they kept the familiar rounds.  Maybe they tried to change too much, I don’t know.”

She continued: “It was too painful for me to really watch it and understand what they were doing, but I remember saying to Tuffers and Daws after they brought in this creative director, they were revamping shows and we saw him sitting in our green room. I said, ‘That’s it, we’re toast.’”

Speaking more about the show, Sue said: “I knew that it was going to be time to revamp it, but sometimes, some shows, they don’t need too much.

“The familiar rounds, although we updated them and we changed it… and we evolved it, we never changed the core of the show, right the way from David Coleman.

“When he wanted me to take over, he took me in his office and told me what to do. He told me to write for it; ‘Don’t let them change it, don’t let them bring in celebrities, keep it sporty’. He was so determined to keep it the same.”

The presenter added: “We had our fights over the years because they all wanted to change it, but we kept it true to itself.”

Despite production on the show having been halted, the BBC has left the door open for a possible return at some point in the future, and said that it is "not the final whistle".

Jeff Stelling hosts Talksport Breakfast every Monday and Tuesday Morning from 6am. Ally McCoist and Alan Brazil host Wednesdays, with Alan and Gabby Agbonlahor on Thursdays and Alan and Ray Parlour on Fridays.

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