Big changes are afoot for the next series of A Question of Sport – with two new team captains joining the show and Top Gear’s Paddy McGuinness set to take over from long-time host Sue Barker.
And McGuinness has revealed that he called Barker when he found out he had landed the job, explaining that he wanted to treat the transition “with respect.”
Speaking to The Sun, he said, “It’s a big change — Sue’s been the host for the last 20 years or so. That was in the back of my mind so I rang her up and had a really good chat with her and she was so nice and supportive.”
He added, “For me personally, once I spoke to Sue, the rest will be what it will be. My priority was taking over from Sue and treating that with respect because of how loved she is.”
Former professional tennis player Barker had hosted the panel show for 24 years before her final show in May this year. On leaving the post, she described it as her “dream job,” adding that she “loved every minute of it.”
Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell are also leaving the show after 17 and 13 years as captains respectively, with Olympic Gold medal-winning hockey star Sam Quek and former England rugby international Ugo Monye taking over.
On being announced as a new captain back in July, Quek said, “I’ve watched A Question of Sport since I was a little girl and my ambition to appear on the show came true five years ago – but I never thought that I would one day be a captain. And the first female captain in the show’s 50-year history too.”
And Monye added, “It’s an incredible honour to be selected as A Question of Sport’s team captain. It’s a show I have watched my entire life, so to be named as a captain is truly humbling.”
The new series of the long-running sports quiz begins on Friday 3rd September and will consist of 36 episodes.