BBC Dumps White Veteran TV Hosts for 'Diversity'
Question of Sport axes white cast to revamp and 'diversify' show
The BBC has dumped three veteran white TV hosts from its flagship sports show in a bid to "diversify," according to reports.
The British Broadcasting Corporation is now facing a backlash after announcing it has axed popular hosts Sue Barker, Matt Dawson, and Phil Tufnell from A Question of Sport.
Alongside the team captains Dawson and Tufnell, 64-year-old former tennis player Barker has been axed as host of the show as TV bosses seek to draft in more "diverse" faces to revamp the long-running sports quiz in the current "Black Lives Matter" era.
Barker told of her sadness at being forced out of the show after 24 years.
“I’ve absolutely loved my 24 years fronting A Question of Sport, it’s been my dream job," the veteran host explained.
"But I understand the BBC wants to take the show in a new direction and I’m sad to say goodbye.”
The move, first revealed in Sunday Mirror over the weekend, has led to complaints by fans of the iconic program, which is the world's longest-running TV sports quiz.
Dawson became the longest-serving captain after succeeding jockey Frankie Dettori months after winning the Rugby World Cup in 2004.
He was so thrilled to join the team he missed an England training session to record an episode and was dropped from the national squad.
He was later recalled and he then quit rugby in 2006 to focus on it full time.
Cricket star Tufnell joined the team in 2008, replacing Ally McCoist, and "the three amigos" have been permanent fixtures ever since.
Matt Dawson said on Twitter: “Thanks for all the lovely messages.
"I'm not sure how to respond so I'll have a think.
"Needless to say I will miss Question Of Sport immensely.”
Phil Tufnell said: “13 yrs at Question of Sport has been a great part of life .. going to miss it hugely .. thanks so much for all the lovely messages !!.”
A Question of Sport was first broadcast in 1970 and has been hosted by Barker since she took over from David Coleman in 1997.
“QS has been such a huge part of my life - from watching it with my family growing up through my tennis-playing days, and then, of course, as the presenter,” Sue said recently.