Question of Sport dealt huge blow as BBC lose audience after Sue Barker’s exit

A Question of Sport: Sue Barker says goodbye

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The BBC’s longest-running TV quiz show, Question of Sport, has seen a dramatic drop in viewers since fan favourite presenter Sue Barker was axed from the show after 24 years at the helm. The series, which has been running since 1968, was watched by more than 19 million viewers at its prime but has since dramatically dropped to just over half of that figure.

Question of Sport viewers have switched off in their thousands after producers recruited a host of non-sporting stars.

Last year, the BBC announced Sue, Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell, would be leaving the show, a decision which was met with fury from viewers.

The trio were replaced by Paddy McGuinness as host and Sam Quek and Ugo Monye as team captains.

Guests have included Jamie Laing, Anton Du Beke and Martin Roberts, with viewers questioning their relevancy on the show as they are not sport stars.

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Viewers have also slammed the format of the show, which includes replacing the sports knowledge round with a “pot luck” guessing games.

A recent game asked the contestants whether rugby player James Haskell is heavier than 100,000 badminton shuttlecocks and 200 Olympic gold medals.

As a result of viewers’ disappointment, the BBC has seen a dramatic drop in the ratings.

Whilst Sue was a presenter on the BBC show, Question of Sport averaged an audience between four and five million.

Since the reshuffle of hosts, the BBC quiz show has been struggling to win an audience of 2.2million, less than half the figure of ITV soap Coronation Street.

A Question of Sport spokesperson said: “Audience data available so far shows the news is performing well, particularly with a young and diverse audience.”

It comes after the BBC were slammed for their “tone deaf” decision to get rid of Sue.

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An insider told Daily Mail: “They replaced an older woman with a younger man, it was pretty offensive, and now we see from how it has gone downhill, ill-judged.

Meanwhile, speaking on The Johanna Konta podcast, Sue said of her departure: “I love presenting all sport, but A Question of Sport is just something that’s so close to my heart.

“I grew up watching it as a kid, I used to be on it and watch with my family, so it’s something that’s always been very special to me.”

Over the weeks, viewers have taken to Twitter to share their dissatisfaction with the new-look Question of Sport.

Jonathan Clarke tweeted: “Thought I’d give #questionofsport another whirl tonight.

“I’ve watched it religiously for over 40 years and can honestly say that tonight’s episode was borderline embarrassing, I want questions about sport.”

Former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson also commented: “What on earth has happened to Question of Sport?

“I only watched it for ten minutes, and I have a terrible headache, why can’t they call calm down?”

Question of Sport airs Fridays at 7:30pm on BBC One. 
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