The BBC has cancelled A Question of Sport after more than 50 years on the air.
The long-running sports quiz programme has officially ended owing to ‘dwindling’ numbers.
The family-friendly show, which first aired in January 1970, is now thought to have minimal appeal on iPlayer.
However, the show’s producers have maintained the right to bring it back at some point in the future.
A BBC spokesperson confirmed: ‘Due to inflation and funding challenges difficult decisions have to be made, therefore Question of Sport is currently not in production at the moment.’
According to a TV source, A Question of Sport might one day follow in the footsteps of The Weakest Link, which stopped in 2012 with Anne Robinson and then returned in 2020 with Romesh Ranganathan.
‘We have to provide value for money to licence fee payers and prioritise high-impact content that drives viewers to BBC iPlayer,’ the source said.
‘So, for now, Question of Sport is taking a break and there are no current plans for its return.’
David Vine hosted A Question of Sport for seven seasons before handing over to David Coleman until 1997.
Sue Barker joined the team in 1997 and continued to host until 2021, with the show attracting up to four million viewers at the conclusion of her tenure.
However, A Question of Sport’s peak unquestionably came in the 1980s, when it broke viewership records in 1987 with over 19 million viewers tuning in when Princess Anne took part.
Meanwhile, after 24 years on the job, Barker was controversially fired, along with Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell.
‘I’ve absolutely loved my 24 years fronting A Question of Sport, it’s been my dream job,’ she confessed at the time.
‘But I understand the BBC want to take the show in a new direction and I’m sad to say goodbye.’
Dawson also stated that he ‘wasn’t sure how to respond’ to his own unexpected axe.
Following Barker’s departure, former Top Gear host Paddy McGuinness stepped over as part of a contentious new lineup.
His debut programme drew 2.2 million people, but numbers quickly dropped and finally fell below one million.
The initial captains of A Question of Sport were boxer Henry Cooper and rugby union player Cliff Morgan.
Taking to X, formerly Twitter, user SCFCJosh96 described it as ‘one of those shows you’d just expect to go on forever’.
DanielGosbee said it was ‘such a shame’ to see what had happened, but said the ‘new format’ was ‘awful’.
Others agreed, blaming the show’s downfall on Barker’s sacking.
‘Sad but easing out Sue Barker in the name of “modernisation” was always an unforced error,’ penned Mike_Dickson_DM.
Source My Celebrity Life.