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Celebrity News

BBC axes A Question of Sport amid dwindling ratings as 53-year stint comes to an end

today18/12/2023

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The BBC has decided to axe A Question of Sport amid dwindling ratings as the show’s 53-year stint comes to an abrupt end.

A Question of Sport, which dropped Sue Barker as its host three years ago, will no longer air as limited iPlayer appeal also took its toll.


However, the BBC insists the brand is not for sale and reserves the right to bring it back in the future.

A BBC spokesman 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.”

An image of the former BBC A Question of Sport hostsAn image of the former BBC A Question of Sport hostsBBC

The sports trivia show, which first aired in 1970, was known for inviting some popular British sportsmen and women to captain the two teams.

Ex-England Rugby World Cup winner Matt Dawson jostled with former cricketer Phil Tufnell from 2008 to 2021.

Other captains have included ex-Wales rugby hero Gareth Edwards, Scottish football icon Ally McCoist and Italian jockey Frankie Dettori.

Paddy McGuiness took over as host with Sam Quek and Ugo Monye running the teams.

There had been complaints that McGuiness did not have a sporting background and was not the right choice.

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An image outside BBC Broadcasting House

PA

Barker’s time as presenter was known for retaining viewers as it pulled in up to four million by the time of her departure.

However, McGuiness’ first show was watched by just 2.2 million and ratings soon dipped to under one million.

The decision to drop the show comes just weeks after McGuiness was dealt another blow by the BBC binning Top Gear indefinitely following Freddie Flintoff’s car crash.

However, he will continue to front Inside the Factory on BBC2.

The show’s heyday was some time before in 1987 when over 19 million people tuned in to watch Princess Anne take part.

The show is currently presented by Paddy McGuinness with Sam Quek and Ugo Monye as team captains

The show is currently presented by Paddy McGuinness with Sam Quek and Ugo Monye as team captains

BBC

But fans of the show have been given hope that A Question of Sport could make a return similar to The Weakest Link.

The Weakest Link, which became popular when Anne Robinson was presenter, ended in 2012.

It returned in 2020 with comedian Romesh Ranganathan at the helm.

An insider said: “We have to provide value for money to licence fee payers and prioritise high impact content that drives viewers to BBC iPlayer.”

“So, for now, Question of Sport is taking a break and there are no current plans for its return.”



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