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Question of Sport trio Sue Barker, Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell to leave show in major shake-up

THE BBC has axed Sue Barker, Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell from A Question of Sport as the corporation shakes-up the long-running show.

The stars are said to have been “blind-sided” by the decision from bosses.

Their final series together will be broadcast next year.

Former tennis champ Sue Barker, who has fronted the BBC One show since 1997, once described A Question Of Sport as “a part of my life”.

Former England rugby player Dawson, 47, and former English international cricketer Tufnell, 54, have led their teams on the show for 16 and 12 years respectively.

A BBC insider told the Daily Star: “The show has been on for a long time and the producers think it’s time to give it a new look.

“Sue, Matt and Tuffers have been so popular, so the producers are aware they will have big shoes to fill.

“With the 50th anniversary this year they thought it would be a good time to revamp things.”

A BBC spokesman said: “We would like to thank Sue for her enormous contribution as the show’s longest-reigning host over the last 23 years, and Matt and Phil for their excellent team captaincy over 16 and 12 years respectively.

“Together they have ensured A Question of Sport remains a firm favourite with the BBC One audience.

“Sue, Matt and Phil’s final series will be broadcast next year before the series returns with a new team.”

The show, which has been a regular feature of the BBC’s schedules celebrated its 50th anniversary and 1,200 episodes in May.

A nationwide tour featuring the show’s stars had been planned for April but was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The show, which has millions of dedicated fans sees the two team captains, along with stars from the sporting world battle it out over their knowledge of sporting trivia.

Sue Barker took over the presenting role from David Coleman in 1997.

She previously said: “QS has been such a huge part of my life – from watching it with my family growing up through my tennis-playing days, and then, of course, as the presenter.”

Former England cricketer Tufnell, 54, joined the team in 2008, replacing footballer Ally McCoist.

The first episode featured David Vine as presenter with Henry Cooper and Cliff Morgan as the team captains.

Over the years the show has attracted a host of famous faces from the world of sport including George Best, Pat Cash and Jessica Ennis-Hill.

Princess Anne appeared in the 200th episode.

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