Sue Barker declined return as host of Question of Sport after BBC sacking left her feeling ‘damaged’ and ‘insulted’

Former Question of Sport host Sue Barker, has opened up about her exit from the BBC panel show and admits the broadcaster left her feeling “insulted”

Sue Barker has admitted that she was left feeling “insulted” by the way the BBC handled her departure from quiz show Question of Sport.

The TV presenter, 66, who lives in Stanton, spent 24 years as the host of the sports trivia programme - from 1997 through till 2021.

It was announced in September 2020, that there would be a major shake-up of presenters, which meant that the team captains, Phill Tufnal, 56, and Matt Dawson, 49, would also be leaving alongside Sue.

She admits that being “sacked” from A Question of Sport left her feeling “slightly damaged”.

Mail Online serialised Sue’s new autobiography, in which she claims that she had “no problem” with being replaced but learnt that there isn’t a way to leave a role with “your head held high”.

She explained that the BBC wanted her to approve a statement claiming that the three of them had decided to “step aside”, despite not asking her for a quote.

Sue and her loyal team captains, Phil and Matt, refused to sign the document, but it is claimed that the pressure of the BBC persisted.

Presenter of the Centre Court Centenary Ceremony, BBC Presenter & Former Tennis Player, Sue Barker smiles on day seven of The Championships Wimbledon 2022 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 03, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

She claims the broadcaster tried to make her lie and claim that it was her own decision. This prompted her to retire from her hosting duties for the Wimbledon tennis championships - prior to being forced out. The 2022 Wimbledon tournament was Sue’s last year as presenter.

“I was astounded. Was that because I was too old or not good enough? Either way, it was insulting. Did they actually expect me to sack myself?,” Sue said.

Sue claims that within weeks of these interactions, the BBC tried to get her back on side and asked if she would return to the show.

She said: “Unbelievably, they then offered me my job back, but as I couldn’t help but feel they didn’t want me any more, I declined.”

The following day, she was again asked to say that she has decided to leave “for the good of the show.”

At the time of Sue’s departure, a BBC spokeswoman said: “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 over 16 and 12 years respectively.

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

The latest series of the BBC quiz show has continued with Paddy McGuinness at the helm, alongside Olympian Sam Quek and former rugby star Ugo Monye as team captains.

After the several changes were made to shake-up the long-running show, fans were left unimpressed.

Many took to social media to complain that the new format and presenters make the show “unwatchable”.

Calling the Shots: My Autobiography by Sue Barker is set for release on 29 September 2022.