The BBC is reportedly contemplating resurrecting a beloved series only days after announcing its cancellation.
The public broadcaster said over the weekend that the long-running Question of Sport will be ending ‘due to inflation and budget concerns’.
The sports quiz programme, which first aired in 1968, was most recently hosted by Paddy McGuinness, with team leaders Sam Quek and Ugo Monye.
Many were disappointed by the decision, but it now appears that the BBC is keeping the door open to bring it back much sooner than expected, after stating that the show’s formula was not for sale and that it reserved the right to bring it back in the future.
It’s now being rumoured that Paddy will be fired before the original format is reinstated.
‘The axe hasn’t fallen permanently on the programme – the BBC just want to put it on ice for a while before bringing it back,’ a source has said.
‘It’s essentially a face-saving exercise because they realise they made a mistake fixing something that wasn’t broken.
‘But rather than be seen as performing a spectacular and sudden U-turn, they can present it as a “reboot” in a few years’ time,’ they added when speaking to The Sun.
Sue Barker joined the team in 1997 and presented until 2021, when she was controversially fired after 24 years, 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 said at the time.
‘But I understand the BBC want to take the show in a new direction and I’m sad to say goodbye.’
Paddy, a former Top Gear host, took over after Barker left.
His debut programme drew 2.2 million people, but numbers quickly dropped and finally fell below one million.
Sue took aim at the programme last year, saying in her memoir that she was “amazed” that the BBC “doesn’t think sports stars are big enough names to carry a show.”
‘This is A Question of Sport. The clue is in the title,’ she wrote.
She went on to say the show was ‘fundamentally a sports quiz that is family entertainment’ and was ‘not light entertainment with a sports theme’.
Question of Sport is streaming on BBC iPlayer.
Source My Celebrity Life.