The way the BBC handled the release of Question Of Sport stung


Sue Barker hosted sports question for the BBC from 1997 to 2021. (BBC)

Sue Barker has revealed how the BBC handled her sacking of sports question left her “wretchedly sad”.

The 66-year-old TV presenter has revealed the company tried to get her to lie and claim the decision was hers, and caused her to opt out of covering the Wimbledon tennis championships before he is not asked to leave.

Barker said in her new autobiography serialized in the Mail Online: “After 24 years in the hot seat, I have been sacked as host of A matter of sports – and I’m afraid it damaged me slightly.

Read more: Sue Barker on Cliff Richard fling

“I had no problem being replaced. It was the way it was handled. It taught me that there’s actually no way to leave a role in a nice, nice way. and helpful, head held high.”

Ally McCoist, Sue Barker and John Parrott.

Sue Barker hosted sports question for 24 years. (Getty Pictures)

The former professional tennis player started hosting the BBC Sports Quiz in 1997 and left in 2021.

In his book calling the shots she revealed that she first learned that she was planning to replace her in October 2016 while she was on vacation and a friend told her that they had seen an internal document revealing that the producers wanted replace her in order to “freshen up the show and appeal to a younger audience.”

Barker said she was “flabbergasted” by the news because her bosses hadn’t told her about the changes.

She ended up staying, only to be told two years later that she would be asked to extend her contract, but there were plans to replace team captains ex-cricketer Phil Tufnell and ex-Cricketer matt dawson rugby.

Barker revealed that she said she would quit if Tufnell and Dawson left and all of their contracts were renewed again.

Watch: Emotional Sue Barker receives a standing ovation at center court celebration

Then, in 2020, they were called to separate management meetings and told they were all fired.

Barker said: “I accepted their decision, although I couldn’t help but feel terribly sad.

“The show played an anchor role in all of our lives; it was part of who we were – that’s the first thing an audience member who stops me to chat wants to know.”

But the TV presenter admitted ‘anger set in’ when no one contacted her from the BBC to get a statement from her about leaving the show.

Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell attending Investec Ladies Day at the Investec Derby Festival in Epsom in 2012.

Question from Team Captains Sport Phil Tufnell and Matt Dawson left at the same time as Sue Barker. (Getty Pictures)

Afterwards, she was asked to sign a written statement on her behalf, saying it was her decision to step down from the show.

She said, “Why were we shown so little respect?”

Barker told the BBC to “own their decision” and refused to lie on their behalf. She claims that she was then offered to return to her job, but that she refused.

She said: “It wasn’t the end of an era that stung, but the way it was handled.”

Barker added: “The overwhelming feeling that left me was the determination that this type of treatment, this lack of care and consideration, would never happen to me again.”

Paddy McGuinness.

Paddy McGuinness now hosts BBC Quiz sports question. (Getty Images for Just Eat)

And so this year she made the decision to stop presenting Wimbledon tennis coverage, before that option could be taken away from her.

She said: “It’s the hardest thing in the world – to stop doing a job you still love when you’re somewhere near the top. I’ll miss it terribly when it’s not an annual part of my life. But I don’t have any regrets.”

Read more: Sue Barker’s Last Wimbledon

Since Barker’s departure, sports question is hosted by 49-year-old comedian Paddy McGuinness.


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