Sue Barker, 66, started presenting on BBC’s Question of Sport in 1997 and continued on the show for an extraordinary 24 years alongside team captains Phil Tuffnell and Matt Dawson. The ex-tennis player was replaced by Paddy McGuiness last year, as the former host claimed it was in a bid to push for more “diversity” on the show, in the hopes of attracting a younger audience.

Rumours began to swirl in 2020 about the trio’s future on the quiz programme Question of Sport, but at the time Sue assumed she and her colleagues would get a further extension of the show.

However, Sue admitted the three of them were “suddenly all called in to separate meetings with management”, as reported by the MailOnline from an extract taken from her autobiography, Calling The Shots: My Autobiography by Sue Barker.

She admitted: “A few TV producer friends had seen the BBC tender document and couldn’t believe my name wasn’t on it.

“Apparently the BBC wanted to refresh the show — with more diversity and more appeal to a younger audience.

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Express.co.uk has contacted BBC representatives for comment.

At the time the news broke of the trio’s exit, the BBC released the statement: “We would like to thank Sue for her enormous contribution as the show’s longest reigning host over the last 24 years, and Matt and Phil for their excellent team captaincy.

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

Speaking to The Telegraph last year, Phil detailed how being dropped from the line-up made him feel.

He said: “It wasn’t like going to work. It was just turning up and having a good time with your mates.

“And then, they sort of said, ‘Right, OK, we’re going to take it in a new direction’.”

He added: “And we sort of went, ‘Oh, crikey. That’s a shame …’.”

The new series includes host Paddy McGuinness, with former hockey player Sam Quek and Strictly Come Dancing’s Ugo Monye as team captains.

Sam, who previously presented on The One Show, is the first female captain on the show.

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